By Lupita Peimbert
(Film) – She was a Hollywood actress of immense beauty; she was considered a bombshell because of the sexually she emanated. But for being pretty and sexy she paid the price that beautiful and sexy women have paid for centuries in societies led by unevolved, controlling young and old men: she was labeled a gorgeous object to look at or feel; an adornment on a man’s arm.
It was hard for people at the time to see her as a scientist, but a scientist she was. With the help of a friend, she invented and patented a “frequency-hopping,” system that would allow torpedoes not to be tracked by opposing forces. Lamarr and George Antheil were granted a U.S. patent in 1942, just as World War II was happening. The U.S. Navy, however, did not acknowledge or used their invention. And there is more to this story and her other inventions now available through a documentary called “Bombshell, the Hedy Lamarr story.”
Produced by Reframed Pictures, with Susan Sarandon as Executive Producer and directed by Alexandra Dean, this documentary depicts her life and struggles in what appears to be a well researched timeline, and as a result, the viewer gains valuable insight into her life –not just the actress or the inventor, but the woman in pursuit of happiness. Yet, the emphasis is on Lamarr as an inventor. The producer’s notes indicate the importance of frequency-hopping, calling it “a feat that would directly lead to the creation of secure communications for wireless phones, Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi technology itself.”
Bombshell, the Hedy Lamarr Story, was exhibited first at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Later, the documentary was part of the 2017 Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco and several other festivals and venues. It will also be on PBS’ American Masters. The film opens on March 9th in Northern California, at the Landmark Clay in San Francisco, Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley, and at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.
It is said that Snow White and Cat Woman were based on Lamarr’s looks. She also played Delilah in “Samson and Delilah,” captivating audiences with her beauty.
Pretty women must see this film to not repeat the story and to own their other qualities besides physical beauty. Everybody would benefit by seeing the Hedy Lamarr story, as a tool for understanding how inequality hurts women thus hurting us all.
BOMBSHELL is a Zeitgeist Films release, runs 89 minutes, is in English, and is not yet MPAA rated.
Lupita Peimbert is a bilingual free-lance writer based in California who focuses on travel, film, the arts, and culture. She has a day job as PIO in highway systems. @Lupitanews