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Bombshell 1933 [Jean Harlow]

Bombshell (1933) starring Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Frank Morgan

In Bombshell, a popular movie star (Jean Harlow) is fed up. Fed up with sponging relatives, and her work-til-you-drop film studio. Not to mention the nonsensical publicity stunts dreamed up by her press agent. So, she attempts to escape Hollywood.

Editorial review of Bombshell courtesy of Amazon.com

The whirlwind comedy Bombshell deserves a place in the pantheon next to such screwball cinema classics as Bringing Up Baby and My Man Godfrey. The incomparable “laughing vamp” Jean Harlow, for whom the term bombshell might well have been coined, scintillates in this ferocious exposé of the Hollywood studio system. Harlow essentially plays herself: a platinum blond sex goddess–here named Lola Burns–who every woman wants to be and every man wants to bed. (The line between fiction and reality is so thin here that Lola shoots retakes of Harlow’s movie Red Dust.)

The world sees Lola’s life as a glamorous bed of roses, but her real existence abounds with thorns. She’s a “glorified chump,” surrounded by sycophants, spongers, and salesmen–not to mention a rabid press, egged on by the studio’s double-dealing freight train of a press agent, Space Hanlon (the kinetic Lee Tracy). Lola even has a stalker! But she longs for life’s simple pleasures: a quiet home and the patter of little feet (at least that’s what she wants this week).

The film is blessed with a first-rate supporting cast, especially Frank Morgan (the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz) as Lola’s blowhard, boozing father; Una Merkel as her sour, sticky-fingered personal assistant; and Louise Beavers as her much-beleaguered maid. Three enormous, energetic English sheepdogs–Harlow’s own–jump into the fray whenever a dull moment threatens. Luckily, none come to pass. –Laura Mirsky


Another editorial review from Amazon.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? Under the assured yet nimble direction of Victor Fleming (Red Dust), explosive laughter is in store with the comedy Bombshell.

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