7.1/10
2,845
39 user 16 critic

Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director:

Jack Conway

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screen play), James Edward Grant (based on a story by)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comrade X (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oskar Homolka
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A doctor (Spencer Tracy) marries a suicidal woman (Hedy Lamarr) but begins to doubt her fidelity.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Frank Borzage, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, Verree Teasdale
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Strange Cargo (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: James Stewart, Hedy Lamarr, Ian Hunter
Test Pilot (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man who lived his life as he was was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Robert Young, Ruth Hussey
Algiers (1938)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie
Tortilla Flat (1942)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Danny, a poor northern Californian Mexican-American, inherits two houses from his grandfather and is quickly taken advantage of by his vagabond friends.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, John Garfield
Saratoga (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After winning a stud farm in lieu of gambling debts, bookie Duke Bradley turns an eye to the daughter of the now deceased gambler and her millionaire fiancée.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore
Adventure (1945)
Drama | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dark, romantic, complicated drama about a rowdy merchant mariner and sophisticated librarian who clash over their lifestyles and values - and then fall in love.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Greer Garson, Joan Blondell
China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Big John McMasters
Spencer Tracy ... Square John Sand
Claudette Colbert ... Betsy Bartlett
Hedy Lamarr ... Karen Vanmeer
Frank Morgan ... Luther Aldrich
Lionel Atwill ... Harry Compton
Chill Wills ... Harmony Jones
Marion Martin ... Whitey
Minna Gombell ... Spanish Eva
Joe Yule ... Ed Murphy
Horace Murphy ... Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... McCreery
Richard Lane ... Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson ... Little Jack
Baby Quintanilla Baby Quintanilla ... Baby Jack
Edit

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:

Devil may-care men fought for girls and gold See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fruto dorado See more »

Filming Locations:

Bakersfield, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,614,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clark Gable was anxious to do the film because his father had been an oil rigger, and Gable himself had worked on oil rigs in Oklahoma before becoming an actor. 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 it reappears in the next close up. See more »

Quotes

Man abandoned by Whitey: [Whitey rises from table to follow Clark Gable; man she was with tries to restrain her] Hey, wait a minute! Where're ya goin'?
Whitey: Let go of me! I pick my own posies, jughead!
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Opening title] This is the story of a hard driving breed of Americans - oil prospectors - "wildcatters". Made of the bone and blood of pioneers - men born of the lasting miracle that is America - they probed the Earth from early Pennsylvania to California's Kettleman Hills to bring forth America's greatest treasure, the life blood of today's world - oil! See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hullabaloo (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

After You've Gone
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Turner Layton
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Played in the dance hall and sung by Marion Martin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Gable's most personal role
9 January 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When one thinks of roles identified with Clark Gable, Boom Town does not immediately come to mind. Yet this film, done at what most would consider the high water mark of Gable's career (after Gone With the Wind and before Carole Lombard's death) was possibly his most personal role. Before he was actor Gable worked in the oil fields with his widowed father. After that he decided acting was a far easier way to make a living. But he actually lived the life that he and Spencer Tracy portrayed in Boom Town. He brings more to the part of Big John McMasters than any other part he ever did. I'm sure he was an unofficial technical consultant on the film.

The film is also an ode to laissez faire capitalism, maybe one of the most right wing films ever done in Hollywood. You will never hear Herbert Hoover's rugged individualism better justified than in Spencer Tracy's speech to the jury in Gable's anti-trust trial. One half of the script writing team was James Edward Grant who later did many of the more propagandistic films that John Wayne did.

Frank Morgan is his usual befuddled self, he had a patent on those parts. Claudette Colbert is fine as the woman both men love and Hedy Lamarr was her usual alluring self.

Great entertainment all around.


36 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 39 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed