Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (DVD) / Alexandra Dean (Director)

Bombshell tells the amazing story of the life and career of hailed Hollywood movie star and underappreciated genius inventor, Hedy Lamarr. Once known as “the most beautiful woman in the world”, Lamarr struggled to escape her gilded cage, even after her invention of groundbreaking communication “frequency hopping” technology in the 1940’s. Directed by Alexandra Dean, Lamarr’s ventures are related with savvy and narrative snap, fluidly marshaling a mix of original interviews and archival material that includes film clips, home movies and other footage. Ms. Dean’s most valuable resource, though, are Lamarr’s taped interviews with the journalist Fleming Meeks. In a 1990 Forbes article, he helped refurbish her legend by recounting how Lamarr wanted to contribute to the war effort and was able to do so with the help of her friend, the composer George Antheil. What she was after was a radio-controlled torpedo that couldn’t be jammed. Her solution: randomly switched frequencies – otherwise known as frequency hopping. “Bombshell” gives an informative view of Lamarr’s experience, exposing how the brilliance of her discovery was overshadowed by the spectacle of failure in her personal and professional lives.

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