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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved this movie!
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...
Published on 24 Feb 2004 by Kurt A. Johnson

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Last of the Blonde Bombshells
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!
Published on 1 Sep 2010 by Pifling Hotel


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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved this movie!, 24 Feb 2004
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars i love this film - if only it was available over here..., 9 Jan 2006
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
4.0 out of 5 stars "Sentimental, warm-hearted comedy..." Uh oh, but redeemed by Judy Dench, Ian Holm and some great WWII swing numbers, 2 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
"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. One is a professional singer and has no intention of doing a school gig, even for a reunion. But one by one Elizabeth and Patrick bring together the surviving members of the Bombshells. We don't know if enough of them can be found. The rehearsals more often than not turn into off-key shambles. While they do this, we share Elizabeth's flashbacks of what life was like when she and Patrick were young in war-time London, playing in the band while the bombs were falling. As terrible as it was, it was the most exciting time of their lives. When the night of Elizabeth's granddaughter's dance arrives, of course, the Blonde Bombshells, filled with jitters and renewed friendship, blow the youngsters away. Afterwards, Elizabeth informs us that the Bombshells are continuing to play at gigs, and that she and Patrick have no plans to get married...but see nothing wrong with a little fooling around.

This is sentimental hogwash, expertly done, and not bad at all. What makes it work are the skill and charm of Judi Dench and Ian Holm. When I hear the term, "warm-hearted comedy," I usually cringe unless the actors are first-rate. Dench and Holm are wonders to watch as they take something as light-weight and predictable as this script and turn it into something that charms us. Then there's the "old broad" gambit that's fun if you remember the old broads. Among the Blonde Bombshells are Leslie Caron, Joan Sims, Olympia Dukakis, Billie Whitelaw and Cleo Laine. Laine sings three numbers and almost over-balances the production. She is so strong and unique a jazz talent that while she's singing the program nearly becomes the Cleo Laine Show. Another attractive feature is the number of great WWII songs played in strong swing.
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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
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This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
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
This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TV movie made with only modest aspirations, 2 Sep 2010
By 
L. E. Cantrell (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
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.

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

A TRIFLING OBSERVATION:
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment, 28 July 2013
By 
The Good Daughter (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
This is a really nice way to sit and relax with a lighthearted movie. It starts with the fabulous Judi Dench's character at her husbands funeral. When she is needing to clear things out of the house she finds the instrument she used to play in an all woman band during the war and there the story begins... Her granddaughter asks questions and she starts to remember and wonder about the others in the band after a chance meeting with one of them. There is the normal input from her concerned daughter and son in law when they think she is behaving out of grief and not a little oddly but undaunted she goes off on a mission.... and any more than that will spoil the story. It has a terrific supporting cast too. I've watched this at least three times and will watch it again - would I recommend it ? Most definitely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Service, 19 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. John Stevens (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD] (DVD)
This order was easy to make, delivered with no delay and little cost. The DVD Last of the Blond Bomshells is fantastic! If you like a good story, good music & singing or even simply good acting, this is well worth seeing. Get it
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic tale with a modern day setting, 11 Dec 2001
By 
C. Jarvis "crisso" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I was looking forward to seeing this drama - a nostalgic tale about two elderly people getting together after so many years whilst trying to reform their old wartime group. With an excellent cast of troupers - Cleo Laine, June Whitfield, Billie Whitelaw. Judi Dench and Ian Holm are marvelous in the leads but the real pleasure for me was in seeing the wonderful Joan Sims back on our screens in what would very sadly be her last performance (I was hoping Joanie would recover from her various ailments she was suffering and have a great career in her old age but sadly it was not to be) and she is great as ever and this is a fitting swansong. I do have oa couple of gripes though - the great Leslie Caron doesn't appear until the last ten minutes of the film and also the characters would all surley be getting on into their 80's by the time this tale was set (June Whitfield at 74 was the oldest member of the cast) but really I guess that does't matter so much. This is a lovely tale which most people are sure to enjoy - well done to director Gillies Mackinnon and a great cast.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Great!, 3 Dec 2003
Okay... so I'm a huge fan of Judi Dench so I was bound to love this on principal, but this really is great... I've had it on video for so long that I'm gonna wear it out eventually and it's about time that I replaced it! Bring this out on a non region based... please... I only have a little dvd player... it doesn't do encoding! But ignoring that... it's great and wonderful, fabulous performances from a huge range of talented performers, an interesting and amazing plot which swings between two time periods, and the young Patrick is absolutely gorgeous!
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