- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 35 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 25, 2011
- Originally Released: 1933
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 12/07/1990
"...One of the funniest and most accurate satires ever made about the Hollywood studio system....A key '30s comedy..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"Your hair is like a field of silver daisies," a rhapsodic suitor tells Tinseltown megastar Lola Burns. "I'd like to run barefoot through your hair." In her signature comedy, Jean Harlow shimmers and smolders as Lola, whose life is a dizzy whirlpool of studio expectations, adoring fans, familial leeches and most of all, a firecracker of a freewheeling press agent (Lee Tracy) who'd do handsprings through a minefield if it would keep Lola's name in the tabloids. But Lola is ready to provide a final headline herself. She's quitting the biz. Leaving. Abandoning the sham and the glam for the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Can Hollywood -- and a certain P.R. flack -- prevent it?
Called the fastest, funniest movie of Hollywood's golden era, BOMBSHELL offers up the hottest sex symbol of the 1930s, Jean Harlow, in a role that mirrored her real-life persona. Playing Lola Burns, a Hollywood starlet, Harlow decides she's tired of the Hollywood game and calls it quits. But her plans for marriage and adoption are ripped apart by her scheming publicist (Lee Tracy) and her alcoholic con-man father (Frank Morgan). Can a Hollywood sex queen find happiness off the screen' Find out in this sharp-tongued satire.
Blonde bombshell Lola Burns (Jean Harlow) is a famous movie star, but she doesn't have it easy. First, her freeloading, drunken father and her rowdy brother are always embarrassing her by making public spectacles of themselves. Then her publicist, E. J. "Space" Hanlon (Lee Tracy), believes that spreading false rumors about Lola's "spicy" and "scandalous" activities will help her career. Finally, there are the censors--the all-powerful Hays Office--who have turned thumbs down on the sexy scenes in Lola's new film. Things go from very bad to worst of all when Lola is reunited on a set with her ex-beau, director Jim Brogan (Pat O'Brien). Jim would like to rekindle their romance, and he's not too happy about her present fiancé, Hugo, the Marquis di Binelli (Ivan Lebedoff). With all this jealous backbiting and family fighting, "Space" Hanlon is about to have a field day destroying Burns's dream of leaving the silver screen to adopt a child and marry the marquis. BOMBSHELL is a parody of Harlow's own life, with several characters closely mirroring their real-life counterparts. The film's bark is as good as its scathing bite--Harlow's one-liners and perfect timing produce a raucous, hilarious comedy.
- Released theatrically on October 13, 1933
- The connections between BOMBSHELL's fictional Lola Burns and the real life of Jean Harlow were numerous. The bathing scenes in BOMBSHELL were outtakes from Harlow's 1932 film RED DUST. Harlow had indeed run afoul of the Hays Office in both RED HEADED WOMAN and RED DUST. The role of Lola's publicist, Space Hanlon, was understood to be a loose characterization of Harlow's mean-spirited agent, Arthur Landau, while the character of Lola's alcoholic father bore more than a passing resemblance to Harlow's own stepfather. The big difference between the fiction and the reality is that Harlow's own life was more tragic than comic. Her second husband, MGM producer Paul Bern, committed suicide, while Harlow herself died at 26, just four years after BOMBSHELLl's release.
- Lee Tracy asked to be released from the picture because he didn't feel his role was extensive enough. Norman Krasna made last-minute script changes to give Tracy more screen time.
- The film is based on a play by Caroline Francke and Mack Crane.