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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Hedy Lamarr once said, “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” The Austrian-born actress is the subject of an interesting 2017 documentary entitled Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. Directed by Alexandra Dean, it paints an absorbing picture of this woman's life, remarkable not least because she co-created frequency hopping, which would make possible the now almost indispensable technologies of Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and mobile phones, to name a few. But this is also a docu-tragedy. Lamarr was and is still considered by many as the most beautiful woman to have ever appeared on screen. Her looks were her glory back in the day, and also the crux of her identity, at least insofar as the public viewed her. When later in life her looks not just faded but were damaged through excessive plastic surgery, and likely to some extent by use of amphetamines provided by Hollywood studios and Max Jacobson (Dr. Feelgood), society pretty much brushed her aside, save for occasionally mocking her, such as in Andy Warhol's satirical farce Hedy (1966, 66 minutes). All the while, few realized Lamarr also had a brilliant mind, and that the navy had been secretly developing her invention of frequency hopping, and that her idea would drive major advances in communication technology.


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