Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Castro Closing Night  - 7/30

What are the chances that the hottest pinup babe of the 1930s was also a genius who foresaw wi-fi, bluetooth and cell phone technology? She was one in a million: Hedy Lamarr. Somehow we sense that there is a tragedy behind all that, and that is the truth. Lamarr, an impossibly stunning beauty, achieved international notoriety when she casually swam nude in a scene in the 1933 Czech Gustav Mahaty film Ecstasy, her delicate figure seen through the swirls of water, the first time such nudity had ever been depicted in a mainstream film. The daughter of a Jewish banker in Vienna, she went on to become a sex symbol for the ages and became a top Hollywood star. But Lamarr was a naïve sex symbol: she never gave it a second thought. Her deeper passion had to do with mechanics and technology. She entertained her prodigious brain with useful inventions to benefit mankind. During World War II she developed a concept (“frequency hopping”), which she patented, to enable radio-controlled torpedos to sink Nazi U-boats, but the Navy paternalistically sneered at her ideas. Bombshell(with its double-meaning title) is the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day. ―Miguel Pendás


Director Alexandra Dean and subject Anthony Loder (Hedy Lamarr's son) in person in San Francisco 

Sponsored by Lela and Gerry Sarnat with additional support provided by Nancy Blachman and David desJardins 

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