Boom Town

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ken123
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Boom Town

Post by ken123 »

Is this Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr a Western. Love Story, Drame, or what ! I used to like it alot, now it seems so old hat. Hedy is fetching though. :wink:
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Garbomaniac
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Yes, I guess it does look old, but it is a great little documentary on the oil field junkies! But, if for nothing else, you are right, Hedy Lamarr is worth seeing (although her part stinks, she did get in the film)! At the time, it was big box office!
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Moraldo Rubini
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Boom Boom

Post by Moraldo Rubini »

It seemed a little creaky to me when I watched last year. With that cast, I had high hopes. The tagline for the movie was supposedly "Where Men Are Rough And Tough . . . And Like Their Women The Same Way!", but I don't recall either Colbert or Lamarr as coming off very rough. Weren't they portraying the old Madonna/Whore dichotomy? In this case, Colbert being the good down-to-earth gal and Lamarr the hungry, manipulative glamor-puss? Was this really the biggest money maker of 1940?
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Ken, I suspect that MGM thought they could combine a romantic Western with one of those "he may have riches now, but he was happier poor" stories that the studio foisted on a willing public in those days. Though both Claudette and Hedy have grown on me over the years, neither lady seems to belong in this movie. As a kid, I thought that Colbert was too old for both Gable & Tracy and Hedy had everything but horns and a tail to go along with her allegedly devilish allure.

I only watch Boom Town for the initial fight between Tracy and Gable in the muddy street, though I can't explain why, Frank Morgan as the wildcatter's unwitting "angel", and Chill "Harmony Jones" Wills' recipe ideas. Other than that, Test Pilot edges this one out for entertainment value and San Francisco still holds my interest whenever Clark Gable manages to be a bad boy. I never found Spencer Tracy to be a very convincing priest or tough guy in any of his films, however. He's better when he plays a regular guy trying (and failing), to get through life without embarrassing himself too much. Now that I can identify with.
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

I like it even though I don't think that Claudette and Clark have the same spark of chemistry they did previously in It Happened One Night. However, I do enjoy the scenes where Claudette calls him "Sir Modred". I call my ex-boyfriend that and he has the same exact reaction Gable did. "Huh?"

For glorious Gable-at-his-peak eye candy, though, I can watch this film over and over. You all may prefer Hedy but I swoon over how wonderful he looks when he's getting fitted for his new suits. *sigh*

It was the highly favorable audience reaction to Gable's scenes with Hedy that caused MGM to hurriedly re-cast them together in the Soviet comedy, Comrade X. This movie has one of the lamest endings but up until that point, I think it is a highly underrated, sly and satirical comedy. While it's not Lubitsch's Ninotchka it's not at all bad, contrary to it's reputation.

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Garbomaniac
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Yes, Comrade X was a nice little film, but partly because of Eve Arden. I really didn't enjoy it much, although I have it. I never watch it. It didn't do much to stretch Hedy's range as an actress, and Clark was his usual bellowing self. She was not glamorous, and you are right, the ending was silly. MGM just never really did know what to do with Hedy, and even in Boom Town, the part was more suited to the talents of some other actress, like Crawford. The only reason she begged Mayer to be in this film was the fact that she knew she needed a big box office hit. Mayer was systematically ruining her career, and she had to take charge. Unfortunately, her next film was Comrade X. She faired much better in Come Live with Me, H.M.Pullam, Esq., and Tortilla Flat.
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

I didnt' enjoy Comrade X much either when I first saw it, but I watched it again a couple of years later and appreciated the witty script much more. I continue to marvel at Gable's adeptness with swift, perceptively witty dialogue which, to me, belies the constant reference critics and even fans give to his supposed lack of intellectual capacity. This movie shows that off as well as any other and it's a shame the silly ending was tacked on to what could have been a real gem of Soviet-era satire.
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

I liked the repartee between Eve Arden and Gable in Comrade X. They seemed to have much more electricity than the lovely if, (in my book, at least) stiff Hedy Lamarr. Ms. Arden saved many a studio product in her day, and I always wondered why in heaven's name the dull-witted hero didn't take a shine to the long-legged, elegant and witty Eve. She'd have been so nice to come home to and not nearly as high maintenance as those other dames.

Btw, as she proved amply in the wartime distaff "epic" The Doughgirls (1944), Eve Arden also had the range and the comic chops to have played Comrade X beautifully, as seen when she played a heroine of the Soviet Union, back when the Russkies were our allies against the Axis, (see below for a pic of her with her companions in this minor motion picture).
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Our Miss Arden breathing life into one more vehicle that was well beneath her, alas. (Also pictured are Jane Wyman, Alexis Smith and Ann Sheridan, all of whom deserved better as well).
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