One of Franchot's earliest films is Bombshell (1933) and he looks so youthful in it! The film stars Jean Harlow as Lola Burns, a popular movie star with an infamous reputation. She is seeking to clean up her image, but none of her plans seem to work. Lola is also trying to distance herself from Space Hanlon (Lee Tracy), her meddling publicist who presents one scheme after another.
Franchot doesn't make an appearance until the movie is more than halfway over. He is Gifford Middleton, a wealthy suitor of Lola's after he seems to appear out of nowhere to rescue her from an assailant. Lola falls for Gifford immediately and deeply. As Gifford, Franchot lays it on thick! He uses an accent and utters over-the-top declarations of love. There is, however, a reason for his deliberately dramatic character, and it is revealed in hilarious fashion!
When Lola and Gifford's very different families meet for the first time, it is not a success. Frank Morgan is wonderful as Lola's uncouth father.
Bombshell features Franchot Tone at his comedic finest! It is a brief role, but full of witty lines, laugh-out-loud scenes, and funny faces. Franchot was a very busy actor in Hollywood in 1933. In addition to Bombshell, he also filmed Today We Live, Gabriel Over the White House, Midnight Mary, The Stranger's Return, Stage Mother, and Dancing Lady.
Bombshell is available on DVD on Amazon.