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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 1,372 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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Title: Bombshell (1933)

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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)
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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 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was unofficially based on the life of Clara Bow, Holllywood's original "It Girl." Director Victor Fleming was once engaged to Clara Bow. 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

Gifford Middleton: Queer place, California - insane people running around and such!
See more »

Connections

References Red Dust (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold Your Man
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Comic Riot With Miss Jean Harlow & Mr. Lee Tracy
11 June 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Lola Burns is Hollywood's greatest Blonde BOMBSHELL - but her life is a chaotic wreck thanks to eccentric relatives, sassy staff and studio publicity director Space Hanlon.

Jean Harlow & Lee Tracy are wonderfully matched in this pre-Code Comedy, one of the funniest films of the 1930's, and another proof - if one was needed - that Hollywood had an endless appetite for self-ridicule. With her platinum hair and couturier's parade of billowy fashions, Harlow is still essentially playing a parody of her own unhappy private life. Her constant high-decibel groans of complaint as to her celebrity's misuse at the hands of those closest to her have the ring of veracity. And no one gives her greater grief than Tracy, who is determined to wring every last drop of publicity out of her, even if his meddling in her personal life drives her insane. Immovable object meets irresistible force. Result: laughter.

A most impressive gathering of character actors appear in the supporting cast: sturdy Pat O'Brien as Harlow's director pal; delightful Frank Morgan as her dyspeptic father; Ted Healy as her shiftless brother; Una Merkel as her conniving secretary; and Louise Beavers as Harlow's plain talking maid.

Franchot Tone adds a touch of class to the proceedings as a sophisticated fellow who takes a shine to Harlow; Mary Forbes & marvelous old Sir C. Aubrey Smith are his wealthy parents. Ivan Lebedeff gives some laughs as a penniless marquis who is happy to live off of Harlow's money.

Movie mavens will recognize boxing champ Primo Carnera in the opening montage; Greta Meyer as Harlow's masseuse; Gus Arnheim as the Coconut Grove band leader; Ethel Griffies as one of the orphanage representatives; and Billy Dooley as the lunatic who claims Harlow is his wife - all uncredited.

Although the action takes place in the imaginary Monarch Studios, all the real stars & films mentioned are pure MGM.

This was one of five films Lee Tracy made for MGM in 1933 (CLEAR ALL WIRES!, THE NUISANCE, TURN BACK THE CLOCK, DINNER AT EIGHT, BOMBSHELL), and arguably the best role of his career. It was certainly the culmination of nearly all the other roles he'd had over the past couple of years in various studios, where he'd perfected the depiction of shyster lawyers, unscrupulous talent agents, snoopy reporters & disreputable gossip columnists. There is certainly no telling how far he might have gone with MGM, but his career literally went south in 1934 after a few moments of drunken indiscretion. While in Mexico for location shooting for VIVA VILLA!, Tracy stepped out onto his hotel balcony and urinated on a passing military parade. He was immediately arrested and deported from the country. Embarrassed & furious, Louis B. Mayer fired him instantly from MGM. With only the smaller studios willing to hire him, Tracy's film career largely slipped into obscurity. Years later, no longer young, he did some television work. He had a short comeback, of sorts, in 1964, when he was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for THE BEST MAN. This was to be his cinematic swan song; old and tired, he no longer resembled the hot shot who delighted audiences in the early 1930's. Lee Tracy died in 1968 of cancer, at the age of 70.


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