- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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This film has all the cliche's of films made in the pre-war films. The back and forth scenes of friendships and fights between them, the idea that Gable would fall for Colbert and marry her in a night are tedious. If Hedy Lamar wasn't in this film, Boom town would have ended in the trash bin. She is the only really believable character due to her stunning beauty, her intelligence, (unlike most female stars she had a real IQ comparable to the scores of other female stars at the time. Although the viewers may have viewed her as a home wrecker, gold digger, ect, her character was well played out, she knew who was in, and who was out. And she came out a winner. The court scenes of this film, are like most Hollywood's portrayal of the legal system hopelessly idiotic. To add one more note the the historical reality of the times, by 1940 when this film was made, the "New Deal" of FDR was falling apart. The country had to turn to the very devils New Dealers hated. And those were the capitalists, monopolies, and those who benefited economically by the increase in War production. I do not recall anyone being prosecuted for producing oil, rubber, or turning out ships and aircraft for pofit. Without them, the tyranny of the Nazies, Reds and the Japan of Tojo could have become the new world order. The first to feel that terror would have been the those who despised the very system they hated.
4 rival stars strike-it-rich in oil
- Will Fox
Enterprising, risk-taking oil men, John Sand (Shorty) and Big John McMasters meet and joust in a muddy, lawless Boom Town. They drink with saloon girls and become partners, drilling. The relationship is complicated when they discover oil and Shorty invites the love of his life. Betsy Bartlett bored back-east arrives out west, to see square-jawed Jonathan Sand, a friend. But first she meets Big John. It's love at first sight. They marry. Next day, Square John comes to town, bangs on Big John's bedroom and discovers disappointment and embarrassment, the love of his life with his business partner. After a year, wildcatting infects Big John. Square John, (angry at his partner's mistreatment of Betsy), challenges his womanizing business partner. Big John agrees to a coin toss for ownership of their burning oil well. Square John wins. But, Big John and Betsy leave town, to search for oil. Striking it rich in Oklahoma oil fields, Big John becomes oil baron. Next he meets NY dealer-maker, Harry Compton and his enchanting, sophisticated companion, Karen Vanmeer. Big John expands investments into oil refineries. Working closely in New York and then lobbying, newspaper photos show Big John partying publicly, dancing with Karen in Washington DC. Neglected wife Betsy and boy Jack are alone to Square John. To help true-love Betsy win back Big John from another woman, Square John humbles Big John in an industry fight. The national, big business rivalry draws the attention of big government. Muckraking media and a publicity-seeking prosecutor charge violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act against Big John. [Rockefeller.] At the trial the politically powerful prosecutor's bullying of witnesses so shocks an honest judge into allowing unintimidated, Square John to testify that Big John was trying to conserve the US's oil supply in time of war- not break a law. Vindicated Big John rejoins his wife & son, plus partners with his rescuer, Square John, to wildcat again.
great buddy movie
- george snedker
great buddy movie with a fabulous cast the type of film as they say don't make them like that any more.great fun and hugely enjoyable.the biggest box office hit of the year of it's release 1940.
- Mr. Blandings
While this chronicling of the ups and downs and ups and (again) downs of the oil business can get frustrating and almost tedious at times, that is the point of the film. Greed, stupidity, and corruption go hand-in-hand with oil, and Gable plays the flawed character to the hilt. In fact, what makes this film worth watching at all is the powerhouse casting of a trio of exceptional talent - Gable, Tracy, and Colbert (although Claudette is slightly overshadowed and underused).
Boom Town (1940)
- Jay Higgins
A fine classic with a once in a lifetime cast. Any movie with Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr and Spencer Tracy has to be worth watching. Good MGM production, not a particularly original story, but it's done extremely well.
Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy are Fantastic!
Being a die hard Clark Gable fan and Gone with the Wind fanatic many of Clark Gables films have disappointed me but Boom Town is a great feel good movie about two best friends and their ups and downs in this great land of opportunity! Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamar are excellent in their rolls as Clark's wife and girlfriend respectively. This movie made me fall in love with Clark Gable all over again!
Long Live the King
Why was Gable the King? He wasn't mobbed up, he was American, a regular guy, an actor first, good for talkies, and people cared when he didn't wear a tee shirt. That checklist excludes all challengers. There also were no successors. The end of the trail for the American screen hero came in the Misfits.Ater that came the deluge of anti-heroes.Spencer Tracy, in his prime, gives up a run for a third consecutive Oscar to play Gable's buddy. Gable didn't need Oscars as much as he needed Tracy. Colbert, brings out the best in Tracy. LaMarr brings out the best in Gable in this impeccable MGM production.