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Bombshell (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 61% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Lee Mahin (screenplay) and
Jules Furthman (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Bombshell on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 October 1933 (USA) See more »
An explosion of laughter...with beautiful Jean Harlow as the female fire-cracker of filmdom! (Newspaper ad). See more »
Sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis, adopting a baby -- all sorts of schemes which go awry. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Comic Riot With Miss Jean Harlow & Mr. Lee Tracy See more (39 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Harlow ... Lola Burns

Lee Tracy ... Space Hanlon

Frank Morgan ... Pops Burns

Franchot Tone ... Gifford Middleton

Pat O'Brien ... Jim Brogan
Una Merkel ... Mac
Ted Healy ... Junior Burns

Ivan Lebedeff ... Marquis Hugo

Isabel Jewell ... A Girl Friend (as Isobel Jewell)
Louise Beavers ... Loretta
Leonard Carey ... Winters
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Middleton

C. Aubrey Smith ... Mr. Middleton
June Brewster ... Alice Cole
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nils Asther ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Willard Mack ... Hugo's Lawyer (scenes deleted)
Etta Moten ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Gus Arnheim ... Coconut Grove Bandleader (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Photographer (uncredited)
James Burke ... First Immigration Officer (uncredited)
Primo Carnera ... Himself - in the Opening Montage (uncredited)
Mary Carr ... Miss Talley - Orphanage Representative (uncredited)
Dorothy DeBorba ... Girl Getting Lola's Autograph at Table (uncredited)

Billy Dooley ... Man Claiming to Be Lola's Husband (uncredited)
Ben Erway ... Reporter (uncredited)
Edward Gargan ... Second Immigration Officer (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Reporter (uncredited)

Ethel Griffies ... Mrs. Ward - Orphanage Representative (uncredited)
Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra ... Cocoanut Grove Orchestra (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Mrs. Titcomb (uncredited)

Tenen Holtz ... White - Lola's Agent (uncredited)
Marcia Mae Jones ... Flower Girl at Wedding (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Tom Kennedy ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Monte - Lola's Makeup Man (uncredited)
Greta Meyer ... Lola's Masseuse (uncredited)
Miki Morita ... Yokahama (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Studio Workman (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... Car Salesman (uncredited)
William Newell ... Lola's Chauffeur (uncredited)

Dennis O'Keefe ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Shirley Ross ... Singer (uncredited)
Leonard Sillman ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Martha Sleeper ... Lola's Hair Stylist (uncredited)
Minerva Urecal ... Autograph Seeker (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... H.E. Gillette (uncredited)
Kathrin Clare Ward ... Older Orphanage Nurse (uncredited)
Ruth Warren ... Miss Carroll from Photoplay Magazine (uncredited)
Allen Wood ... Frankie (uncredited)

Directed by
Victor Fleming (uncredited)
Writing credits
John Lee Mahin (screenplay) and
Jules Furthman (screenplay)

Caroline Francke (from the play by) and
Mack Crane (from the play by)

C. Graham Baker  uncredited
Norman Krasna  additional writer (uncredited)
Gene Towne  uncredited

Produced by
Hunt Stromberg .... associate producer
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (photographed by)
Chester A. Lyons (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Margaret Booth (film editor)
Art Direction by
Merrill Pye 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Lee .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Edwin B. Willis .... interior decorator
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
William Steinkamp .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Although based on the life of Clara Bow, many elements of the story also matched Jean Harlow's own life. Harlow grew up in a Georgian home with white interiors, had nine large dogs, and some members of her family exploited her celebrity.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Lola Burns:Gee, you look swell.
Jim Brogan:So do you, Lola.
Lola Burns:I was sorry to hear about your divorce.
Jim Brogan:Oh, don't be. Maybe that's why I'm looking so good.
See more »
Three of UsSee more »


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32 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
Comic Riot With Miss Jean Harlow & Mr. Lee Tracy, 11 June 2002
Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA

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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