review for Boom Town on AllMovie

Boom Town (1940)
by Craig Butler review

Boom Town is an unapologetically conservative adventure, with a final monologue from Spencer Tracy which neatly extols the virtues of capitalism. Its idealistic bent may prove a problem for some, but even those who disagree with it should be entertained by the sheer star power -- and by director Jack Conway's ability to vividly recapture some of the spirit and excitement of the wildcat era. The script is far from problem-free. There are too many reversals, new plot points and contrivances (especially Claudette Colbert's decision to marry Clark Gable without telling him that she is the girl friend of his best friend), but the cast makes it worthwhile. Colbert and Gable lack some of the chemistry of their earlier onscreen pairing, but that eventually works to the film's advantage when Gable's eyes stray toward luscious Hedy Lamarr. Working together for the final time, Spencer Tracy and Gable have chemistry to spare and are believable as pals willing to put up with anything to retain their friendship. Tracy in particular is in top form, using those eyes that speak volumes to convey much more than is in the script. Lamarr is not in the league of these three, but she's acceptable, and Frank Morgan adds a spark to the proceedings. Not a classic, Boom Town is still thoroughly enjoyable.