Monday, June 17, 2024

Hedy Lamarr: Inventor and Samson's Delilah

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, on November 9, 1914, in Vienna, in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Five-months earlier, on June 28, 1914, the Austrian-Hungarian, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and the future Hedy Lamarr found herself at the start of the First World War














Hedwig's father, Emil Kiesler, was a Galician Jew, from the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, as of this writing, part of Ukraine around Lviv. Her mother was Gertrude "Trude" Lichtwitz Kiesler, born in Budapest, from an upper-class Jewish family, and would convert to Catholicism and become a practicing Christian. Her father became the assistant director of the fourth largest bank during the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, "Wiener Bankverein". While her mother was an accomplished pianist.

According to the 2010 biography, "Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film", by Ruth Barton, "University of Kentucky Press", by the age of 12, she was showing an interest in acting, but more importantly was taking walks with her father. On these walks, Emil explained to his daughter, how the mechanical things they were seeing worked. This stirred an interest in science which would be reflected in her patented inventions during Hedwig (Hedy's) adult years.

In 1930, Hedwig Kiesler was taking acting classes in Vienna and forged her mother's signature on a letter to "Sascha-Film", in Vienna, and became a script-girl.





  









Released in Germany, on November 11, 1930, script girl, Hedwig Kieser, appeared in the first of her 35-motion pictures, "Geld auf der Straße (Money on the Street)", with the uncredited role of the "Young Girl at Night Club table".

On March 13, 1931, released in her native Austria, Hedwig Kieser had her first on-screen speaking role in "Sturm im Wasserglas (Storm in a Water Glass)", portraying "The Secretary".



Above on the left is Hedy Kiesler.

Her next motion picture was "Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (The Trunks of Mr. O.F.), released in Germany, December 2, 1931. Her role, at sixth-billing, was "Helene - Tochter de Burgermeisters (Helene - the Governor's daughter)". The co-star of the motion picture was Peter Lorre, seen below with sixth-billed Margo Lion.













"Man braucht kein Geld (You Don't Need Money)", was a screwball comedy released on December 24, 1931, in Austria. The premise was that the "Brandt" family has lost almost all their money and they pull what's left to impress their rich, American millionaire, uncle who's coming on a visit, but of course he is also broke and hoped they could help him. Third billed was Hedy Kiesler portraying "Käthe Brandt", seen on the following poster.













Moving ahead two-years, my readers come's to a motion picture filmed in Czechoslovakia, and first released in that country on January 20, 1933, "Extras (Ecstasy)". This very controversial motion picture is considered by many as the first non-pornographic motion picture to show sexual intercourse, that you do not actually see, except for the two faces of, Hedy Kiesler portraying "Eva Jermann", and Aribert Dog portraying "Adam". Below is one of the ad sheets for the 1944 re-release in the United States.



 



















In 1933, even her mother's Jewish heritage came to the forefront. When Hedwig, age 18, announced her plans to marry major munitions manufacturer and arms dealer, 33-years-old, Friedrich Alexander Maria "Fritz" Mandl, also Jewish, who was an admirer of and supplier to Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini. On August 10, 1933, the two were married, and Hedwig's life changed to her detriment, with a controlling husband. Who also started to admire Adolph Hitler. In her 1966 autobiography, "Ecstasy and Me: My Life as a Woman", "Bartholomew House", New York, is her entry:

knew very soon that I could never be an actress while I was his wife. ... He was the absolute monarch in his marriage. ... I was like a doll. I was like a thing, some object of art which had to be guarded—and imprisoned—having no mind, no life of its own.

 
























In 1937, dressing like her maid, Hedy Mandl walked out of their house and disappeared from the country, reappearing in Paris, France. Next, she crossed the English Chanel to London, and the beginning of a new life and film career with a divorce from "Fritz".

In London, Austrian-Hungarian Empire born Hedwig, met, Russian Empire aka: Imperial Russia born, Lazar Meir, now known as Louis Burt Mayer, co-founder of the "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" studio. 

















Hedy was offered a $125.00 ($2,648.00 as of this writing) a week contract, but turned it down. "Louie B" left England on a passenger liner to the United States and found Hedy on-aboard the ship. By the time it docked in New York City, two things had occurred. The first was Hedy was now getting paid $500.00 ($10,592 as of this writing) a week. The second was that Mayer wanted her last name changed and Hedy Lamaar was born.

There were two reasons for the choice of her new last name. First, this put the young actress at a distance from the actress who appeared in "Ecstasy". Second, Louis B. Mayer's wife, Margaret Shenberg Mayer, admired the late actress and screenplay writer, Barbara La Marr, below. Le Marr had been born Reatha Dale Watson, and had died at 28-years-of-age, and was dubbed by the newspaper media as the "Girl Who Is Too Beautiful".





















Hedy might have been offered a contract at "Metro" by "Louie B", but Hedy Lamarr's first American motion picture was from "United Artists", and produced by Walter Wanger. Who had produced Rudolph Valentino's, 1921, "The Sheik", Greta Garbo's, 1933, "Queen Christina", the Fred MacMurray, Sylvia Sidney, and Henry Fonda, western, 1936's, "Trail of the Lonesome Pines", and in 1939, John Ford's, "Stagecoach"

ALGIERS Los Angeles world premier, July 13, 1938




The screenplay was based on the 1937 novel "Pepe le Moko", by French author Henri La Barthe, and the same year's French motion picture.




