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fascinating movie that gives insight into the tragic life of Hedy Lamarr. A real treat to watch.
Well made documentary about fascinating actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. The film follows Lamarr's life from childhood in Austria, to her becoming an international sensation for her notorious nude scene in "Ecstasy," to escaping Nazis and hiding the fact that she was jewish, to moving to America and becoming a major Hollywood star, and most interestingly her wanting to help the war effort by inventing a way for the Navy to wirelessly control torpedos without having their signals jammed by the enemy. It's this part of her life that I've always found the most fascinating. She was widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and I'm inclined to agree with that assessment, but she was so much more than just a pretty face. Unfortunately, because of her ravishing beauty, no one took her ideas seriously and they were dismissed by the military and went unused during the war. Lamarr was a tinkerer and a maker before there was such a thing. For a time she dated Howard Hughes, who set her up with a workshop and put his scientists and engineers at her disposal. She received a patent for her war effort invention (spread spectrum and frequency hopping) which was in fact later used by the US military around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Lamarr received no credit or monetary compensation for her contribution (she sadly failed to sue the government for copyright infringement within the legal time). The very same technological concepts she came up with were later used to to keep cell phone signals private as well as kept wireless internet and bluetooth signals from being hacked, but she never received any recognition or financial benefit for her ideas. As Lamarr got older, she began to see her Hollywood career fade and she became something of a recluse. It's not said in the film, but I've always held the theory that Lamarr had faded from the public consciousness because none of her movies have endured. She appeared alongside some major stars in her time (James Stewart, Judy Garland, William Powell, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Spencer Tracy, etc.) and made some entertaining films, but none of them would be considered classics. "Algiers" is likely her best film, but it's not a classic and not one that's well known outside of classic film lovers. I suppose this review ended less of a critique of this documentary and more of my own biography of Lamarr's life and my own thoughts on the actress/inventor. To this film in particular, it does a good job of telling her story, but what this documentary did better than others I've seen on Lamarr is that is used newly discovered recordings of Lamarr, which allowed her to narrate her own story for the first time (there was an autobiography that was ghost written and made into a sensationalized and highly inaccurate account of her life that she disowned), so it's a real treat to hear her tell her own story to a great extent. Lamarr's was a brilliant and beautiful woman, who has wrongfully been largely forgotten, but hopefully this documentary and the renewed interest in highlighting female contributions to science will bring well earned recognition to Ms. Lamarr.
Absolutely blown away!
This documentary shines in its intelligent presentation of a luminous person. I knew little of Hedy Lamarr beyond knowing some of Hedy Lamarr's movies along with a brief bit of personal knowledge concerning her association with an invention used by the military. I knew little of this person. I incorrectly assumed the title of this documentary was strictly on concerning Hedy Lamarr's status as a movie star of mid-20th century. Bombshell details the life of a woman whose intellect did not permit her to suffer fools or their foolishness, whose "hobby" was staying home inventing things and was the most beautiful woman of her time. While this documentary has the usually amount of "talking heads" none over stayed his or her welcome. This documentary contains portions of World War 2 period history, the early movie industry in the U.S. along with actual technical data from Lamarr's part in an innovative concept called, Frequency Hopping. The director moves the scenes along quickly, but not rushed way. The soundtrack emphasizes not overpowering the story. More than just a life, this documentary details a large portion of history that should have much more awareness. After viewing Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, I may the full meaning of the title. Frequency Hopping has exploded into all of our lives changing them forever
Tremendous and ultimately sad story about Hedy Lamarr who turned out to also be a brilliant inventor and tragic figure.
Watched it twice, never assume someone is just another pretty face.
This documentary is one of the greatest I have ever seen. It sheds light on an extremely important story and an unfair ending. Hedy is an inspiration to woman everywhere and her story isn't mentioned enough. Highly recommend!
Amazing person that Hedy.
I loved this movie! It is so sad that such a gifted person wasn't given her due. I am writing this review using technology she made possible. Please watch this movie!
interesting, well done. maybe misleading, she was not really an inventor and i'm not 100% sure she invented frequency hopping