Beautiful Invention is a tender and poignant depiction of Hedy Lamarr’s life. Porter successfully divides her focus between Hedy’s acting career and the complex politics of the times. While best known and characterised by her beauty and acting skill, Lamar was an intelligent, well-educated woman with engineering knowledge. The method of wireless transmission invented by Hedy and her partner, George Anthiel, as part of the war effort formed the basis for familiar technology such as Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Porter details the uncertainty of Hedy’s career immediately after her arrival in the USA and peers behind the façade of glamour gilding both the mundaneness and the debauchery of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Many well-known names appear in the narrative. I was surprised to learn of Hedy’s acquaintance with Howard Hughes and enjoyed reading about what happened behind the scenes on movie sets and parties.
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite