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And Don't Call Me Shorty...

Boom Town, the Movie; 1940

An Oily Movie We Love on Oily Stuff Blog

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!

This movie was loosely based on a 1939 novel titled, The Lady Comes to Burkburnett. It was filmed entirely in Bakersfield California, however, and a lot of scenes in the movie are clearly of the San Juaquin Valley in and around Kern County.

A piece of the script where Big John McMasters and John 'Square' Sands (Spencer Tracy) meet in a muddy street in Burkburnett and the trailer to the movie, below.

Besides fighting all the time, these two "partners" are trying to get a well drilled near a seep outside town and finally talked the local rope, dope and soap store owner in to helping fund the well with supplies and pipe, etc. If the owner of the supply store looks familiar, he was in the Wizard of Oz!

Its a great movie! The sets, rigs, etc. are historically accurate and depict an era in America where oil and gas was revered, not hated. This was the first contract movie of Clark Gable's seven movie deal with MGM, he got top billing and that pissed Spencer Tracy off. Tracy reportedly did not enjoy working with, or got along with, either of the female stars in the movie. It made a whopping $2MM in profit. At its release in 1940 Europe was at war with Germany and the US was charged with producing as much oil as possible to help Allied forces in Europe.

We give this film a big 'ol, calloused, thumbs up.


We've got some really stinky movies about oil to review on Oily Stuff; here's a start:

This was a 2017 movie called Boomtown, though clearly not designed to be a remake of the 1940 movie. Boomtown 2017 was filmed in the Bakken, has some pretty good oily footage in it, but, well, its OK, I guess. Any movie with a rig in it is good, uh?

The best part of Boomtown 2017 is that its got Dwight Yoakum in it !


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