Bombshell (aka Blond Bombshell): Sexy Jean Harlow

jean harlow lee tracy bombshell 3 editMade at the height of her popularity, Bombshell (aka Blond Bombshell) stars Jean Harlow in the title role, playing an actress named Lola.

Seemingly happy and in possession of what every woman desires, Lola gets fed up with her relatives, her studio, and the publicity campaigns arranged by her press agent, Space Hanlon (Lee Tracy).

Lola escapes Hollywood by marrying a titled foreign nobleman, but the guy is arrested as illegal alien. She then falls for the aristocratic Gifford Middleton (Franchot Tone), but she renounces Tone when his snobbish father (C. Aubrey Smith) looks down at her and her profession.

Upon discovery that Tone and his family were actors hired by Tracy, Lola gets upset only to realize that Tracy, for all his bluff, is the man who truly loves her.

Written by Caroline Francke, Mack Crane, John Lee Mahin, and Jules Furthman, the tale is loosely based on the career of Clara Bow, who reportedly had a demanding family and a duplicitous secretary.

The movie displays Harlow, who dominates every scene, at her sexiest and comic best.

MGM retitled the film Blonde Bombshell to avoid public misconception that the film is a war feature.

Released on October 21, 1933, Bombshell was the year’s 12th most commercially film.

About Harlow

Born in 1911, Jean Harlow was a sex symbol during the Depression era. After being signed by director Howard Hughes, Harlow’s first major role was in Hell’s Angels (1930). She signed with MGM in 1932, where she became a leading lady, starring in Red Dust (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), Reckless (1935) and Suzy (1936). Her co-stars often included William Powell, Spencer Tracy and, in six films, Clark Gable.

Harlow’s popularity rivaled and then surpassed MGM actresses Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. She had become one of the biggest movie stars, often nicknamed the “Blonde Bombshell” and the “Platinum Blonde.” She died of renal failure during the filming of Saratoga in 1937 at the age of 26. The film was completed using doubles and released a little over a month after Harlow’s death.


Running time: 96 Minutes
Produced by Hunt Stromberg
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Screenplay: Caroline Francke, Mack Crane, John Lee Mahin, Jules Furthman


Jean Harlow as Lola Burns
Lee Tracy as Space Hanlon
Frank Morgan as Pop Burns
Franchot Tone as Gifford Middleton
Una Merkel as Miss Mac