Competition is always a problem for a motion picture and I found the following on the "TCM (Turner Classic Movies)" website: https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/19052/algiers#notes
According to reviews, when producer Walter Wanger decided to remake French director Julien Duvivier's 1937 Pépé le Moko, Wanger bought the rights and all prints to that film to prevent it from being shown in the United States in competition with his own version. 
The main screenplay was written by John Howard Lawson, the first president of the "Screen Writers Guild, West", who began his career writing for the legitimate stage. In 1943, Lawson wrote both of Humphrey Bogart's, Second World War movies, "Action in the North Atlantic", and "Sahara".

The first version of the screenplay was rejected outright by the censorship of the "Hays Office", represented by Joseph Breen, sighting the 1934, "Motion Picture Production Code". His rejection was for two character descriptions and a scene at the climax, that would have been approved in any pre-code year. 

According to the "American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films (AFI)", Joseph Breen's, 
first objection was that both female leads being referred to as "Kept Women", "code words" for "Prostitutes". His second objection was at the film's ending, where "Pepe le Moko" commits suicide, might have a negative impact on an audience member during "The Great Depression". However, if he were shot by another and dies, that would be acceptable. Apparently both subjects were deemed too sensitive for American audiences, whose morality, the "Hays Office" was protecting, at least in Breen's own mind.

After a basically approved screenplay had been written by John Howard Lawson. James M. Cain was hired to supply additional dialogue and makes changes as needed to Lawson's. Cain was a "film-noir" novelist who had written, 1934's, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", 1936's, "Double Indemnity", and 1941's, "Mildred Pierce", all that would be turned into major motion pictures.

Walter Wanger hired John Cromwell to direct the feature film. Among Cromwell's motion pictures before this feature film, are 1930's, "The Texan", starring Gary Cooper and Fay Wray, 1934's, "Spitfire", starring Katharine Hepburn, Robert Young, and Ralph Bellamy, 1934's, "Of Human Bondage", starring Bette Davis, and Leslie Howard, and 1937's, "The Prisoner of Zenda", starring Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll.

Charles Boyer portrayed "Pepe le Moko". His first motion picture was in his native France in 1920, ten-years later he made his first American motion picture, and was back in France in 1932, making films. Boyer return to the United States in 1935, for his first motion picture produced by Walter Wanger, the psychiatric drama, "Private Worlds", co-starring with Claudette Colbert. The French actor signed a five-year contract with Wanger, and still in 1935, made the producer's, "Shanghai", co-starring with Loretta Young. He returned to France for one-motion picture, and then the actor started going back and forth between the two countries until war broke out with Germany. At which point, September 1939, Charles Boyer stopped making motion pictures, and enlisted in the French army. However, the French government felt he would better serve his country by making motion pictures in the United States, and in November 1939, was discharged. His first motion picture after returning to America, was 1940's, "All This, and Heaven Too", co-starring with Bette Davis.

Sigrid Gurie portrayed "Ines".  Samuel Goldwyn took credit for "discovering" the Noregian actress, and promoted her as "The Norwegian Garbo" and "the siren of the fjords". When it was discovered that she was born in Brooklyn, but had dual citizenship from her Norwegian parent's, he changed his promoting to "the greatest hoax in movie history".

Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Gaby". Her next motion picture is the next feature film I will be writing about, but it wasn't suppose to be, more later.



























Left to right, Sigrid Gurie, Charles Boyer, and Hedy Lamarr.

The Joseph Breen approved screenplay:

"Pepe le Moko" is an international jewel thief that the French government and police have wanted for years. After his biggest heist, "Pepe" left France and went into hiding in plain sight, within the Casbah, in Algiers. Being protected by the criminal element that he heads. Police have entered the area, some come out, others don't. In either case, they do not have "Pepe". 

The only way to arrest him, according to "Inspector Slimane", portrayed by Joseph Calleia, is to get "Pepe le Moko" to come out of the Casbah, and he has been in there for years. Then a French tourist named "Gaby" comes to see the Casbah and "Pepe" falls in love with her. "Gaby" represents the gay life of Paris, that the jewel thief had lost so long ago. "Ines, an Algerian woman is in love with "Pepe" and with "Gaby's" arrival, she becomes extremely jealous. 
































Above front left, Joseph Calleia, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Woodbury portraying "Aicha", and Charles Boyer. In the back left, Ben Hall portraying "Gil", and Charles D. Brown portraying "Max".

Below left to right, Joseph Galleia, Charles Boyer, and Sigrid Gurie
































"Inspector Slimane" puts his plan into effect and tells "Gaby's" very rich fiancé "Giraux" portrayed by Robert Greig, to take her back to France. "Gaby" has been told that "Pepe" has been killed and "Giraux" has two tickets on a steamship leaving Algiers that afternoon. Both head for the ship as "Pepe" learns she's leaving and now leaves the Casbah. As "Pepe" is purchasing a ticket on the same steamship, "Ines" informs "Inspector Slimane" that he is going to the docks and go back to France. With other police officers, "Slimane" heads for the dock area and the steamship. 

