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Under the leadership of the tragic figure Irving Thalberg, by 1933 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the house of Hollywood glamour, producing sophisticated, slick films that often dealt with the lives of the upper classes—which makes Bombshell a strange case. It’s a portrait of a gilded woman, the wildly successful movie star Lola Burns (Jean Harlow), as she navigates the machinations of her scheming publicist (Lee Tracy) and a large family that seems to want nothing from her but money. She runs away into the arms of an aristocratic baron (Franchot Tone), with whom she wants to adopt a baby. Will she be able to stay out of the limelight long enough to settle down? For all of MGM’s glitz, Bombshell comes across as pure, simple comedic delight, shot through with a thread of humanity that emerges from the infighting and wisecracking.

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Other Films by Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz

In 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was at the height of its powers as a studio producing the most lavish films in Hollywood. The Wizard of Oz, one of its touchstone productions that year (along with Gone with the Wind), has been enshrined into the pantheon of American art, but wasn’t initially a smash success. The film tells


Paramount Pictures paid $50,000 for Sinclair Lewis’s justifiably forgotten novel MANTRAP, but happily, screenwriters Ethel Doherty and Adelaide Heilbron turned Lewis’s misogynistic tirade into a light-as-a-feather comedy romp. New York lawyer Ralph Prescott and a friend escape city life on a camping trip near Mantrap, Canada, but soon find themselves out of their depth. After