5.7/10
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10 user 3 critic

Wildcat (1942)

A wildcatter, broke but slick, manages to acquire a lease for oil-rich land but ruthless competitors sabotage his oil company any way they can.

Director:

Frank McDonald

Writers:

North Bigbee (story "Roaring Gold"), Richard Murphy | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Arlen ... Johnny Maverick
Arline Judge ... Nan Deering
William Frawley ... Oliver Westbrook
Buster Crabbe ... Mike Rawlins (as Larry 'Buster' Crabbe)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... 'Watchfob' Jones
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Harold 'Chicopee' Nevins
Ralph Sanford ... 'Grits' O'Malley
Alec Craig ... Joseph D. Campbell
John Dilson ... Gus Sloane
Will Wright ... John 'Paw' Smithers
Jessica Newcombe Jessica Newcombe ... Martha 'Maw' Smithers
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Bud Smithers (as Billy Benedict)
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Storyline

Wildcatter Johnny Maverick and his pal, Chicopee Nevins are speeding toward Antril Bend, a small town in the oil region, that has offered $25,000 to the person bringing in the first oil well.They accidentally find oil on the town's outskirts, and Johnny writes a $4000 hot check for the property. He covers that by having Chicopee sell his half interest to oil promoter Gus Sloane for $7000. Sloane hires a crew to start drilling on his half of the property, with Johnny's old enemy, Mile Rawlins as his foreman. Rawlins sabotages Johnny's rig, causing Chicopee's death. Confidence man Oliver Westbrook and his confederate, Nan Dearing hatch a plan to swindle Johnny by having Nan pose as Chicopee's sister. It works and Johnny makes Nan his partner. Another accident staged by Rawlins forces Johnny to sign a note to get money for repair. Nan falls in love with Johnny and abandons her plan to swindle him. As the note deadline approaches, Johnny learns that Sloane has purchased it as a means of ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A GUSHER OF THRILLS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ambición sin frenos See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Richard Arlen is on a weight losing campaign. Studio orders for his role in 'Wildcat.'" - Newspaper Enterprise Association, "Erskine Johnson's Hollywood," The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Sunday 1 February 1942, Volume 48, page 20. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Standard B-movie Fare
2 May 2009 | by Signa815See all my reviews

Wildcat is a typical B-movie of the 40's. The plot is straight forward and largely predictable. For those not familiar with the term, wildcat refers to someone taking the risk of drilling for oil in unproven areas.

While there are no major stars here, there are some recognizable faces. Richard Arlen made a career of B-movies and plays the lead here as an endearing hustler. His main antagonist is Buster Crabbe of Flash Gordon fame. William Frawley (Fred Mertz of I Love Lucy) plays an unscrupulous card shark, that eventually shows some heart. Toss in character actor Arthur Hunnicutt, who is best known as a crotchety old-timer from westerns and 50's TV. Overall, a decent cast that does a fine, if unspectacular job of delivering the goods.

The dialogue is snappy in parts, but also lame in places. There are enough conflicts and action sequences to keep the story moving without bogging down. The characters cover a wide range. There is the flawed hero lead, the conniving femme fatale, a naive youth, a cold-hearted antagonist and loyal associates.

While this movie is mildly entertaining, there is nothing spectacular here. While the movie is shot in the present (1942,) it has a western flavor to it. So if you enjoy any of the actors or just want to see a "modern" western, it's not a bad way to spend 70 minutes.


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