"Pepe" now on-board, enters the salon area, sees "Gaby", starts for her, but is stopped by "Inspector Slimane" and his men. The arrested jewel thief is taken off the ship, breaks free, and runs toward the ship where he again sees "Gaby", but is shot by one of the police officers.

As "Slimane" holds the dying "Pepe le Moko", the detective apologizes to his friend, telling him the man who shot him thought he was escaping. The story ends with "Pepe" telling his friend:
AND SO I HAVE, MY FRIEND!
About Hedy Lamarr and "Algiers", the following quote is attributed to director John Cromwell, by Lorraine LoBianco, who works for "Turner Classic Movies Interactive". The link is the same as above, but I could not locate the actual quote on the site given.
After you've been in the business for a time, you can tell easily enough right when you meet them. I could sense her inadequacy, Wanger could sense it, and I could see Boyer getting worried even before we started talking behind Hedy's back...Sometimes the word personality is interchangeable with presence although they aren't the same thing. But the principle applies, and Hedy also had no personality. How could they think she could become a second Garbo?...I'll take some credit for making her acting passable but can only share credit with Boyer fifty-fifty.

On either March 4th, or 5th, 1939, depending upon the source material. Hedy Lamarr married Eugene Willford "Gene" Markey, a non-fiction writer, "B" motion picture writer, the assistant producer on 1939's, "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and a producer. The two would divorce in 1941.


 



















LADY OF THE TROPICS released August 11, 1939




The screenplay was by Ben Hecht, not familiar with the name? How about this list of just some of his screenplays prior to "Lady of the Tropics":

In 1931, from his Broadway play, the screenplay for "The Front Page", 1932's, original,"Scarface", 1932's, "Rasputin and the Empress", without credit, 1933's, "Queen Christina", again without credit, 1934's, "Viva Villa", 1935's, "The Barbary Coast", the original 1937, "A Star is Born", 1939's, "Gunga Din", and the 1939, classic version of English authoress Emily Bronte's, "Wuthering Heights".

It is said that the screenplay was loosely based upon an 1893 opera by Giacomo Puccini, "Manson Lescaut". However, technically that opera was actually based upon a 1731 French novel. This is the cover of the 1753 edition of the novel.





The movie's director was Jack Conway. He had started with a 1912 silent western short, "Her Indian Hero", and in 1930, directed the only sound movie starring Lon Chaney, the remake of Chaney's 
"The Unholy Three". In 1932, Conway directed John Barrymore in the classic crime-mystery, "Arsène Lupin", in 1934, it was Wallace Beery in "Viva Villa", co-starring Fay Wray, and in 1935, Jack Conway directed Ronald Colman in the classic version of British author, Charles Dickens's, "A Tale of Two Cities". While, 1937, saw Conway directing Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, in "Saratoga".


Robert Taylor portrayed "Bill Carey". His first motion picture was with seventh-billing, although his name appeared with second billing on the posters for the Will Rodgers's, 1934, "Handy Andy". Taylor's first leading role, was with second-billing, ten-films-later, in 1935's, "The Magnificent Obsession", starring Irene Dunne. Immediately before this feature film, also with second-billing behind Myrna Loy, was 1939's, "Lucky Night". This motion picture would be followed with Robert Taylor in a clear first-billing for, 1939's, "Remember", his co-star was Greer Garson.

Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Manon DeVargnes". 






























Joseph Schildkraut portrayed "Pierre Delaroch". Like Hedy Lamarr, he was born in Vienna in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire of Jewish parents. The actor won the "Best Supporting Actor Academy Award" for his portrayal of real-life, French army officer, "Captain Alfred Dreyfus", in 1937's, "The Life of Emile Zola". He had just co-starred with Peter Lorre, in 1939's, "Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation". Schildkraut followed this feature in the cast of the Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, and George Brent, 1939, "The Rains Came".
































Above left to right, Joseph Schildkraut, Hedy Lamarr, and Robert Taylor


The following is an overview of what was once more a Joseph Breen "approved screenplay". However, this ending does appear to contradict him over the originally planned ending to "Algiers".

"Bill Casey" is a down to his last dime playboy, who agreed to a free trip, with his latest girlfriend, "Dolly Harrison's", portrayed by Mary Taylor, no relation to Robert, parent's yacht to Saigon, Vietnam. When the yacht docks in Saigon, "Bill" meets "Manon DeVargnes", a beautiful woman whose father was French and her mother was Vietnamese. She dreams of going to Paris, but cannot leave the country without a passport.





"Bill" immediately forgets "Dolly" and her parents and becomes enthralled with the beauty of "Manon". Which brings the story to another mixed race character, businessman, "Pierre Delaroach", who wants to posses, not marry, "Manon". 





























Vietnam is a Buddhist country, and "Manon", like many other women, dances in the Buddhist temples. The audience never sees Hedy Lamarr dance, but stock footage of Vietnamese women dancers is used.


































There is no mention of prostitution, thank you Joseph Breen, but there is no mention of how "Manon" is supporting herself. As she is never seen working, nor is her work mentioned. Although, it appears a lot of people whisper behind her back, after she passes them.

