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Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film (Screen Classics) Paperback – January 12, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Screen Classics
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky; Reprint edition (January 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813136547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813136547
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

""Barton's well-written biography is appropriate for public libraries and will appeal to anyone interested in European cinema, women in science and the psychological effects of stardom."-- Library Journal" --



"Huffington Post's "Best Film Books for 2010"" --



""Well-written and well-researched, this book should be the definitive Hedy Lamarr biography for quite some time. Barton reveals a highly intelligent and emotionally complex woman behind the star image. " -- Jan-Christopher Horak, author of Lovers of Cinema: The First American Film Avant-Garde, 1919--1945" --



""The film world has been waiting for a thorough, reliable book on Hedy Lamarr, covering or uncovering everything from nudity to radar. Well, this is it, the best book on the strange lady we are likely to have." -- David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" --



""The life of Hedy Lamarr, one of Hollywood's most beautiful faces, was dogged by controversy and condescension throughout her film career. Ruth Barton's definitive, highly-readable biography, however, finally gives the actress her dues."-- Sunday Business Post" --



""An early scandalous sexpot, Lamarr married six times and was convicted of shoplifting, but her glamour made her one of Hollywood's hottest celebrities in the 1930s-40s."-- LA Magazine" --



""Barton's biography details the rapid career rise of a young woman who was fortunate to be in the right places at the right time."-- EDGE Atlanta" --



""Barton's attempt to illuminate this most mercurial of movie stars is a fascinating read-intriguing, tender, wise, and impeccably researched throughout. The result is a real page-turner. Now, here is a book that would make a great movie."-- London Daily Mail" --



""Lamarr was a complicated woman, deserving of a more serious appraisal than the numerous tabloid accounts that till now have stood as the public record.... Barton... introduces interesting ancillary cultural referents, including tributes to Lamarr from admirers like Henry Miller and Joseph Cornell, and takes a more analytical, feminist approach." -- The New York Times" --



""Barton acknowledges the power of Lamarr's image - and concedes that her lasting appeal is not as a female Thomas Edison. She sees Lamarr's wasted potential, accurately portraying her as a difficult but intelligent woman who understood how much her beauty restricted her."--Jeanine Basinger , The Wall Street Journal" --



""To learn more about the truths as well as the rumors surrounding Hedy's legendary presence, the new book... Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Women in Film... reveals the star's life in Europe and Hollywood and her surprising contributions to technology." --Irv Slifkin" --



""Barton's subtitle is no exagerration."-- Choice" --



""Recommended"-- Choice" --



""Carefully researched and zippily written, the book is the definitive companion to Lamarr's films." --London Review of Books" --



""Fact or fiction, this intriguing biography has again shown us why the light shone so brightly on the beautiful face of Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful girl in the worl." -- Studies in American Culture" --



""A well-written, interesting biography...the author has great insight into the life of the great star as well as the film industry at the time of her fame."-- Book Bargains and Previews" --

About the Author

Ruth Barton is lecturer in Film Studies at Trinity College Dublin. She has written several books on Irish cinema, including Jim Sheridan: Framing the Nation (Liffey), Irish National Cinema (Routledge) and Acting Irish in Hollywood (Irish Academic Press). She is a regular contributor to arts programs on national radio and is an occasional book reviewer for the Irish Times.


