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Bombshell (1933)

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


Victor Fleming (uncredited)


John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Jules Furthman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Jean Harlow ... Lola
Lee Tracy ... Space
Frank Morgan ... Pops
Franchot Tone ... Gifford
Pat O'Brien ... Brogan
Una Merkel ... Mac
Ted Healy ... Junior
Ivan Lebedeff ... Marquis
Isabel Jewell ... A Girl Friend (as Isobel Jewell)
Louise Beavers ... Loretta
Leonard Carey ... Winters
Mary Forbes Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Middleton
C. Aubrey Smith ... Mr. Middleton
June Brewster ... Alice Cole
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nils Asther ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)


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


An explosion of laughter...with beautiful Jean Harlow as the female fire-cracker of filmdom! (Newspaper ad). See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akta er för gnistor! See more »


Box Office


$344,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Cincinnati Monday 18 February 1959 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY), followed by Hartford CT 26 March 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), by Norfolk VA 28 March 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Minneapolis 18 May 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), by Portland OR 20 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Honolulu 10 June 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), by Amarillo TX 12 June 1957 on KFDA (Channel 19), by Kansas City MO 19 June on KCMO (Channel 5), by Tucson 14 August 1957 on KVOA (Channel 4), by Phoenix 17 August 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), by Chicago 11 October 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Cleveland 23 November 1957 on KYW (Channel 3), by Fresno CA 25 November 1957 on KMJ (Channel 24), by Tampa 30 November 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), by Spokane 11 December 1957 on KHQ (Channel 6), and by San Francisco 17 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). Obviously, Jean Harlow had once again taken the country by storm, and but it was not until 18 May 1958 they finally got the message in Los Angeles, where, as The Blonde Bombshell, this one was finally first aired on KTTV (Channel 11), and another year passed before New York City could take a look at it 1 June 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


At the breakfast with the Middletons, near the end, Mrs. Middleton's dog appears and disappears in her arm from long shot to close shot. See more »


Lola Burns: [Drunken Junior starts to sing loudly] Shhhh! Please! I've got some nice people - some ladies in there.
Junior Burns: Ladies? I love the ladies!
See more »


Featured in Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell (1993) See more »


(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

It's Da Bomb
10 January 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Bombshell is one hysterically funny screwball comedy about a movie star played by Jean Harlow, bearing no small resemblance to the real Jean Harlow. Contemporaries of Jean have testified to her wonderful sense of humor and I'm sure she saw the ironies in this film tied to her own life where she too dealt with family hangers-on.

Jean lives with and supports father Frank Morgan, sister Una Merkel, and brother Ted Healy all on her salary as a film star. Being the reigning sex symbol of the screen, she's got men lining up who are interested in her. Those include director Pat O'Brien, playboy Franchot Tone, and no account phony count Ivan Lebedeff and studio press agent Lee Tracy who is relentless in his quest for publicity for Harlow. She's even got some wackadoo played by Billy Dooley who is stalking her claiming to be her real husband. That was actually kind of over the top, we've seen too many stories about people stalking celebrities, that gag did not go over, especially nowadays.

Out of this whole lot, you'll have to figure out who she might get and in my opinion though the deck is clearly stacked towards one of them, for myself I don't think it would have been Jean's lot to have found happiness with any of them.

MGM put a great cast of identifiable character players to support Jean and they make this a most enjoyable film. Yet knowing what we know about Harlow's real life and the leeches she actually did have in it, there is an air of sadness for me permeating the film. Still it's a great example of why Jean Harlow was the star and sex symbol she was back in those Depression days.

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