"Bill" asks "Manon" to marry him, and she accepts.



The problem for the newlyweds is getting "Manon" a passport, something is blocking her application. In actuality it isn't something, but someone. Who is of course, "Pierre Delaroch", which neither suspect. "Bill" needs work and an income, "Manon" pleads with "Delaroch", and he agrees to hire "Bill" without his knowledge. His new job requires "Bill" to be out of the city for long periods of time at a plantation "Pierre" owns. For giving "Bill" a job, "Manon" has agreed to become "Pierre's" mistress when her husband is away.

The climax comes after "Pierre" lets "Manon" get her passport as a "Thank you" for her services. However, "Bill" was set up to discover his wife's adultery, angry, he denounces her, and threatens to murder "Delaroch". In "Bill's" anger, he tells "Manon" to stay away from him, she begs his forgiveness, but "Bill" will not have anything to do with her.

"Manon" finds "Pierre" at a fancy garden party, lures him to the garden, and kills him with a gun. Next, "Manon" goes to the apartment she shares with "Bill", takes her gun, and shoots herself in the stomach. "Bill" arrives, finds her, says he forgives his wife, and tells "Manon" that there's a doctor on the ship. "Manon DeVargnes" knows "Bill Casey" does love her, but she dies in his arms as her passport slips from her hand and the end credits role.

"Manon DeVargnes" suicide does seem to contradict Joseph Breem's position on a character committing suicide. That resulted in the rewriting of the ending of 1938's, "Algiers". Breem makes "His Distinction" between "Pepe le Moko" and "Manon DeVargnes". "Manon" was an adulteress and that fact makes her suicide, a morality lesson for American women, who are thinking about cheating on their loving husbands, who provide for them and their children.

Warning may not for everyone:
In 2017, I looked at the history of motion picture censorship. My article is "CENSORSHIP Protecting (?) America's Morality in Motion Pictures: 1923 to 1971" found at:



The following motion picture was supposed to have been filmed and in theaters before "Lady of the Tropics" was even considered as a possible motion for Hedy Lamarr, but the curse of the directors came into existence.

I TAKE THIS WOMAN released on February 2, 1940



Charles MacArthur had written a short story "A New York Cinderella". He was the co-writer of the Broadway play, "The Front Page", with Ben Hecht, who was the uncredited screenplay writer for this motion picture. The actual credited screenplay writer was James Kevin McGuinness

Read the credits and the director is listed as W.S. Van Dyke II, but back on October 18, 1938, the director was Josef von Sternberg, who was fired in mid-November over "artistic differences" with the studio. Frank Borzage took over on November 7, 1938, and lasted until late January 1939, and was let go. The production was shelved, filming was restarted on December 4, 1939. When W.S. Van Dyke II took over and during the month reshot almost the entire screenplay with many different actors, because some of the original actors had other commitments.

"I Take This Woman", earned the nickname, "I Re-Take This Woman".


Spencer Tracy portrayed "Karl Decker". Tracy had just been in the biographical story, 1939's, "Stanley and Livingstone", which was filmed between February 1, 1939 and April 16, 1939.

Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Georgi Gragore". and between April 24, 1939 and June 1939, "Lady of the Tropics" was shot
































The Basic Screenplay:

Famous psychiatrist "Dr. Karl Decker" is on a passenger ship going to New York, and sees "Georgi Gragore" standing on the top deck about to commit suicide. He is able to stop her, learns she was in a romance gone wrong with "Phil Mayberry", portrayed by Kent Taylor. They fall in love, he leaves the clinic for the poor he has been very happy working at and gets a job at a major hospital with a much higher salary. The two marry, but he is concerned she is still in love with "Mayberry" and the work he is now doing is unsatisfying. Especially, after he finds out that "Phil" attempting to get his romance with "Georgi" going once more. However, "Georgi" goes to his apartment and tells him to stop disturbing her.



























"Karl" hears about the apartment visit, believes "Georgi" is still in love with "Phil", and breaks off their marriage without listening to his wife. Next he gets a call from the hospital that there is a young girl who attempted suicide and he is needed. The girl sadly dies and "Dr. Karl Decker" decides to leave the United States for a position in China, but he goes to his old hospital to say good-bye for good. There the children he cared for and their parents convince "Karl" to stay. "Georgi" is there and he asks him, if she can stay too? They kiss and the end credits role.

The motion picture lost $325,000, 1940 dollars equal, as of this writing, to $7,278,792, 2024 dollars.


From a box office failure, the two stars found themselves with a box office success.


BOOM TOWN had its Los Angeles premiere on August 8, 1940

 




In August 1939, "Cosmopolitan Magazine" published a short story by writer James Edward Grant, entitled, "A Lady Comes to Burnburnett". Grant would become the primary writer on the following screenplays for John Wayne, 1947's, "The Angel and the Badman", 1949's, "The Sands of Iwo Jima", 1951's, "The Flying Leathernecks", 1952's, "Big Jim McLain", 1953's, "Hondo", the original screenplay version for director John Huston's, 1958, "The Barbarian and the Geisha", 1960's, "The Alamo", 1961's, "The Comancheros", 1963's, "Donavan's Reef", and 1964's, "Circus World".

