Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Alexandra Dean


  • Official Selection, 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
  • Nantucket “Best of Fest”
  • San Francisco Jewish Fest Audience Award

This documentary reveals the Hedy Lamarr hidden behind the famously beautiful Hollywood star's glamorous image: a technological trailblazer whose inventions form the basis of modern WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth systems.

Startlet. Screen Siren. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. All phrases used to describe 1940’s Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. Alexandra Dean’s illuminating documentary adds Inventor to the list. Known for her matchless beauty and electric screen persona, Lamarr’s legion of fans never knew she possessed such a beautiful mind. An Austrian Jewish émigré who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night, Lamarr came up with a “secret communication system” to help the Allies to beat the Nazis. Weaving in Lamarr’s own voice from archival recordings, Dean reveals how Lamarr gave her patent to the Navy, received no credit for her contributions, and wound up impoverished in her latter years. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a film for lovers of history, Hollywood, and science. 
-Tribeca Film Festival

Possible Topics

  • The often-overlooked impact of female inventors
  • Wireless technology and the digital revolution
  • Transmitting--and intercepting--secret messages
  • Science and technology in wartime

Past Programs


Brains and beauty: Gender stereotypes in science and the arts

Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, NY

Hedy Lamarr, the engineer

Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI


Feminism in engineering

The Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ

Women in science and engineering

Old Greenbelt Theatre, Greenbelt, MD

A beautiful mind

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

A conversation with women in STEM

Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN

The representation of women in STEM

The Art Theater, Champaign, IL

From weapons to Wi-Fi: How Hedy changed history

Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA

Beer-powered bombshells: Explosive innovations from Alaskan Brewing Company

Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society and Gold Town Theater, Juneau, AK


Everything old is new again

Historic Artcraft Theatre, Franklin, IN

(Where are the) Women in technology

Film Streams, Omaha, NE

Beauty and brains: Women in science

Amherst Cinema, Amherst, MA

She's electric! Celebrating women and girls in STEM

Shotgun Cinema, New Orleans, LA


Panel: Women working in STEM

Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock, PA


Women in STEM

Coral Gables Art Cinema, Coral Gables, FL