Director: Alexandra Dean
Genre: Documentary Feature
Running Time: 86 min
Sponsored by: Libby S. Harwitz, Dr. Burton Blender, and Judith S. Finkel, Ph.D.; Louis D. Brandeis Law Society Foundation
The name Hedy Lamarr cannot help but conjure images of 1930s Hollywood pin-up babes and silver screen icons. A scandal at 18 and an international movie star by 22, Lamarr’s stunningly beautiful face remains among the most recognized and immortalized of the twentieth century.
Lamarr, who achieved international notoriety for her salacious role in the Czech film, Ecstasy (1933), was never quite able to shake off the reputation she earned in what is considered to be the first instance of explicit nudity ever depicted in mainstream film. As her career and romantic life evolved, so too did the endless examination and dissection surrounding her fame. Little did anyone know or care that beneath Lamarr’s exquisite beauty was a refined and ingenious brain that had much more to offer the world.
In BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY, director Alexandra Dean uses four “lost” interviews conducted with Lamarr in 1990 as the basis for a documentary whose mission is to offer voice to the woman Lamarr wanted the world to know. These rare recordings fulfill Lamarr’s desire to be recognized for her intellect and her inventions, the latter of which have arguably served as precursors to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
With compelling commentary by family, friends, film scholars, scientists, and technology experts, as well as additional observations by famed director Mel Brooks and actor Diane Kruger, this class-act documentary tells the truly unbelievable story behind the unbelievable bombshell we know as Hedy Lamarr.
Join us after the film for a vintage Hollywood-inspired reception.
For Fans of: Feminism, film history, Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood, inventors, science, Susan Sarandon, technology, women’s rights
Official Selection: Jerusalem Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival
Reviews: “A thoroughly engaging, eye-opening showbiz doc…first-time director [Alexandra] Dean does an excellent job of marshalling old source material, setting the scene for an account of Lamarr’s life on- and off-screen.” (John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter)
“There’s a bittersweetness that threads through the documentary, recognizing the many ways this remarkable woman was eaten away at by a society that demanded she be ever cheerful, glamorous, and dumb….Bombshell becomes not just a stupendous tribute to Lamarr, but also a tribute to every brilliant woman ignored, thanking them even if they never snagged the spotlight, and inspiring a new generation to go looking for theirs.” (Kristy Puchko, Nerdist)
“I guess there’s a lot of underrated women, and she happens to be one of them. Spelling that whole idea that if you’re beautiful, you’re brainless, and here she was: a closet inventor.” (Susan Sarandon)