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Customer Reviews

Instead of some research by the author, and then giving her opinion.
Margaret twinge
For the most part, The author adopts a somewhat critical tone and rotely repeats facts she amassed in chronological order.
Jane Pensive
She was far more than just another beautiful Hollywood actress, as author Ruth Barton makes very clear.
Kenneth Cherry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
On a personal level, I liked this book. It was a pleasant surprise to find a study which contrasted Lamarr's questionably ghost written autobiography (ECSTACY AND ME)with known facts and debateable 'truths' that have become urban legend.
As for Hedy, like most celebrities, a lot of her personal background was doctored up by the publicity department at her first studio MGM. Deciphering the truth was no small feat. Ruth Barton researched her subject so thoroughly that whatever was able to be confirmed was (i.e., Hedy's jewish heritage) and she demonstrated extreme reserve with the questionable aspects of Lamarr's history such as the true parentage of Lamarr's adopted son James. Barton's digging was fruitful and presents a much clearer picture of Lamarr than has been seen before.
While this book may not have been as detailed as I would have liked in some respects and I wish Barton might have provided more information regarding all of Lamarr's husbands and her children, this is definitely a good first look at Hedy that presents her at her finest moments and her lowest and addresses her involvement as an inventor. It looks into Lamarr's life and career without sensationalizing the more negative aspects.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Allan Jirikovec on September 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No doubt about it, a favorite of men through the years, the envy of women. Hedy Lamarr's life is more thrilling, more fascinating and captivating and even "strange" than most of her films ever were. Ruth Barton narrates many facts of Miss Lamarr's life, already known. . . early years in Vienna, movie roles, marriages, shoplifting charges, an inventor. . . but also tells details of her private life after "retirement" in New York and Florida. . .For the many men who may have dreamed of dating Hedy. . .or even spending a night with her, this biography may convince them that Hedy is to be more admired and "wished for," from a distance. . .to see her on the screen is a delight, a dream and an escape from reality. . . to be close to her, maybe a heartbreak!

A biography on Hedy Lamarr has been hoped for and anticipated by her still many fans for a long time. . .Ruth Barton has written a biography which makes Hedy come alive and entertain us once again.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Miranda on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides an interesting take on Hedy Lamarr's life, but ultimately I found it disappointing.
The author, in my opinion, was too harsh in depicting Hedy's various problems with relationships, the legal system, and possibly even her mental health. Much of the evidence for this appears to have been hearsay, by anonymous sources. I think a more balanced view of Hedy would have put more emphasis on Hedy's very considerable achievements and good qualities. I liked the book, but all the negativity ultimately left a bad aftertaste.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jane Pensive on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...life and career. It may be that the book is a bore to read bacause Lamarr was a boring person, but I don't think so.

I bought the book because I was interested in Lamarr's participation in frequency hopping technology, which she and her invention partner called the "Secret Communication System" patent. Erroneously, I thought she had just stolen her ex-husband's (Fritz Mandl) patent for this early form of cell phone technology and tried to palm it off as her own in the USA. Apparently she not only understood the science behind the invention, but polished the details with her patent partner. He is quoted as saying Hedy stayed home at night working on scientific inventions, rather than decorating various night spots in Hollywood. This is absolutely fascinating, but we don't get any information on Hedy's education or background which would lead to her understanding complex science, let alone furthering the details in order to obtain a patent for such an invention. It could be that no such information exists, but this is a most interesting aspect of Lamarr's life and intelligence which only warrants a handful of pages in the book.

I also thought the author didn't understand why Hedy was a great star. Of course her beauty contributed to her popularity, but I think her own words help explain her hold on movie fans. Hedy said looking glamorous was easy, all one had to do was "stand around looking stupid." This quote is the key to her success in American film. I think she meant that her fascination depended on a sense of remoteness and mystery on her part. The more she held herself aloof and reserved, the more the audience could read what they wanted into her performance and persona.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Cherry on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hedy Lamarr is a legendary Hollywood beauty who starred in such memorable films as Algiers, Boom Town, White Cargo, and Samson and Delilah. But she was more than an actress. Few people know that she was an inventor who holds a patent on an anti-detection device for torpedoes that helped break the German submarine fleet in World War II, and ultimately winning for her Lockheed's Millstar Award and the Viktor Kaplan Medal from the Austrian government, its highest scientific honor. She was far more than just another beautiful Hollywood actress, as author Ruth Barton makes very clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret twinge on August 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Repetetive description of subject's same characteristic by author was tedious. For example, that she was a poor actress in the author's evaluation, was OK with me. But I am not retarded, and the author did not have to repeat it a number of times. On one page, author mentions it twice.
Another major flaw was the continuous mention of numerous discrepancies in the description of Hedy's life. Instead of some research by the author, and then giving her opinion. She repeatedly does the "he said, she said" type of history. I do not mean that everything should be absolute in its writing, but no evidence of author thinking about writing many times totally contradictory facts as stated by various people.
My interest was aroused by Hedy's frequency hopping development and when I was young, I was very taken with her looks.
If you consider buying this book, save yourself time and money. You can get more interesting material searching for another book or surf the internet.
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