Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) – 31th Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy
There can hardly be any more extraordinary story from the Hollywood golden age than that of Hedy Lamarr; a very beautiful star with a moderate acting talent but an untutored brilliance in science and engineering that should by now be getting her compared to Nikola Tesla, or maybe even a neglected female scientist like Rosalind Franklin. Her tragedy was that she was in the wrong business, precisely that business that promotes beauty over brains – the movie business.
Alexandra Dean’s excellent and important documentary about her is very instructive – a parable of modern sexual politics and assumptions about science. Even now, many can’t believe in their hearts that movie star Hedy Lamarr really was a scientist, or scientist manqué. The accomplishment simply doesn’t square with the accepted female star biography narrative into which Lamarr otherwise fits: movies, husbands, poignant reclusive decline etc. Many film encyclopedias and reference books simply omit what was important about Hedy Lamarr.
Lamarr was an enigma: a great brain trapped in a silly, spurious image of glamour, while her real talent was allowed to wither. A sad but fascinating story.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Theme: Hear Me Roar!
Country: United States
Director: Alexandra Dean
Screenplay: Alexandra Dean
Starring: Hedy Lamarr
Production: Adam Haggiag, Alexandra Dean, Katherine Dre / Reframed Pictures
Duration: 89 min
Age limit: K7