Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Secret Life of Hedy Lamarr

Loren King, Newport This Week:

Most people, if they know Lamarr at all, remember her as an exotic beauty who starred in such movies as “Algiers” (1938) with Charles Boyer, and “Come Live with Me” (1941) opposite James Stewart. But behind those lips and those eyes was the brain of an untrained scientist who, after a long day on the MGM lot, would come home and invent things for pleasure. As one of many screen beauties who dated the eccentric aviator Howard Hughes, Lamarr devised rounded (rather than squared-off) wings for a super-fast plane Hughes was designing. Hughes was so impressed that he set Lamarr up with a mini-laboratory in her house.

Today would have been Lamarr’s 103 birthday. A film about her life and legacy — “Bombshell” — is being screened at the Boston Jewish Film Festival running now, and will be released in select theatres November 24.