This screenplay was written by John Lee Mahin. Among his work prior to this motion picture was the Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Mary Astor, 1932, "Red Dust", the Jean Harlow, "Bombshell", the Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper, 1934, "Treasure Island", Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, 1935, operetta, "Naughty Marietta", and the Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore, 1937, "Captains Courageous".

The motion picture was directed by Jack Conway. Between 1939's, "Lady of the Tropics", and this feature film. Conway shot some additional scenes for director King Vidor's, "Northwest Passage", starring Spencer Tracy.


Clark Gable portrayed "Big John McMasters". Gable had just co-starred with John Crawford, in 1940's, "Strange Cargo", that had followed 1939's, "Gone with the Wind". He followed this motion picture with the next feature film I will be discussing. My article is "Red Dust, Mogambo, and Gable" found at:


Spencer Tracy portrayed "Square John Sand". Tracy has just starred in 1940's, "Edison the Man". He would follow this motion picture with 1941's, "Men of Boys Town".



































Claudette Colbert portrayed "Betsy Bartlett". Colbert had just co-starred with Henry Fonda, in director John Ford's, 1939, "Drums Along the Mohawk". She followed this motion picture co-starring with Ray Milland, in 1940's, "Arise, My Love".
























Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Karen Vanmeer". 


























Frank Morgan portrayed "Luther Aldrich". Seven motion pictures earlier, Frank Morgan had the triple duty as "Professor Marvel", "The Gatekeeper" and the title role of 1939's, "The Wizard of Oz". Just prior to this motion picture, the character actor co-starred in the anti-Nazi feature film, 1940's, "The Mortal Storm". His co-stars in order were Margret Sullivan, James Stewart, and 1950's televisions, "Father Knows Best", Robert Young as a Nazi. Morgan followed this feature starring in the musical-comedy-romance, 1940's, "Hullabaloo".




























"Boom Town" went into production in March 1940, and the next motion picture I want to mention went into production in August 1940. Between those two-feature films, after the days filming was completed, the actors and crew went out to relax, perhaps at a local bar, or one of the Hollywood hang-outs like "The Brown Derby", "Chasen's, "Perino's", or "Tom Bergin's Tavern", but Hedy Lamarr relaxed in an entirely different way.

The following is from an article on the website: History.com https://www.history.com/news/hedy-lamarr-inventor-frequency-hopping-wifi
In the 1940s, few Hollywood actresses were more famous and more famously beautiful than Hedy Lamarr. Yet despite starring in dozens of films and gracing the cover of every Hollywood celebrity magazine, few people knew Hedy was also a gifted inventor. 

Richard Lee Rhodes is a "Pulitzer Prize"winning historian for his 1986 book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb", he is pictured below in 2015.





















Rhodes is also the author of "Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Women in the World", and is quoted in the above linked article as saying:
Hedy had a drafting table and a whole wall full of engineering books. It was a serious hobby ---
One of her inventions was explained to Howard Hughes. The actress had come up with a tablet that could be dropped into a glass of water and turn plain drinking water into a carbonated soft drink. Her thinking was that soldiers out in the field didn't have to drink plain water and could enjoy a soft drink. Hughes took her research and idea to some people he knew. What happened with Hedy Lamarr's invention I could not locate, but in 1957, Kirk LeMoyne "Lem" Billings, a personal friend of the Kennedy family, created a tablet he called "Fizzies", a very similar idea to Lamarr's.

































By the start of 1940, newspapers, radio, and movie newsreels were full of stories about German U-Boats sinking merchant ships in the North Atlantic Ocean and rumors were circulating that passenger ships had also been sunk. 

Because her first husbandFriedrich Alexander Maria Mandl, thought of Hedy Kiesler as "a Doll". He let her sit in during planning sessions for new weapons and observe his entire operation. What he never realized was that his wife was absorbing the technical aspects of his munitions work. 

Hedy Lamarr started working with George Johann Carl Antheil, born July 8, 1900,  in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a noted pianist, avant-garde composer, novelist, and inventor.

















For the French Dadaist silent motion picture, "Ballet Mécanique", that originally opened first in Austria, on September 24, 1924.  George Antheil had composed an intricate musical score involving multiple pianos timed into perfect synchronization with each other to accompany the dada style images of the filmmaker. That work was the reason Hedy brought George in on her project.



























Returning to the above link article from"History.com":

“She knew about torpedoes,” says Rhodes. “She knew there was a problem aiming torpedoes. If the British could take out German submarines with torpedoes launched from surface ships or airplanes, they might be able to prevent all of this slaughter that was going on.”

The answer was clearly some type of radio-controlled torpedo, but how would they stop the Germans from simply jamming the radio signal? Hedy and Antheil’s creative solution was inspired, Rhodes believes, by their mutual love of the piano.

Both Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil realized that radio frequencies could be substituted for his synchronized piano playing. The concept as stated, seemed simple, you have two clocks, one onboard either the ship, or plane, that launched the torpedo, one inside the torpedo. When the German's attempt to find and jam the signal from the torpedo. They would be confused by identical signals in two locations that are constantly changing.

