Boom Town Reviews
Big John McMasters and Square John Sand are two aspiring oil men looking for a big investment. Neither of them know they are in love with the same girl. The two men strike it rich and Big John gets the girl, quickly ending their friendship and having the two men go in separate directions with their riches. John Sand invests his money well and turns his riches into more riches while John blows his money putting him and his wife in a bad spot. Will the two men reconcile their differences and work together to find riches again?
"Rabbit stew again?"
Jack Conway, director of Libeled Lady, A Tale of Two Cities, Viva Villa, Saratoga, One New York Night, The Girl from Missouri, and Just a Gigolo, delivers Boom Town. The storyline for this picture is fun to watch unfold. The character development is excellent and the script is well written. The cast delivers awesome performances and includes Spencer Tracy, Clarke Gable, Claudette Colbert, Lionell Atwill, and Frank Morgan.
"You can always say you were a big man once."
I am a huge Spencer Tracy fan. This is far from my favorite picture of his, but it is very good. His character is very dynamic and the chemistry between him and Gable throughout the film was perfect (both during the good times and bad). I strongly recommend seeing this picture!
"What do people think I am, a good fairy?"
This is a movie about the boom and bust fortunes of oil wildcatters, and their women. Big John McMasters (Clark Gable) meets up with Square John Sand (Spencer Tracy) in their famous wooden plank over the muddy street scene. They partner up on a good potential oil rig, and then Big John steals Square John's girl, Betsy Bartlett (Claudette Colbert).
The first half of this movie is the grubby, hard work part, where the second half comes off as a soap opera. Big John strikes it rich and becomes a big oil tycoon while Square John comes back in like his conscience trying to fix things for Betsy. There's a dalliance with a socialite/company spy, Karen Vanmeer (Hedy Lamarr), but you know that Big John really only loves Betsy. There's also a courtroom finale where Square John explains why we need crazy wildcatters like big John.
I loved Frank Morgan's work as Luther Aldrich, the supply and rigging guy that these two men always went back to when they were flat broke. There was also Chill Wills as Deputy "Hominy" Jones, the talented cook that could make rabbit taste like fillet minion.