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Bombshell (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 13 October 1933 (USA)
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 Burns
Lee Tracy ... E.J. '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 di Binelli di Pisa
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:
Tom Kennedy ... Minor 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


No wonder they called her Lola Burns, the bombshell! And how she could burn! And how she'll bomb you out of your dignity! (Print Ad- New York Sun, ((New York NY)) 19 October 1933) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bombshell See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

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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 »


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 »


Jim Brogan: Say listen, you can't raise a family and make five or six pictures a year.
See more »


Featured in Sex, Censorship and the Silver Screen: Censored (1996) See more »


You've Got Everything
Music by Walter Donaldson
See more »

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User Reviews

Sharp Hollywood Satire from the Golden Age
22 January 2006 | by chetleySee all my reviews

"Bombshell" does for the Hollywood of the 1930s what "The Player" does for the Hollywood of the 1990s. It's quite interesting to see how well established the Hollywood System was already in the early 1930s when this film was made. Already at that time the film world was centered on stars, studios, and a sycophantic support network that was focused on a false facades and phoniness. There are plenty of hilarious scenes in "Bombshell" sending up the studio system in a way that I found quite surprising given the year (1933) that this film was produced. It seems to present a sensibility - sarcastic, witty, honest - that I don't usually associate with the Golden Age of Hollywood. So many jokes about alcohol and drunkenness! "Bombshell" makes "The Thin Man" seem like an advertisement for AA by comparison.

Good supporting cast - nice to see Frank Morgan (aka the Wizard of Oz) as the inebriated father of star Jean Harlow. Lee Tracy is completely convincing as the smooth-talking oily agent who harbors a secret passion for his client. But what really makes "Bombshell" work - and which explains why I rate it at 8 out is 10 - is the tremendously self-effacing performance of Jean Harlow. She's just terrific!

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