In December 1940, Lamarr and Antheil presented their initial submission to the "National Inventors Council (NIC)". That had been established that year by the "United States Department of Commerce". In early 1941, the "NIC", introduced George Antheil to "Professor of Electrical Engineering", Samuel Stuart Mackeown, at Caltech, as a consultant on the electrical systems. While, Hedy Lamarr, besides working on her motion pictures, contacted the law firm of "Lyon and Lyon", patent lawyers, to draw up and submit their work for a patent. The date of application was June 10, 1941, 14-months-later, "U.S. patent 2,292,387 was issued on August 11, 1942.



With America's entry into the Second World War, only nine-months earlier, both Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil were shocked when the United States Navy rejected their inventions as being to large to fit in a torpedo. The know-it-all's at the Navy hadn't considered the possibility of making it smaller. However, they also suggested that if Hedy Lamarr wanted to serve her country, she should sell "War Bonds".

I want to tell my reader that you are probably using Hedy Lamarr and George Anthil's invention as you read this article, or have it in your pocket, or purse most of your day. What they invented became known as "FREQUENCY HOPPING".

Returning to the "History.com" article:

In fact, one of the technologies she co-invented laid a key foundation for future communication systems, including GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi.

 

I now return to the film work of Hedy Lamarr and the curse of Greta Garbo

COMRADE X the Los Angeles premiere was on December 4, 1940




Louis B. Mayer was still trying to turn Hedy Lamarr into the new Greta Garbo.

Garbo had just been seen in director Ernst Lubitsch's, 1939, anti-Soviet Union satirical comedy, "Ninotchka". A comedy with the tag line "Garbo Laughs", because she always played her roles with a straight almost emotionless face. "Ninotchka" is a comedy-romance about a stern Soviet woman in the Russian military. She is sent to Paris to find out why the sale of the jewels confiscated from Russian emigres by the Soviet government hasn't taken place. The three Soviet agents previously sent to do the sale, have fallen under the spell of both Paris, and capitalism. 

Next, "Nina Ivanovna 'Ninotchka' Yakushova" finds herself falling in love with Russian emigre "Count Leon d'Algout", portrayed by Melvyn Douglas, Paris, France, and the capitalistic life style. 

Which brings me to "Comrade X", an anti-Soviet Union satirical comedy, also from "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", making fun at the Soviet Union's expense. 

The original story was by Vienna, Austria, born Walter Reisch, a writer, director, and film actor. Who happened to be one of the three screenplays writers for 1939's, "Ninotchka".

Note: That the above poster's tag line is:

The Funniest Love Comedy Since "Ninotchka"!

The screenplay was primarily written by two screenplay writers. One was the previously mentioned Ben Hecht. His co-writer was Charles Lederer, the 1947 film-noir that introduced Richard Widmark, "Kiss of Death", and the Howard Hawks, 1951, "The Thing from Another World". 

There were also two uncredited writers. Herman J. Mankiewicz, would co-write with Orson Welles, 1941's, "Citizen Kane". Mankiewicz wrote the original story for the James Stewart and Claudette Colbert comedy-crime-mystery, 1939's, "It's a Wonderful World". The second uncredited writer was Berlin, Germany, born Gottfried Reinhardt. He would only write eight-screenplays, and was primarily a producer and director in his native Germany after the Second World War.

King Vidor was the director, and in 1946, he directed Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, and Joseph Cotton, in the epic western, "Duel in the Sun", that earned the nickname "Lust in the Dust". While, in 1956, King Vidor directed Russian author Leo Tolstoy's, "War and Peace", starring Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer, and a totally miscast 50-year-old Henry Fonda, portraying 20-year-old, "Pierre Bezukhov". Vidor's feature was nominated for both the "Academy Award for Best Picture", and the "Academy Award for Best Foreign Film", because the motion picture was a co-production of the United States and Italy

Clark Gable portrayed "McKinley B. 'Mac' Thompson". He followed this motion picture with the comedy-crime-adventure, 1941's, "They Met in Bombay", co-starring with Rosalind Russell.

Hedy Lamarr portrayed a Soviet woman known by three names, "Golubka / Theodore Yahupitz / Lizvanetchka (Lizzie)".







 






Oscar Homolka portrayed "Commissar Vasiliev". The Austrian born character actor had just appeared in the Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne, 1940, "Seven Sinners", and followed this feature film with 1940's, "The Invisible Woman", starring Virginia Bruce and John Barrymore. 


Felix Bressart portrayed "Igor Yahupitz / Vanya". The German born character actor had also appeared in 1939's, "Ninotchka", and just before this role was in British playwright, Noel Coward's, 1940, "Bitter Sweet". He followed this motion picture with 1941's, "Ziegfeld Girl".













Eve Arden portrayed "Jane Wilson". The future televisions "Our Miss Brooks", 1952-1956, and "Principle McGee", in the 1978 musical "Grease" and its sequel. Had just been seen in the crime-comedy, 1939's, "Slightly Honorable", starring Pat O'Brien.

















Sig Ruman portrayed "Emil Von Hofer".   The German born character actor had also appeared in 1939's, "Ninotchka", and just before this role was in British playwright, Noel Coward's, 1940, "Bitter Sweet", and followed it with 1940's, "Victory", based upon Ukrainian author, Joseph Conrad's novel.
















