Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

New York Times Critics' Pick
88 mins.
Directed by Alexandra Dean

What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII.

Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.

Science on Screen: Compelling films paired with lively talks by experts in science, technology and medicine.

Speaker: Katherine Aidala is Chair of Physics, Professor of Physics, and Chair of Engineering at Mount Holyoke College. She was a 2010 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House. Her research interests span a range of areas in condensed matter physics, studying materials on the nanoscale. She teaches across the undergraduate physics curriculum, as well as a course on Gender in Science and a seminar on Science in the Media. In 2012, she founded SciTech Café, which holds monthly events to bring scientists into an informal setting to talk about their work with the general public.

Topic: Beauty and Brains: Women in Science.
Is it true that a woman is taken less seriously as a scientist if she's beautiful? Who do you picture when you think of a scientist? Why is it that we often picture a guy with crazy hair? What are the current barriers for women in science?

Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

"Ms. Dean relates Lamarr’s ventures, those onscreen and off, with savvy and narrative snap, fluidly marshaling a mix of original interviews and archival material that includes film clips, home movies and other footage." Manohla Dargis. A New York Times Critic's Pick!