After participating in an array of incredible blogathons throughout the summer and making a lineup of blogathons for myself that I’ll be participating in this fall, I started to feel inclined to add another blogathon of my own into the mix before the year was over. In the last couple of years that I’ve created my own blogathons, I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to hosting these events around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and I knew that this time it would be better to slate my own for early November. But who should I pay tribute to this time? As soon as I remembered that one of my all-time favorite actresses would be turning 104 on November 9th, I had my answer: I will be honoring the gorgeous, the talented, the fierce, the intelligent and alluring Hedy Lamarr!
Head of MGM Louis B. Mayer called her the most beautiful woman in the world, but throughout her life, she proved to be so much more than that. Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9th, 1914 in Vienna, Austria, Hedy showed an interest in acting and film from an early age. As a teen, she forged a note from her mother in order to be hired as a script girl at Sascha Film and worked her way up the ladder from there, catching the attention of Max Reinhart who directed her in a number of plays in Berlin. It was at the tender age of eighteen, however, that Hedy would become internationally known after appearing nude in the controversial film Ecstasy (1933). Her husband at the time attempted to purchase and destroy all existing copies, but this didn’t stop Louis B. Mayer from discovering Hedy in the film and signing her to a seven-year contract, bringing her to America and its audiences in 1938. From there she starred in hit after hit for MGM such as Algiers (1938), the film that inspired Casablanca (1942) (though she famously declined the role of Ilsa), Boom Town (1940), Comrade X (1940), Ziegfeld Girl (1941), White Cargo (1942), and countless other features throughout the 1940s.
Despite her immense fame and fortune, Hedy longed to do something more meaningful with her life and began inventing and working with famed business magnate and engineer Howard Hughes in order to improve the design of his planes. Their collaborations led to greater and greater inventions and accomplishments for Hedy, and the zenith of her inventive mind came after meeting composer and pianist George Antheil. With his assistance, she developed a radio guidance system for US torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to prevent the Axis powers from jamming communications between an Allied missile and its guide. Unfortunately, the US military withheld her patent and did not put her idea to use until the 1960s, by which point Hedy was unable to profit from her own invention. Throughout that time her success onscreen began to decline as well and she passed away as a recluse on January 19th, 2000. Despite not receiving any monetary gain during her lifetime for her scientific work, credit for the development of this world-changing technology has since been fully restored to Hedy Lamarr, and she’s also been credited as a pioneer in communications with her invention leading to what we now know as Bluetooth and Wifi today.
- Considering the fact that Hedy has only thirty-five acting credits, I am allowing TWO duplicates for each subject WITH THE EXCEPTION OF Hedy’s new documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017). I feel that this particular film is easily accessible and extremely important to watch so I will be allowing anyone and everyone to review it for this blogathon if they want to! Other than that, I encourage all bloggers to think outside of the box! I would still like to see as many different topics being written about Hedy as possible.
- Anything relating to Hedy Lamarr is up for grabs! You could write about her films, television appearances, her inventions and scientific work, her friendships and marriages, or anything else that your heart desires! The possibilities are endless!
- Once you think of a topic, please leave a comment with your blog’s name, your blog’s link, and your subject (include the year if you’re choosing a movie).
- Once you’ve been approved, I’d appreciate it if you help me spread the word! Please take one of my banners from below and put it somewhere on your blog, and make sure to tell your friends. I’d love to see as many participants as possible!
- Musings of a Classic Film Addict — Comrade X (1940)
- Realweegiemidget Reviews — Dishonored Lady (1947)
- Overture Books and Film — Boom Town (1940)
- The Midnite Drive-In — Samson and Delilah (1949)
- The Wonderful World of Cinema — Ecstasy (1933)
- In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood — Hedy’s Inventions and Scientific Work
- Crítica Retrô— The Heavenly Body (1944)
- Taking Up Room — Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)
- The Stop Button — Experiment Perilous (1944)
- Gone with the Pictures — Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)
- Pale Writer — Algiers (1938) and Ziegfeld Girl (1941)