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Bombshell (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  13 October 1933 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,395 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 16 critic

Sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis, adopting a baby -- all sorts of schemes which go awry.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Space Hanlon
...
Pops Burns
...
Gifford Middleton
...
Jim Brogan
Una Merkel ...
Mac
Ted Healy ...
Junior Burns
...
Marquis Hugo
...
A Girl Friend (as Isobel Jewell)
Louise Beavers ...
Loretta
Leonard Carey ...
Winters
Mary Forbes ...
Mrs. Middleton
...
Mr. Middleton
June Brewster ...
Alice Cole
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Lola Burns is at the top of the pile in Hollywood. But life ain't easy, what with her father and brother always hanging around for handouts, and devious studio publicity honcho Space Hanlon cooking up endless lurid newspaper stories. Makes a girl want to give up pictures. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akta er för gnistor!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$344,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Caroline Francke's and Mack Crane's play was unproduced. See more »

Goofs

A piece of debris can be seen at the top of the camera lens in several of the shots of Lola riding a horse in the desert. The debris appears and disappears from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Lola Burns: Get away from me, all of you! you're nothing but a pack of leeches!
Pops: Leeches?
Lola Burns: Yes, leeches! At least he
[motions to Space]
Lola Burns: was right; I don't know how I expected to bring a baby in here with an old fool for his grandfather who's half-drunk all the time!
Mac: Lola, you're exciting yourself...
Lola Burns: And what about you? Don't think I don't know about your stealing and all the cuts you get from the stores! And you
[to Bro]
Lola Burns: who hasn't had a job to your name in three years and bringing her in here like it was a ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Susan Lenox <Her Fall and Rise> (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Lazybones
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played by Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra at the Coconut Grove nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Sheer Unadulterated Pleasure
16 February 2001 | by (nyc) – See all my reviews

I often wonder if Lee Tracy would be more fondly-remembered by a larger percentage of the public had he been fortunate enough to hang around long enough to appear in films with musical scores. He was pretty much done by 1934, however, so the precious handful of Tracy vehicles we DO have are blessed/cursed by the prevailing conditions of early talkies. Nowadays, fans - especially younger ones - tend to either dismiss them as mildewed antiques that might as well have been made on Mars, or (just as bad) view them with smug condescension as dear, quaint little antiques....like flivvers or biplanes. Nearly every major starring vehicle Tracy made lacks background music, outside of the occasional musical number. Not a strong selling point for the DVD generation, who seemingly can't appreciate a film without a matching SAP, variable do-it-yourself camera angles, and a 'making-of' featurette padding the running time. Thus Lee Tracy - one of our great comic actors, whose presence in a movie automatically enlivens and enriches it - remains an answer to a trivia question nobody asked. In light of the foregoing, take a tip from this corner and preset your VCR the next time TCM schedules any of his films, like BOMBSHELL. Properly regarded as Jean Harlow's best vehicle, this lightning-paced, down-and-dirty sarcastic comedy of Hollywood in the early 30s is one of Tracy's best as well. (Actually, the whole cast, which includes Frank Morgan, Una Merkel and Pat O'Brian, is exemplary.) Tracy is incredible: scheming, scamming, wheedling, utterly insincere and unprincipled, yet never for a moment does he lose the audience's sympathy. His gift was to make you root for the shameless con man despite yourself, and in BOMBSHELL, the entire production is amped up to his speed of delivery. Every second of this movie is breathlessly paced, rudely funny, cynically observant and near-unbelievably satisfying. (If it moved any quicker, it might spontaneously combust.) Forget the (very) slight antique properties that might hamper this film (such as that lack of background music I mentioned) and concentrate on its strengths...one of which, by dint of its Pre-Code status, is a remarkably unapologetic unsentimentality, a virtue which would be swept away by the Hays Office broom in 1934 along with Tracy's career, not to re-emerge on the nation's screens until the rise of the writer-director in the early 40s (men such as Sturges, Huston and Wilder). If you don't love BOMBSHELL on first viewing, you're not as smart as you think you are. Keep an eye out for Tracy's other films (BLESSED EVENT, THE HALF NAKED TRUTH, THE NUISANCE, ADVICE TO THE LOVELORN, DINNER AT EIGHT, etc) and get a close-up look at one of our country's greatest, and most neglected, comedians for yourself.


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