Black SplatBombshell (1933)

"You can take your Bunker Hills and your bloodlines and stuff a codfish with ‘em. And then you know what you can do with the codfish."

Bombshell - Jean Harlow and Franchot Tone

Description: Jean Harlow as Lola Burns, a famous movie actress who gets angry with a stuck up Bostonian Gifford Middleton (Franchot Tone) in the motion picture Bombshell (1933).

"Queer place, California - insane people running around and such!" - Gifford Middleton

Lola Burns is a gorgeous film star, known to her fans as the "Blonde Bombshell." Her life is filled with the usual glitter and glamour of the trade. Her publicity agent Space Hanlon (Lee Tracy) makes sure that his client is always in the limelight, because he wants to keep his job and because he secretly loves Lola very much. Also on the payroll are Lola's alcoholic father, Pop (Frank Morgan) and her gambler brother, Junior (Ted Healy) who depend on her for money.

Lola's love life is also very active, being so famous she has no problem with men prostrating themselves before her for attention. But since Hanlon has a thing for Lola, he sees to it that the romances never quite get off the ground. When Hanlon tries to interfere with two suitors (Brogan and Hugo) who vie for her affections, Lola sends a letter to the head of the studio to have him fired, but Space manages to keep his job when he gets Lola an interview with Ladies Home Companion with a slant towards Lola being just your average girl next door.

During the interview, the topic of motherhood is broached and the reporter asks how baby would have changed her life, had she decided to take that route. Lola considers the idea and Space suggest that she adopt a child for 30 days for the experience. The article creates rumors that possibly Lola is pregnant.

Bombshell - Lola Burns in baby nursery

But the whole baby thing falls apart and Lolo is disgusted with her family, her coworkers and Hollywood in general and decides to leave town in search of more normal circumstances.

Lola Burns: Get away from me, all of you! you're nothing but a pack of leeches!
Pops: Leeches? Yes, leeches! At least he [Space] was right; I don't know how I expected to bring a baby in here with an old fool for his grandfather who's half-drunk all the time!
Mac: Lola, you're exciting yourself...
Lola Burns: And what about you? Don't think I don't know about your stealing and all the cuts you get from the stores! And you [to Junior] who hasn't had a job to your name in three years and bringing her in here like it was a hotel for traveling salesman! I've only stood it because it's the only home and family I've got. But I'm sick of it, you understand? There's only Loretta and the dogs that ever do a single thing for me. The rest of you are only out for what you can get, and I'm sick of being a golden goose or whatever you call it!
Space Hanlon: Atta girl, Sugar!
Lola Burns: Don't you "atta girl" me - you're worse than all the rest of 'em! [starts quoting Space] "Stone-Age Stuff!" "Mad with Desire!" "Lovers' Brawl!" Is that the way you prove that you just more than care for me? Treating me like a strip act in a burlesque show! A glamorous bombshell, eh? A glorified chump, that's what I've been! Well, I'm sick of it, you understand? With the business and everybody! You can get another "It Girl," a "But Girl" or a "How, When and Where Girl." I'm clearing out, and you can all stay here in this half-paid-for car barn and get somebody else to pull the apple cart! I'm going where ladies and gentlemen hang their hats and get some peace and quiet... and if any of you try to interfere with me, I'll complain to the authorities!

Lola quickly drops out of site, but Space snoops about and discovers she is staying at a remote desert resort where she comes upon a Gifford Middleton, a Boston "blue blood" who has no idea who Lola is a famous entertainer. That suits Lola just fine and after a quick romance, Gifford asks her to marry him, but not before meeting her parents. Unfortunately, when her parents discover she is an "actress" they disapprove of the marriage. Lola is insulted by their attitude and returns to Hollywood.

It is only later, that Lola discovers much to her dismay, that the entire "Middleton" affair was staged by Space Hanlon who hired actors to portray the wealthy Bostonians. But Lola was back where she belonged and that made Space Hanlon very happy indeed.

Note: In the film Ride the Pink Horse (1947) Robert Montgomery as blackmailer Blackie Gagin described a woman he didn’t like by saying “She had a dead fish where her heart oughta be...A dead fish...with a bit of perfume on it.”

Bombshell - Movie Poster

Bombshell - Movie Title Card

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