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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 »
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 »
[working the register, Big John walks up behind her and slaps her behind]
Hey, what do you...? John!
Big John McMasters:
Hi, Evie! How's my barrel of sweet Spanish crude?
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[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 »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr star in "Boom Town," a 1940 film directed by Jack Conway. It's about wildcatters and friends, played by Gable and Tracy, who make money as partners, love the same woman, go their separate ways, reunite, all under the specter of oil rigs.
Gable has a role he owned, that of Big John, a tough guy, a man's man, kind of Rhett Butler goes wildcatting. Tracy is Jonathan Sand, his buddy, with a girl back home. Big John meets a lady and falls for her - except it's Sand's girlfriend Elizabeth (Colbert) who's just arrived in town. Well, she had to choose between Clark Gable, matinée idol, and Spencer Tracy, a character actor whose talent gave him leading man status. She chooses Big John. Sand accepts it as best he can. By now the two have struck oil and are in the big money. Eventually, Big John loses his part of the business to Sand, and he and Elizabeth leave the area in order to rebuild - and they do, big time. The couple end up in New York, where Big John meets a Big Beauty named Karen (Lamarr) and goes for her, threatening his marriage.
Everyone is very good in this absorbing movie, with Lamarr's knockout beauty a real asset. This is nothing against Colbert, who is stunning as well and excellent as Elizabeth. Gable and Tracy have good chemistry - in the end, this is really a buddy movie, and they're a good match. Gable is very sexy and at his peak here.
Very enjoyable, with great special effects - no expense spared for the four huge stars.
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