Bombshell (1933)

95 or 97-98 mins | Romantic comedy | 13 October 1933

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HISTORY

In this film, part of the famous "bathing" scene from Red Dust , a 1932 M-G-M picture starring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow (See Entry), is recreated. According to a Jul 1933 HR news item, Lee Tracy asked to be released from this picture because he felt his role was too small in comparison to Harlow's. Norman Krasna is credited in a HR news item for "last minute" writing on Tracy's part. Although HR announced that the Three Stooges--Jerry and Moe Howard and Larry Fine, were to appear in the film with Ted Healy, the comedians were not spotted in the final film. A Jul 1933 FD news item announced Nils Asther as a cast member, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. HR news items and production charts add Willard Mack, an M-G-M director, Martha Sleeper and Etta Moten to the cast. Their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In mid-Sep 1933, a thirty-five person production unit was sent to Tucson, AZ for one-week's worth of location shooting, according to a HR news item. The film was later retitled Blonde Bombshell ... More Less

In this film, part of the famous "bathing" scene from Red Dust , a 1932 M-G-M picture starring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow (See Entry), is recreated. According to a Jul 1933 HR news item, Lee Tracy asked to be released from this picture because he felt his role was too small in comparison to Harlow's. Norman Krasna is credited in a HR news item for "last minute" writing on Tracy's part. Although HR announced that the Three Stooges--Jerry and Moe Howard and Larry Fine, were to appear in the film with Ted Healy, the comedians were not spotted in the final film. A Jul 1933 FD news item announced Nils Asther as a cast member, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. HR news items and production charts add Willard Mack, an M-G-M director, Martha Sleeper and Etta Moten to the cast. Their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In mid-Sep 1933, a thirty-five person production unit was sent to Tucson, AZ for one-week's worth of location shooting, according to a HR news item. The film was later retitled Blonde Bombshell . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Sep 33
p. 6.
Film Daily
30 Jan 33
p. 5.
Film Daily
21 Jul 33
p. 6.
Film Daily
11 Oct 33
p. 2.
HF
2 Sep 33
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 33
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 33
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 33
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 33
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 33
p. 1, 4
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 33
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 33
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 33
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
29 Sep 33
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
3 Oct 33
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Oct 33
p. 35.
New York Times
21 Oct 33
p. 11.
New York Times
29 Oct 33
p. 3.
Variety
24 Oct 33
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Victor Fleming Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the unproduced play Bombshell by Caroline Francke and Mack Crane.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Blonde Bombshell
Release Date:
13 October 1933
Production Date:
7 August--mid September 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 October 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4170
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95 or 97-98
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On a typical morning, movie star Lola Burns, known to her fans as the "Blonde Bombshell," is besieged by the demands of both her free-loading family and her studio's publicity department, which is headed by the incorrigible E. J. "Space" Hanlon. In addition, Lola is told that, because of the whims of the Hays Office, she must abandon her new film and shoot retakes for her last project, Red Dust . While frantically learning her new dialogue, Lola confronts Space about his recent spate of scandalous publicity concerning her love life. After Space glibly informs Lola that scandal is what her adoring public wants, film director Jim Brogan, a recently divorced former lover of Lola's, shows up in her dressing room, anxious to become reacquainted. During the day's shooting, Marquis Hugo, Lola's current lover, whom Space jealousy had tried to keep off the set, begins to fight with an equally jealous Brogan. By pretending to be both Hugo's and Brogan's supporter, Space ends the conflict, temporarily dispelling Lola's disapproval. That night at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Space arranges for Hugo to be arrested for immigration violations, but convinces Lola that he was not involved in the affair. When Lola immediately sees a newspaper headline announcing Hugo's arrest, however, she deduces Space's subterfuge and, once again, denounces him. Anxious to get Hugo out of jail, Lola, whose alcoholic father and gambling brother Junior regularly deplete her money supply, telephones Brogan and, without revealing her true intentions, asks him for a $3,000 loan. Lola then writes a letter to the studio head demanding that Space be fired. To placate the star, Space rushes ... +


