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   BOMBSHELL (1933) 

CAST
Jean Harlow
Lee Tracy
Frank Morgan
Franchot Tone
Pat O'Brien
Una Merkel
Ted Healey
Ivan Lebedeff
Louise Beavers
Leonard Carey

DIRECTED BY
Victor Fleming

PURCHASE


VHS




Time: 92 mins.
Not Rated
Genre: Romantic Comedy


Harlow is at her sexy, sassy best in this classic comedy, lampooning her own superstar image. She plays Lola Burns, a big name actress trying to lead a normal life in spite of the lies churned out by her studio's overzealous publicity department and the constant money woes of her shiftless relatives. All she wants is to be loved, respected and allowed to work in peace. What she gets is a constant stream of demands on her time, cash and emotions. Though a mere money machine to her family, it's the blatant lies and schemes of Space Hanlon, the head of publicity that wreaks the most havoc in her life.

He swears he only plants tales of her wanton ways to build her into a superstar, but the love of millions of strangers fails to cure her romantic yearnings. When his meddling ruins her plans to adopt a baby – who better to love her unconditionally – she disappears into the night, forsaking her career for a normal life. If only she could see that he's dashing her chances at finding romance because he's madly in love with her himself. Not about to let her get away, he launches one final ploy to return her to Hollywood and into his arms, using the handsome, but leaden Franchot Tone for bait. This may be a crazy and convoluted look at the troubles that come with fame, but Harlow makes it both hilarious and heartfelt.

The part of Lola Burns did, without a doubt, hit fairly close to home for the young actress, but she is clearly on top of her game here, making Lola more than just a selfish, sexy screen siren. She captures her character's need to be loved for who she really is and not her Hollywood persona with an honesty that catches at your heart. The more of Harlow's films I see, the more saddened I am at her tragically young demise. God only knows the acting heights she could have climbed to if she had made it into her 30s. BOMBSHELL proves she could carry a picture without a super star leading man like Gable or Powell beside her. For those wondering what all the fuss was about, this film is a definitive Harlow experience not to be missed.



"The girl must be OK to have a termite like myself trying to bore holes in her character."

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