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Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
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2:31 | Trailer
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)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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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
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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:

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 »

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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 »
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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

Spanish Eva: [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?
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

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Joan Collins (2015) 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

 
Big prewar MGM Production
20 December 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

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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