Bombshell [1933]

Perennial Oscar(r) nominee Judi Dench shakes off the dust of period pieces to play a sassy widow looking to recapture a little of the excitement of her youth: she was the star saxophone player of a World War II-era all-girl dance band. Yanking her instrument from mothballs, she starts blowing the old standards as a street musician, much to the horror of her cultured children (they prefer symphonies to swing classics), and then hatches a plan to track down her band mates for a gala reunion at her granddaughter's school dance. The script carries little suspense and few surprises, but the cast is a delight. Ian Holm costars as the band's womanizing drummer (in a dress and a platinum blonde wig), a rascally old rogue who seduced almost every member during their brief wartime run and married half of them in the intervening years. Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) is their trombonist, a hard-drinking American widow living it up in a Scottish castle; jazz great Cleo Laine is a trumpeter turned torch singer; and Leslie Caron cameos as their brassy bass player. Joan Sims (a fixture of the Carry On movies), Billie Whitelaw (Quills), and June Whitfield (the mother on Absolutely Fabulous) are among the great British character actors who join the fun. The old broads bring sass to the sentimentality in this fluffy, feel-good, made-for-cable comedy, insisting there is not only life after 60, but that it swings sweetly if only you let it. --Sean Axmaker

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Lola Burns:
Get away from me, all of you! you're nothing but a pack of leeches!

Pops:
Leeches?

Lola Burns:
Yes, leeches! At least he

Lola Burns:
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

Lola Burns:
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!

Lola Burns:
"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!

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