Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) (1933) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell)1933

Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) (1933)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) Photos

Movie Info

Jean Harlow is the "bombshell" of the title, a popular movie actress named Lola. Though she seemingly has everything a girl could possibly want, Lola is fed up with her sponging relatives, her "work til you drop" studio, and the nonsensical publicity campaigns conducted by press agent Lee Tracy. She tries to escape Hollywood by marrying a titled foreign nobleman, but Tracy has the poor guy arrested as an illegal alien. Finally Lola finds what she thinks is perfect love in the arms of aristocratic Franchot Tone, but she renounces Tone when his snooty father C. Aubrey Smith looks down his nose at Lola and her profession. Upon discovering that Tone and his entire family were actors hired by Tracy, Lola goes ballistic--until she realizes that Tracy, for all his bluff and chicanery, is the man who truly loves her. Allegedly based on the career of Clara Bow (who, like Lola, had a parasitic family and a duplicitous private secretary), Bombshell is a prime example of Jean Harlow at her comic best. So as not to mislead audiences into thinking this was a war picture, MGM retitled the film Blonde Bombshell for its initial run.

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Jean Harlow
as Lola Burns
Lee Tracy
as E.J."Space" Hanlon
Frank Morgan
as Pops Burns
Franchot Tone
as Gifford Middleton
Ted Healy
as Junior
Mary Forbes
as Mrs. Middleton
C. Aubrey Smith
as Mr. Middleton
Isabel Jewell
as Junior'S Girl
June Brewster
as Alice Cole
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Critic Reviews for Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

One of the funniest pictures of the year.

June 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Surprising for something so mean-spirited to have come so early in the Dream Factory's saga of self-loathing, and even more surprising because it seems so heartfelt.

September 20, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Harlow gives a star quality comedy turn that's spoiled only by too much speechifying on her part.

January 21, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Dated, but Harlow is in her prime.

December 27, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

A wonderful reminder of how great both Tracy and Harlow really were

January 11, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

It's all funny and on-target, but most of the satire is -- as you might expect -- not too unkind.

September 3, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell)

It's nice to see Jean Harlow in a major role after her breakout performances in 1932, but this film is saddled with a weak script, and filled with noisy and annoying performances. Harlow plays a Hollywood starlet and is awfully shrill in the first half of the film, but the biggest problem is Lee Tracy, who plays a slick studio publicity agent. His actions in keeping Harlow in line, his voice, and his smugness all made me want to reach back in time 83 years and punch him in the face, and yet he is positioned as the 'good guy'. Ugh! The attempts at comedy are dated, but Tracy manipulating it so Harlow can't adopt a child because he believes she couldn't do that and have a career is just sickening, not clever. There are some in-jokes in the film, the best of which is 'Harlow playing Harlow' and the barrel scene from 'Red Dust'. It's nice to see Frank Morgan, better known as being the Wizard of Oz, and it's always nice to see Harlow, and here she tells off the leeches in her life in a nice scene, coos over a baby, and later rides a horse. However, it's pretty bad when your favorite part of the movie is the three sheepdogs! This one is overrated and disappointing.

Antonius Block
Antonius Block

Super Reviewer

A comedic look that was supposedly inspired by the true life of not only Clara Bow, but Jean Harlow herself. Whether the joke was on her, or she knew it; she seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. In fact, all the actors seemed to have a lot of fun doing this film. This was the best that I've ever seen Harlow. She played a movie star with family who she supported, while they drank and had fun; along with others that used her for their own gains. This poor woman couldn't catch a break. Crazy fun.

nefnie lee
nefnie lee

Super Reviewer

it's a very pointed satire of the offscreen life of a sex symbol, ostensibly based on the 'it' girl, clara bow, but having much in common with harlow's own life. great dialogue and one of her best films

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) Quotes

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