Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story celebrates the life of the actress-turned-inventor and helps to set the record straight.
The actress, who was recently depicted in the “Helent Hunt” episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, was more than just a Hollywood talent. One could make the argument that Lamarr had also lived a double life while working on inventions when she wasn’t in front of the camera.
At the peak of her career, Lamar was iconic for her beauty but there was more there than meets the eye for the woman who inspired the looks of both Snow White and Cat Woman. It’s those looks that, for many years, wouldn’t let her receive the proper credit for what she did to pave the way for a revolution in how people communicate with each other. Without Lamarr, we might not even have WiFi, GPS, or even Bluetooth technology, let alone some very important satellites in orbit.
Lamarr was an underrated communications trailblazer if there ever was one. Hell, she’s the woman who developed a covert system, got the patent and ended up giving it to the Navy. Did anyone do anything in return for her? No.
What’s more important about the release of this film turned out to be the discovery of lost tapes in 2016. Director Alexandra Dean and producer Adam Haggiag found the on-record interviews with Hedy Lamarr and they play a key role in helping set the record straight about this marvelous woman. It’s kind of funny how the discovery of Fleming Meeks’ interview with Lamarr changed the whole film a whole six months into production. For any film, a discovery this big is a game-changer! Instead of bringing on someone else as a narrator, the tapes let Lemarr do the talking.
Multi-hyphenate Mel Brooks is among those interviewed and one of the classic Blazing Saddles scenes is shown, featuring Hedley Lamarr–played so beautifully by Harvey Korman. Brooks is one of several subjects interviewed including friends, family, and one of the final on-camera interviews with Robert Osborne. All of whom fight for screen time with Lamarr’s lost interview.
Bombshell works to set the record straight and using the audio from her interview with Fleming Meeks, it serves as an autobiography–the one that should have been written all along. Lamarr’s story is important because many young girls don’t have enough role models to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Those that do choose to enter these fields often have to deal with the gender imbalance in the workforce. Hedy Lamarr should be an inspiration to many.
Following the world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and a number of festival screenings, Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber officially opened Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story at the IFC Center in New York.