Movie Review — “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”

The most interesting “little known fact” about the lady Hollywood sex symbol Hedy Lamarr is this secret life she led, at least briefly, as an inventor. It all but dominated her obituaries when she died in Jan. of 2000, including the one I wrote in the city where she died (Casselberry, Fla., suburban Orlando). In short, Hedy, legendary screen beauty, “Delilah” to Victor Mature’s “Samson” in “Samson and Delilah,” invented the cell phone. Not really, of course. But during World War II, the Hitler-hating Austrian and patriotic Hollywood starlet came up with the idea of “frequency hopping,” the technology that allows cell phones to skip from tower to tower, that encodes various military communications, and patented it. That fact takes up a sizable portion of the revealing new documentary portrait of her, “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” and Lamarr would appreciate that. Already notorious when she arrived in Hollywood for having starred in the sexually explicit “Ekstace” (“Ecstasy”), she always wanted the world to know she was a lot more than just a very pretty face. She was all but marked for life by Charles Boyer, who chose her as his co-star in “Algiers” (1938) and labeled her by […]

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