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The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2001)

Olympia Dukakis , Ian Holm , Gillies Mac Kinnon  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Olympia Dukakis, Ian Holm, Billie Whitelaw, Judi Dench, Cleo Laine
  • Directors: Gillies Mac Kinnon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000053VAO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,035 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

Judi Dench, Leslie Caron. A woman who long ago had played tenor sax in an all-girl band called the Blonde Bombshells decides to reunite the group-to do a gig at her granddaughter's school dance. Based on a true story. 2000/color/84 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judi Rules ! November 7, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree completely with the other positive reviews of "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells", so I'll not repeat the plot details, and other comments. The film is a delight !
I must express my frustration that witty, poignant films like this, clearly aimed at an older audience, do not seem to appear in the local cineplex.
There may be one or two actresses in the world as good as Dame Judi--but none are better. She really shines here, even in a cast of superb veteran British actors, not to mention non-Brits Dukakis and Caron. So nice to see Ms. Caron on screen again, even in a cameo, some 50 years after "An American in Paris".
So--a real winner--and the price is right.
Recommended.
One very sad footnote--I believe that this was Joan Sims' last
film. Ms. Sims was a delightful character actress, and, of course, an indispensible member of the legendary "Carry On Gang".
She will be missed.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Am I? March 13, 2001
By VA
Format:VHS Tape
A woman's movie, "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" was both nostalgic and provocative. The cast included first-rate actors Dame Judi Dench, Olympia Dukakis, Ian Holm, and Leslie Caron who never disappoint. Add to this the vocal artistry of Cleo Lane performing the songs of the forties era, and you are transported to your own long ago and far away.
Dame Judi Dench portrays an aging woman who has just lost her husband. Her marriage brought her love and family, a fair share of things material and . . . contentment. But she is at the point now when she can reflect on her life and "The Girl Who Used to Be Me" (theme song from the equally poignant movie, "Shirley Valentine").
Much of the movie, for me, centered on the relationship between the grandmother and her young granddaughter. In a particularly moving scene near the beginning of the film, the granddaughter comes into her grandmother's home to find her alone upstairs playing a tenor saxophone. She sees a side of her grandmother she never knew existed, perhaps even sees her as a person for the first time. Her grandmother tells her that she has played only for herself over the years and only when her husband was away from the house, but that during the war years she was in an essentially all-female band that achieved some measure of recognition.
The story unfolds fairly predictably as the widowed grandmother has a chance meeting with the aging and dapper only male member of the band. With her granddaughter's encouragement, the grandmother and he set out to locate the other band members for a reunion performance at her school dance.
The characters are portrayed with sensitivity and dignity, humor and pathos.
Read more ›
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Very Best Movies I Have Ever Seen July 31, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This wonderful movie is a must for those of us who remember the good old days, when music was played by real musicians, who could read music. This is another WW 2 movie and there are hundreds of them, but this is a bitter sweet comedy drama that will make you sit back and close your eyes and transport yourself back into the era which many call, "The greatest musical period of the 20th century. Judi Dench surly deserved an award for her performance of a grandmother saxophone player who played with an all girls band during the war. She was the star. She had not played in years and after her husband had died her little grandaughter asked her to pu the band back together to play at her school dance. The story of how this came about is funny, sad, sentimental and entertaining. I will leave the rest for you to see, but I give this a 5 star rating and if there 10 stars it would get that. Enjoy an afternoon with these ladies and relax, you are in for an enjoyable time.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explodes with good feelings and great music January 8, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is the kind of movie I love to wrap my arms around and draw close to me...endearing, funny, serious, sad, but most of all, wonderful! I'm not sure what I loved the most, the music, the characters, the story, or the darling girl who played Ms. Dench's granddaughter...naw, I loved all of it...
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful little film, funny and sweet. November 26, 2000
Format:DVD
This is the story of a girls swing band during the second world war, and their eventual reunion in the present day. Our lead character is played by the wonderful Judi Dench. It's also a film about getting older and about living through war-time and all the stress and drama then returning to normal life. The acting is marvelous and the music is especially wonderful (I really hope a soundtrack is released) and the writing marvelous. This was, I think, a joint production between HBO and the BBC. It's a charming film and really worth watching.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and funny March 12, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
For all lovers of Dame Judi Dench and of great actresses of her age and ilk, this is a MUST! The DVD and video are readily available through Amazon in the US, but not here in Australia, so I count myself very lucky to have been given a copy by a friend. Judi Dench was the 15 year old, schoolgirl, saxaphone playing star of an all-girl band during the days of WW2, in London. The male musicians had been called up so, as many women took on men's jobs, the Bombshells played on as one of the top dance bands of the day. Only one of the band members was a ring-in..the drummer, played by Ian Holm, was a draft dodger who played in full make up and a blonde wig. Fifty years later and after the death of her husband, Judi decides to get the band together for a reunion and to play at her granddaughter's school dance. The coming together of these diverse characters is so funny...a drunk, a jailbird, a Salvation Army lassie, a former French resistance fighter who can kill with her bare hands and the others who are still alive (and lucid), including the fabulous Cleo Laine who still sings up a storm. True, classic movie lovers...treat yourselves to a cooy of this wonderful, warm and funny musical treat...You won't regret it !!

Cast members Dame Judi Dench

Ian Holm

Olympia Dukakis

Joan Sims

Cleo Laine

Leslie Caron
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Entertainment
Apart from Olympia Dukakis character's offensive language, this was a great movie. The great Cleo Laine sang, the great Judy Dench acted, Ian Holm was both a trifle sleazy and the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sandra K.
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the Last of the Blond Bombshells
I thoroughly enjoyed the Last of the Blond Bombshells. It had a very interesting storyline, and the actors and actresses were great, especially Judi Dench.
Published 2 months ago by K. R. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was a grrrrrrrrrreat One, Many thanks Amazon
David L.
Published 2 months ago by David L. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous!
One of the most feel-good films I've seen in a long time. All the actors are top-notch. I was blown away with the whole storyline. I absolutely adored the film.
Published 3 months ago by P. Little
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch.
If you are a fan of Judi Dench you will enjoy this movie. Her character parallels the determination and stubbornness she has shown in her real life while working toward her goals. Read more
Published 4 months ago by glenda
5.0 out of 5 stars MY OPINON
I enjoyed Last of the Blonde Bombshells very mucy. Wold have enjoyed hearing
more of the music from that era. Jundy Dench and Olivia DeKacus are always
good.
Published 5 months ago by tess
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet getting older head-on!
Wonderful, sweet movie about Life and getting older and meeting it head-on! LOVE this movie!!A
... and ANY movie is great with such a cast! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Susan Castle-Lovejoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see!
What a delight. Judi Dench at her best. This is a perfect movie to share with your grandmother. Also, it is a lesson n history.
Published 6 months ago by phenombo1
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but not up to usual standards of a Judi Dench film
Interesting subject, but a little disappointing story line. Script could have used some rewriting. With such an outstanding cast I guess I expected more.
Published 7 months ago by Carol M. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Really enjoyed this movie. Loved it so much I purchased it for a friend of mine who actually is female and plays trombone in a swing band. The cast is great.
Published 7 months ago by Genealogy
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