7.1/10
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37 user 12 critic

Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

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(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Karen Vanmeer
...
Luther Aldrich
...
Harry Compton
...
Harmony Jones
...
Whitey
...
Spanish Eva
...
Ed Murphy
...
Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ...
McCreery
...
Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson ...
Little Jack
Baby Quintanilla ...
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Storyline

Buddies Big John McMasters and Square John Sand are fast-talking, wisecracking wildcatters who manage to con enough equipment and capital to develop their own oil fields, but their friendship is put to the test when Big John inadvertently falls in love with Elizabeth, Square John's longtime girlfriend. Eventually their friendship and partnership comes to an end on the flip of a coin. Years later, when Big John's interest in the beautiful Karen Vanmeer threatens his marriage too, Square John intervenes in an effort to save the marriage of his former friend - even if it means ruining him financially. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where Men Are Rough And Tough . . . And Like Their Women The Same Way ! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boom Town!  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,614,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,172,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last of three films (after San Francisco (1936) and Test Pilot (1938)) that Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy did together. After this film, Tracy insisted on a clause in his MGM contract that he would receive equal billing with Gable in all future films. While the two remained lifelong friends, they were never again paired together in a movie because MGM wasn't sure how to handle the equal billing. See more »

Goofs

When Clark Gable rides the donkey at the rodeo he is holding a balloon, in the first wide shot the balloon is gone, but reappears again in the next close up. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Sand: [to Vanmeer's maid] Scram you! I'll buy you a diamond daybed for Christmas.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Hummed by Frank Morgan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Would Have Preferrred Grubby Over Soapy
15 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There was something lacking in this film, not that I didn't like it: it just wasn't as good as it should have been. There was an intensity missing. I found it tough to get involved with the story and the characters.

The cast was terrific: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan, Lionel Atwill, Chill Wills - are you kidding me? That's an incredible cast.

Gable had the lead as the cocky oil wildcatter "John McMasters" and Tracy has his more controlled friend "John Sand." The latter is more than leery of his buddy which turns out to be prophetic as McMasters marries the woman Sands had his eyes on: "Elizabeth Bartlett," called "Besty" in the film and played by Colbert. However, he accepts it in a mature manner.

This romance angle comes and goes just like the oil fortunes of these two men. One day they're up; the next day, they're broke. Lamar enters the picture to give it another melodrama twist. That's probably why I was bit letdown in the end. The romances took over from the rousing man's adventure story I thought it was going to be, and looked like it was going to be in the first part of the story. However, I guess they figured women might not come to the theater if there were no complicated romance issues among the tales of two man grubby oilmen. I would have preferred the grubbiness, as this turned out to be a little too long and boring, despite those dynamic lead actors.


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