Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

The Most Beautiful Woman in Film

Book - 2010
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Hedy Lamarr's life was punctuated by salacious rumors and public scandal, but it was her stunning looks and classic Hollywood glamour that continuously captivated audiences. Born Hedwig Kiesler, she escaped an unhappy marriage with arms dealer Fritz Mandl in Austria to try her luck in Hollywood, where her striking appearance made her a screen legend. Her notorious nude role in the erotic Czech film Ecstasy (1933), as well as her work with Cecil B. DeMille ( Samson and Delilah, 1949), Walter Wanger ( Algiers, 1938), and studio executive Louis B. Mayer catapulted her alluring and provocative reputation as a high-profile sex symbol.

In Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film, Ruth Barton explores the many facets of the screen legend, including her life as an inventor. Working with avant-garde composer and film scorer George Antheil, Lamarr helped to develop and patent spread spectrum technology, which is still used in mobile phone communication. However, despite her screen persona and scientific success, Lamarr's personal life caused quite a scandal. A string of failed marriages, a lawsuit against her publisher regarding her sensational autobiography, and shoplifting charges made her infamous beyond her celebrity.

Drawing on extensive research into both the recorded truths of Lamarr's life and the rumors that made her notorious, Barton recognizes Lamarr's contributions to both film and technology while revealing the controversial and conflicted woman underneath. Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film illuminates the life of a classic Hollywood icon.

Publisher: Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2010
ISBN: 9780813126043
Branch Call Number: 791.43028092 L216b 2010
Characteristics: x, 281 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Jan 02, 2011

Early chapters are a bit too heavy as author tries to include all her research of historical (dis)placement, history of Jews, etc. Also, too much is missing regarding Lamarr's move to Hollywood -- a real lack of what, when, and why! Book gets better as author writes about failed marriages and Hedy's inventing efforts, but slips into "I am speaking into a tape-recorder" mode -- sadly so often apparent in newer publications (for example, even using the phrase "but we'll return to that"!). Disjointed writing style. It's tough writing an insightful book when all the prinicpals are long deceased.


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