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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2018)

June. 06,2018
| Documentary

The life and career of the hailed Hollywood movie star and underappreciated genius inventor, Hedy Lamarr.


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This is a wonderful documentary about the woman of the century..As an Imigrant, citizen later ( 1953 ) she contributed so much to this country, especially during the war years. Selling war bonds more than any other person at that time, invented a frequency hopping product to sink German U-boats during WW2., plus used during the '60's Cuban crisis, when we almost went to war with Russia. Because of her outstanding beauty, she was more admired for it, than her brains, so she wasn't taken seriously even with a patent on her invention. Susam Sarandon, co-producer said in an interview, that her story really should be made into a major motion picture, for what she did, and went through, while living in Europe during her younger years. In the DVD version, there are extras, with more in depth info from Mel Brooks, who was asked why he used her name as the butt of a joke in his movie, "Blazing Saddles". ..and more interviews. I was so taken by the DVD, that when it was shown for the first time on PBS's, "American Masters", I had to watch it again. Of course, you do not get to see any extra's as on the DVD. Till this day, I do not see why this woman hasn't even been put on a US postage stamp icon...but, you do see on occasions, other less accomplished celebs, and even Mickey Mouse .


This documentary exposes the frequent problem of physical beauty obscuring talent and intellect. Ms. Lamarr was clearly a very talented person with much more to offer than something pretty to look at. Her inventive contributions should be given their due respect and appreciation. The documentary does a great job of conveying her personal dilemna in marketing what society would deem as valuable from a woman while struggling to make a lasting contribution to humanity beyond being a superficial object of physical beauty. Her later years demonstrate the deep impact that objectification has on women and society. How many great inventions and discoveries has humanity lost by shackling the potential of half its populations. Fascinating life and documentary.


I mentioned that the documentary was even-handed because all too often, I've seen biographies of various celebrities which either only focus on the bad or only the good about folks. Folks have positive and negative qualities...and Hedy Lamarr is no exception.The film is a biography of the actress that also focuses on her inventing the concept of rotating frequencies...enabling a sub, for example, to launch a radio-guided torpedo without worries about the enemy jamming the signal. It's a strange invention for an actress to have made...and the film helps to show that Lamarr was not just a pretty face. It also, sadly, talks about her personal life...which was filled with husband and husband and disappointment after disappointment. And, it talks about Lamarr's drug use (created by the studio) and her odd personality quirks. All put together, it makes for an intriguing look at a fascinating lady. Well worth seeing...and a nice film about a feminist in 1930s-40s Hollywood.


Hedy Lamarr has a true story to tell you that it full of more drama than anything she ever did on screen. Heddy was not only beautiful but smart. The film follows the life story of Lamarr from her youth as the daughter of assimilated Austrian Jews through her rise to fame, the Nazi onslaught, her departure for the United States, six marriages, her acting career, her landmark invention, decline, and finally her death at the age of 85 in 2000. The focus of the film is on her co-creation with George Antheil of the technology of frequency hopping.This is a well made documentary about one remarkable woman! The film also has the benefit of using an audio interview of the famed actress as well as vintage interview she gave on Merv Griffin.