Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (NR)
Born in Austria, she shocked the world at age 16 by appearing in a scandalous nudie pic called Ekstase (1933), which the pope denounced and Hitler banned. At 18, she married a munitions tycoon whose controlling ways (and ties to Mussolini and the Nazis) sent her fleeing to Paris in an escape story so wild and inherently cinematic that it cries out to be dramatized. Hollywood soon made her a star — Algiers and Samson and Delilah are among her best remembered films — but all along Lamarr was honing her skills as an amateur engineer.
In an inspired stroke, Dean uses animation to show how Lamarr visualized the inner workings of every object, such as player pianos and TV remotes, a way of seeing that helped her devise a frequency-hopping radio signal that would change the world. Recognition (and compensation) proved elusive in Lamarr's lifetime, but in this marvelous documentary, a brilliant woman — "I'm a very simple, complicated person" — finally gets her due.