Sunday April 15th 10:15 AM
Director: Alexandra Dean
With: Mel Brooks, Peter Bogdanovich, Diane Kruger
Runtime: 86 minutes
New York Film Critics Online, Best Documentary; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Best Film; Women Film Critics Circle Awards: Best Documentary about Women. 5 other wins, 5 nominations.
“The movie reveals and demonstrates over and over that Lamarr was a fascinating and brilliant person, a true eccentric with considerable will and personal courage.”—Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Known for her iconic look and scandalous private life, Hedy Lamarr was revered as “the most beautiful woman in the world” in 1940s tabloids. Yet, few know her true story; an undiscovered genius, she pioneered a secret communication system intended to guide US torpedoes during WWII, which became the basis for contemporary technologies like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story looks deeper into the life of the screen legend, whose military and communication contributions went unrecognized for decades. As a child, the Austrian-born Lamarr would disassemble and reassemble music boxes just to understand how they worked. After her breakout role in the Czech film Ecstasy, the young Hedy escaped her ammunition-manufacturing husband and fled the country, later signing a contract with MGM studios and starring in hits such as Algiers, Boom Town and Comrade X with Clark Gable.
Her most impressive achievement, however, was the one she was never acknowledged for: a revolutionary radio guidance system called “frequency hopping” that she co-invented with composer George Antheil in her spare time to defeat the Nazis in naval battle.
Sadly, the name Hedy Lamarr would later only be known for the inventor’s infamous six marriages, affairs, drug use, and obsession with plastic surgery.
Lamarr was also one of the first women to produce her own films during a time when women were restricted to positions in front of the camera. Dispelling Lamarr’s public image as a flighty celebrity, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a trailblazing tribute to women whose contributions have gone unrecognized and an inspiration for future generations of female inventors to come.