Above left to right, Sig Ruman, Leon Belasco as "The Hotel Manager", Eve Arden, and Clark Gable.

The Basic Screenplay:

In 1940, a foreign reporter calling himself "Comrade X", is sending out truthful stories about the Soviet Union, but all that is known is he's a foreigner. "Commissar Vasiliev", of the secret police, takes over the investigation to find "Comrade X". His predecessor, "Comrade Molkov", had a convenient "traffic accident" when stepping off the sidewalk. "Commissar Vasiliev" has restricted all foreign reporters from leaving the Soviet Union without a permit. Pretending to be an irresponsible alcoholic is American reporter "McKinley B. 'Mac' Thompson", who is "Comrade X".

At the hotel, "Mac" had paid for a hotel room in advance, he finds that German reporter "Von Hofer" has the room now. He used his position as representing Hitler's government to get the American out. "Mac" asks "Von Hofer":

Is this a nice way for a Nazi to act?

"Mac", literally, kicks the German reporter out of the hotel room, which he had "fixed-up" for his "Comrade X" identity. Next, reporter "Jane Wilson" enters and tells "Mac" that the funeral for "Molkov" is to take place later that day and it is known that "Vasiliev" shot him in the back. "Mac" pretends not to care about that news and "Jane" wonders what happened to the best reporter in the business?

Next, "Von Hofer", arrives with the hotel manager complaining that it is "Mac" who has "Taken over his room". Just then the phone rings, "Mac" answers it and pretends that it is his news bureau informing him that Germany has invaded Russia. Hearing this, the hotel managers kicks "Von Hofer" out of his hotel.

Note: Nazi Germany did actually invade Russia six-months after this movie was released.

At "Molkov's" funeral, "Mac" spots one of the pallbearers tapping the coffin as a signal and with his camera, disguised as a radio. "Mac" takes a photo of the assassin rising out of the coffin and taking a shot at "Commissar Vasiliev".

Returning to his hotel room, his valet, "Vanya", has discovered "Mac" is "Comrade X". "Vanya" proceeds to blackmail him to help get his daughter "Golubka" out of the country. She is a streetcar conductor, but only men can have that job. So, she goes by the name of "Theodore". 

"Mac" and "Jane" meet "Golubka" and find her to be an "Idealistic Communist". Which they proclaim is the worst thing you can be in the Soviet Union. Apparently, "Idealistic Communists" are full of ideals dangerous to the authorities. So, "The IdealisticCommunists" are executed to allow Communism to succeed.

Riding "Theodore's" streetcar, "Mac" pretends to her, that he admires the Soviet Union and wants to spread Soviet ideals in the United States.




























Initially suspicious of "Mac's" motive, "Golubka" goes to her mentor, "Michael Bastakoff", portrayed by Russian born, Vladimir Sokoloff. Who approves of "Mac", but just to get her and her idea's away from him. "Golubka - Theodore", now agrees to a sham marriage with "Mac", so they can spread Communism to the rest of the world. She now renames herself and becomes "Lizvanetchka (Lizzie)", a revolutionary martyr. 

On their wedding night,"Lizzie" shows "Mac" a picture of her mentor. However, he recognizes him as the assassin. "Jane" arrives and asks "Mac" to file a story for her, exposing him to "Lizzie" as being anti-Soviet Union. After "Jane" leaves, the secret police arrive, and take"Mac", "Lizzie", and her father "Vanya" in for questioning. 

Awaiting "Commissar Vasiliev", "Mac" spots his radio/camera, that was found in "Vanya's" room and  pretends not to recognize it. To save "Mac" and "Lizzie", "Vanya" admits to being "Comrade X", and shows the secret police "HIS" handkerchief with cut outs to decipher secret messages. Now, all three are "Officially" arrested and with a group of "Bastakoff's followers are put in prison together. "Lizzie" proclaims that they would all die rather than betray "Bastakoff". Through a guard, "Mac" relays a message that he will tell "Vasiliev" who attempted to assassinate him and provide a photograph of the assassin.

When "Mac" is escorted to "Commissar Vasiliev", he finds that "Bastakoff" is now the new chief of the secret police, apparently his predecessor suddenly died from pneumonia.











Above left is Vladimir Sokoloff with Clark Gable.

The photograph is an embarrassment to "Basktakoff". As were the one-hundred supporters that were executed under his orders to make him acceptable to the new government. "Mac" gives "Bastakoff" the photo, but will exchange the negative only for the lives of "Lizzie", "Vanya", and himself. It is agreed and "Mac" is to retrieve that negative and give it to "Bastakoff".

The three know the "Bastakoff" will not keep his word once he has the negative. With the now disillusioned "Lizzie" over communism, the three hide from the secret police on a train carrying tanks. Both "Mac" and her father now learn that "Lizzie" has been trained to drive a tank. The three get into one and she drives them to freedom in Romania, finding transportation to the United States there.

