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The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells [VHS] [2000]

Judi Dench , Ian Holm , Gillies MacKinnon    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Leslie Caron, Olympia Dukakis, Cleo Laine
  • Directors: Gillies MacKinnon
  • Writers: Alan Plater
  • Producers: Analisa Barreto, Deirdre Keir, Frank Doelger, Simon Wright, Su Armstrong
  • Format: Colour, Full Screen, HiFi Sound, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Upv
  • VHS Release Date: 6 Nov 2000
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004YAB8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,086 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Perennial Oscar 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 womanising 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

Following the death of her husband, Elizabeth (Judi Dench) begins playing her tenor saxophone again, reminiscing about her time with swing band the Blonde Bombshells during Second World War. After a chance encounter with the band's only male member - cross-dressing drummer Patrick (Ian Holm) - Elizabeth becomes determined to re-form the band. Encouraged by Elizabeth's grand-daughter Joanna, she and Patrick set about tracking down their fellow musicians, but find that the intervening years have wrought a number of changes in their old friends.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved this movie! 24 Feb 2004
When Elizabeth's (played by Judi Dench) husband dies, she contemplates where she should go with her life. She starts by returning to the music she played during World War 2, when she belonged to an all-girl band called The Blonde Bombshells. However, when she runs into Patrick (Ian Holm), the drummer from The Blond Bombshells (OK, they couldn't find a girl drummer), she hits on the idea of bringing the Blonde Bombshells back together. However, that's easier said than done--some are dead, some have left the country, one has lost her sanity, one has found God, and all are scattered. However, Elizabeth is not a woman to give up easily. This is the story of nostalgia, overcoming, the love of music...and so much more! [Color, released in 2000, with a running time of 1 hour, 24 minutes.]
I absolutely loved this movie! It is star-encrusted, and even though I am an American, I kept recognizing just about everyone in it. The story is touching, and yet not maudlin. I loved the music (so very timely again), the acting, and the story. The one warning I will give is that the movie earned its PG-13 rating due to swearing, with the "F" word being used all too often. That said, though, this is a great movie, one that I highly recommend.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I saw this film when it first came out on the bbc, and I've been trying to show it to all my friends ever since! Its a really good gentle comedy, full of nostalgia, music, and genuine fun. Watching the interacting relationships - especially within the band, and between Judi Dench and Ian Holm in particular - is always a delight, and the positioning of some of the songs is pure comedy genius. Its been one of my favourite tv films for years, and I only wish the BBC would agree to bring it out on dvd over here, considering it was an English production to start with! Oh well, guess I'll just have to keep pestering them...
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
"I hate those stories that begin with a funeral, but I'm afraid this one begins the day we buried George. Not that we buried him. In the interests of the environment we had him incinerated." So speaks Elizabeth (Judi Dench), George's widow. She's led a comfortable, predictable life with George. She has two grown children and a 12-year-old grandchild. But when she was 15 and in school, in the midst of World War II, she played the sax at night in an all-girl (almost all-girl) band called The Blonde Bombshells. The 'almost" was because the drummer was Patrick, a charming rogue who had no desire to fight and possibly be killed. With a yellow wig, a long red dress and makeup, Patrick looked almost as good as the others.

One afternoon after the funeral, Elizabeth finds herself in the attic of her home playing the sax she had put away. She used to practice, but only when George was out of the house on the golf course. Then two things happen. Her granddaughter, amazed at how good Elizabeth is, starts talking about how the Blonde Bombshells could be reunited and play at her school dance. Then Elizabeth encounters Patrick (Ian Holm), now just as much an aging oldster as Elizabeth, and just as much attracted to her as he was more than 50 years ago. (He also was attracted to all the other members of the Bombshells. The roses that would appear on his bass drum had a special meaning that attested to his affection.) Well, why not see if the other band members can be located, and why not give it a shot for a reunion performance at her granddaughter's school?

Why not? One member of the band is gaga. One is dead. One is in jail. One has found salvation with the Salvation Army. One they can find no trace of. One is last known to be in the States.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last of The Blonde Bombshells dvd 10 May 2012
By mojo
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A really good film showing the best acting from a classic group of actors with Judy Dench as the star of the film. A real feel good film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Last of the Blonde Bombshells 1 Sep 2010
Good story and great music; unfortunately the technical element of the DVD left much to be desired - even the sound and picture was out
of sync in places!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is a pleasant little movie about a bunch of septuagenarians having a graceful last fling--or perhaps beginning a series of graceful last flings. It is a sort of roll call for some great old girls, ballasted by the presence of Ian Holm, playing a transvestite part at second hand. (Don't ask.) It offers some good forties-style big band numbers and a couple of fine Cleo Laine songs. And if Laine's musical style happens to be incorrect for the intended period, who really cares?

This is a TV movie made without high goals.

It could and should have been better. The whole thing, rebuilding the band to the contrary, is conceived as a long dying fall. The Blonde Bombshells are a band destined to go gentle into that good night. No raging against the loss of light for them. Both the script and the direction avoid triumph. At the climax, where there might just as easily have been a YEAH! moment, there is only a wistful smile and a vision of things past.

This is true not only of the script but of the musical score. In the end, as was inevitable from the first frame of this picture, the reconstituted Blonde Bombshells get the joint jumping with a swinging tune. Having attained that high point, it is immediately squelched by the following wistfully downbeat number. Reverse those two and the audience would be dancing around the screen.

Solid, well-acted, some good music, certainly entertaining--but a movie that sets its sights a little too low.

Four stars.

There are no bells and whistles. You pay your penny and you get your movie. That's all.

Leslie Caron must have one heck of a manager. I'd be surprised if she had as many as half a dozen lines, but she has third billing in the credits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Story! Great Acting! could watch it again. Made me laugh.
Published 5 days ago by susan lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this film - have watched several times and loaned it to all my friends who also love it
Published 12 days ago by Occasional Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and fun
A great cast, amusing, a film to interest anyone who is interested in show business in the past or big bands.
Published 3 months ago by Catherine Pérez Pinto
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight!
'Old people are only young people who have been around for a long time', says Judi Dench's character, Elizabeth, in her speech at her granddaughter's school dance. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Aletheuon
5.0 out of 5 stars Love tthis
Really enjoyed this when it was shown on BBC t.v. Bought this as a video, but no player now, so decided to get DVD so I can watch it again. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Maureen Marston
5.0 out of 5 stars so enjoyable
I love Judi Dench and thi film did not disappoint. Even if you aren't a fan of hers you will enjoy this.
Published 4 months ago by A. Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Everything that Judi Dench does you know will be worth watching and this film is included in that list.Good so but it
Published 5 months ago by Linde C. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this
Good value good good valueThe product was exactly as described in the advertisement what else can I say about it
Published 5 months ago by Gerrybell
5.0 out of 5 stars Brassy and Beautiful
Loved it when I first saw it on television and just had to get the dvd. The music is tremendous (it doesn't matter that the girls are miming - just let those tunes magically wash... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joan Stuckey
5.0 out of 5 stars Dame Judie Dench
It's a film with Dame Judie!!!!!!!! I think that says it all.so no need to recommend it to anyone who admires her.
Published 6 months ago by Patricia Anne Compton
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