This International Women’s Day, a number of cinemas will be celebrating Hollywood icon Hedy Lamarr by screening the new documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story on Friday, 8th March.
Making her name in Hollywood films including Algiers and Samson and Delilah, Hedy Lamarr was considered one of film’s top leading ladies in the 1940s. In addition to the glitz, glamour and sex appeal however, was a scientific mind and a talented inventor who created a radio system that is now considered the basis of modern Bluetooth technology. She was known as the world’s most beautiful woman – Snow White and Cat Woman were both based on her iconic look. However, her arresting looks and glamorous life stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved as an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work helped revolutionise modern communication. Mislabeled as “just another pretty face,” Hedy’s true legacy is that of a technological trailblazer. Alexandra Dean’s documentary looks to bring that side of Lamarr to greater light.
Both the Light House Cinema and the Irish Film Institute will be screening the film in Dublin this March, each followed by a satellite Q&A session with the film’s executive producer Susan Sarandon and director Alexandra Dean. The screening and Q&A will be broadcast live across the UK and Ireland via satellite by Dogwoof, in partnership with UN Women National Committee UK.
Sarandon was drawn to Lamarr’s story, saying she allowed Dean to use her home to conduct research for the film. Perceptions of the actress at the time limited her to just her looks, something that sat poorly with the Thelma and Louise star:
“I knew that Hedy Lamarr was in that first, really risqué film (1933’s Ecstasy) and that she was absolutely gorgeous, and that she died a recluse and unappreciated. But I didn’t have the middle. But, aside from even if she hadn’t been a scientist, this idea that, if you’re beautiful you have to play dumb, it still exists in a lot of ways, and people are always so shocked that a woman can put two words together, or that she writes a decent book.”