Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer

15 Sep

Hedy Lamarr, born  Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, was and always will be one of the most beautiful women on screen. This biography is a feat of adulation and information. The author tells not only the story of this famous and, thanks to a nude scene and simulated orgasm in an early European film, infamous actress, but also that of Hollywood and society as a whole during her lifetime. He does not fail to come to her defense against attacks from long-dead Hollywood heads, and constantly explains how Hollywood, and even the U.S. Government, failed to make the most of Hedy’s talents.

A little strange in the arena of biography is this constant intrusion by the author into the feel of the narrative. The reader wants to like Ms. Lamarr, it seems a little overwrought to try to convince us to like her. Likewise, the sheer number of facts, and the constant name-dropping of obscure and not so obscure Hollywood figures, can leave a reader dizzy. The story of Hedy Lamarr is intriguing and wonderful, in spite of the author’s overwhelming style.

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Book Reviews


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