On a typical morning, movie star Lola Burns, known to her fans as the "Blonde Bombshell," is besieged by the demands of both her free-loading family and her studio's publicity department, which is headed by the incorrigible E. J. "Space" Hanlon. In addition, Lola is told that, because of the whims of the Hays Office, she must abandon her new film and shoot retakes for her last project, Red Dust . While frantically learning her new dialogue, Lola confronts Space about his recent spate of scandalous publicity concerning her love life. After Space glibly informs Lola that scandal is what her adoring public wants, film director Jim Brogan, a recently divorced former lover of Lola's, shows up in her dressing room, anxious to become reacquainted. During the day's shooting, Marquis Hugo, Lola's current lover, whom Space jealousy had tried to keep off the set, begins to fight with an equally jealous Brogan. By pretending to be both Hugo's and Brogan's supporter, Space ends the conflict, temporarily dispelling Lola's disapproval. That night at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Space arranges for Hugo to be arrested for immigration violations, but convinces Lola that he was not involved in the affair. When Lola immediately sees a newspaper headline announcing Hugo's arrest, however, she deduces Space's subterfuge and, once again, denounces him. Anxious to get Hugo out of jail, Lola, whose alcoholic father and gambling brother Junior regularly deplete her money supply, telephones Brogan and, without revealing her true intentions, asks him for a $3,000 loan. Lola then writes a letter to the studio head demanding that Space be fired. To placate the star, Space rushes to her house and, while feigning shame, tells her that as his last publicity act, he has brought a writer from the Ladies Home Companion to interview her. Touched by Space's gesture, Lola notifies the studio head to ignore her letter, then gives a "girl-next-door" interview to the matronly Companion writer. When the writer suggests that she might be more fulfilled if she were a mother, Lola becomes instantly obsessed with the idea of motherhood and tells Brogan, who had stopped payment on the Hugo's bail check when he learned for whom the money was intended, that she wants to marry and have babies. Terrified by the suggestion, Brogan snidely advises Lola to adopt a baby from the orphanage on a thirty-day trial basis. To Brogan's surprise, Lola takes his recommendation to heart and picks out a baby boy from the local orphanage. When Space is asked by reporters if the rumor that Lola is pregnant is true, the publicist rushes to the Burns's house in a panic. After he learns about the adoption, Space arranges for a gang of reporters as well as Hugo and his lawyer, who are suing Brogan, to converge on Lola's house at the same time that the orphanage women are to conduct their interview with the actress. In spite of her desperate attempts to convince the orphange women that she would make a good mother, Lola's chances are sabotaged by both the untimely return of her drunken brother and the brawl that breaks out between Brogan and Hugo. Lola then overhears Space consulting with the reporters about the scandal and, in her fury, condemns not only Space, but her family and secretary as well. After announcing that she is through with pictures, Lola drops from sight but is eventually tracked to a desert resort by Space. While Space teases her with studio casting talk, Lola is romanced by Gifford Middleton, a Boston "blue blood" who is oblivious to her movie star status. Taken with Gifford's florid flattery, Lola accepts his marriage proposal and prepares to meet his parents the next morning. Just as her meeting with the proper Middletons begins, Lola's father and brother, having been alerted by Space as to Lola's whereabouts, arrive at the resort. While her family disarms the Middletons with their boorish behavior, a little girl asks Lola for an autograph. Shocked by their discovery that Lola is "that actress" around whom so much scandal has circulated, the Middletons, including Gifford, declare her unfit to be a daughter-in-law. Angry and hurt by the rejection, Lola tells Space she is returning to Hollywood to resume her career, unaware that the Middletons are stage actors who were hired by Space. Back at the movie studio, Lola embraces Space and is about to confess her love when she overhears the Middletons arguing about their acting careers outside her dressing room. Thus exposed, Space endures Lola's ensuing but loving wrath as he rides with her to the set. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.