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Bombshell: Unveiling the Ingenious Mind Behind the Hollywood Glamour - Hedy Lamarr

Unveiling the hidden genius of Hollywood starlet, Hedy Lamarr, Bombshell is a tale of beauty, brains, and unrecognised brilliance.

Keywords: Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood, Inventor, Wireless Technology, Documentary


"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story," directed by Alexandra Dean and released in 2017, uncovers the hidden genius of Hollywood starlet, Hedy Lamarr. Beyond her fame and glamour, Lamarr was an inventive mind whose groundbreaking work in wireless technology in the 1940s remains influential today.


The documentary disentangles the complex persona of Hedy Lamarr, revealing her not just as an iconic actress, but also a brilliant inventor. Lamarr's work on frequency-hopping spread spectrum, a pioneering technology in wireless communication, is explored in detail.

More film analysis


As an investigative documentary, Bombshell delves into Lamarr's life and work with rigor, presenting a well-researched and in-depth exploration of her dual identity as an actress and inventor. The film's presentation is engaging, balancing its historical narrative with a personal touch.

Historical and Factual Context:

Lamarr's invention, developed with composer George Antheil during World War II, became the foundation for technologies like Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. Despite her contribution, Lamarr remained largely unrecognised in the realm of science.

Key themes in the film:

  • The dichotomy between beauty and brains
  • The overlooked contributions of women in science and technology
  • The struggle for recognition and validation in a male-dominated society

Film Comparisons:

Compared to other biographical documentaries on iWonder, Bombshell stands out for its exploration of a Hollywood icon's unexpected scientific prowess.

Noteworthy Moments:

The documentary's revelation of Lamarr's patent for frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology is a significant moment, shedding light on a largely unknown aspect of her life.


Audiences and critics alike praised Bombshell for its insightful portrayal of Lamarr. "An entertaining and eye-opening look at a true unsung hero", wrote the Los Angeles Times.


Bombshell is an essential watch for those interested in the intersection of science, technology, and society. It offers a compelling look at an overlooked pioneer who defied societal norms and expectations.

Watch Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
This film rediscovers Hollywood wild-child, Hedy Lamarr, not only as an actress but as the brilliant mind who coinvented 1940s wireless technology.

More film information

IMDB: 7.4 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | Metacritic: 77
Awards: 8 wins & 5 nominations: Jerusalem Film Festival, New York Film Critics Online, Women Film Critics Circle Awards, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Aspen Filmfest

Hedy Lamarr: Hollywood actress and inventor
George Antheil: Composer and Lamarr's co-inventor

Hollywood: Where Lamarr's acting career flourished
World War II-era, USA: Where Lamarr's invented technology was developed

Links for further exploration

  1. Hedy Lamarr's Patent:
  2. Hedy Lamarr Biography:

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

Why was Hedy Lamarr's contribution to science largely overlooked?

How can historical narratives be reshaped to include overlooked individuals like Lamarr?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form:

Book: "Hidden Figures" as it uncovers the overlooked contributions of women in science.

Song: "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child, reflecting Lamarr's independence and ingenuity.

Art: Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," symbolising the intriguing duality of beauty and intellect.

Celebrity: Natalie Portman - an actress with a strong science background.

Colour: Gold, representing both glamour and the value of her invention.

Music Style: Classical, combining beauty, complexity, and timeless appeal.