Hedy Lamarr's next motion picture co-starred James Stewart, and was 1941's, "Come Live with Me". It also seemed a little bit of type casting. She played "Johnny Jones", born in Vienna, Austria, who escaped and made it to the United States, as the Nazi's moved into her country of birth. Now, an agent of the "Department of Immigration" tracks "Johnny" down. The agent informs "Johnny" that her visa expired three-months ago. Unless she marries an American, they will have no choice but to deport her. 

During a rainstorm, "Johnny Jones", meets a down on his luck writer, "Bill Smith", portrayed by James Stewart. The two make an arrangement for her to pay him $17.80 a week, equal to $379.67 as of this writing, and he will marry her in name only. 








 









"Bill" starts to write a book about his odd arrangement with "Johnny" as he falls in love with her. What he hasn't figured out is there is another man, "Barton Kendrick", portrayed by Ian Hunter. Who is planning to divorce his wife and tells "Johnny" he's wants to marry her in two-months after the divorce from his wife. She asks "Bill" for a divorce, which he reluctantly agrees too. 

"Bill" sends his partly completed manuscript to "The Kendrick Publishing Company" to see if they might be interested, There, it is read by "Barton Kendrick's" wife, "Diana Kendrick", portrayed by Verree Teasdale. She likes it and gives it to her husband to consider for publishing. "Barton" starts to read the manuscript and realizes that "Bill Smith" is "Johnny Jones's" husband. Things proceed from there as "Johnny" finds herself trying to decide who she wants to really marry and really loves.





























Back in 1936, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" went all out with a lavish black and white musical, "The Great Ziegfeld", starring William Powell portraying "Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.". 




Now, five-years later and in color came the:
Greatest Musical Extravaganza of All Time

ZIEGFELD GIRL premiered in Chicago, Illinois, on April 12, 1941





The original story was written by William Anthony McGuire, who wrote the screenplay for 1936's, "The Great Ziegfeld". He had just written the screenplay for the 1940 biography, "Lillian Russell",  but McGuire would passed away on September 16, 1940, two-months before his story went into production.

The actual screenplay was written by two writers, Marguerite Roberts, 1941's, "Honk Tonk", 1944's, "Dragon Seed", and 1969's, "True Grit".

The second writer was Sonya Levien, the 1938 version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's, "Kidnapped", the 1939 version of Victor Hugo's, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", and director John Ford's,"Drums Along the Mohawk".

There were two types of directors on the production. The musical numbers were directed by the great, Busby Burkeley. My article is "Busby Berkeley: Imagination in Dance on the Silver Screen" found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2022/04/busby-berkeley-imagination-in-dance-on.html

The acting was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1936's, "The Great Ziegfeld", the 1940 version of Jane Austin's, "Pride and Prejudice", and 1949's, "In the Good Old Summertime".

James Stewart portrayed "Gilbert Young". He had just co-starred with Paulette Goddard, in the musical-comedy, 1941's, "Pot of Gold".













Judy Garland portrayed "Susan Gallagher", and sang seven-songs in the motion picture including in the main production number, "You Stepped Out of a Dream". Garland was being seen with Mickey Rooney surrounding this motion picture with 1940's, "Strike Up the Band", and 1941's, "Babes on Broadway", not to forget two "Andy Hardy" entries, 1940's, "Andy Hardy Meets Debutante", and 1941's, "Life Begins for Andy Hardy". My article is "Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney: Their Movies Together" at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2022/05/judy-garland-mickey-rooney-their-movies.html
















Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Sandra Kolter". She sang two songs, "Caribbean Love Song", and in the main production number, "You Stepped Out of a Dream".
























Lana Turner portrayed "Sheila Regan" and was in the main production number, "You Stepped Out of a Dream". She had just starred in the 1940 drama, "We Who Are Young", and followed this feature film by co-starring with Spencer Tracy, and Ingrid Bergman in a 1941, very psychological version, of Robert Lewis Stevenson's, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
















The Basic Screenplay:

The story follows three young women who become "Ziegfeld Girl's".

"Sandra Kolter", accompanies her husband violinist "Franz", portrayed by Philip Dorn. He tries out for the orchestra, but is rejected because he is too accomplished with his instrument. However, European looking, "Sandra", is hired as a new "Ziegfeld Girl".



































"Franz" objects to his wife becoming a "Ziegfeld Girl", even though she points out that means an income for the couple. They start to separate and "Sandra" starts to get close to her singing partner, "Frank Merton", portrayed by popular 1940's - 1950's singer, Tony Martin. 
















Discovering that "Frank" is already married to a very loving wife, "Sandra" realizes her mistakes and reconciles with "Franz" and walks away from the "Ziegfeld Follies".

"Susan Gallagher" is seventeen-years-old and comes from a vaudeville family. She is hired not for her beauty, a hallmark of the "Ziegfeld Follies", but her singing talent as shown on the vaudeville stage and gets a featured production. 


































However, "Susan" is worrying about her aging father, "Pop' Gallagher", portrayed by Charles Winninger, of director James Whale's, 1936, version of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Showboat", being left alone on the vaudeville stage. "Ziegfeld" hires her father, and to her surprise and that of the never seen Ziegfeld, "Pop" becomes a surprise hit.














"Sheila Regan" started as an elevator operator in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, and has become a "Ziegfeld Girl", but what about her truck driver boyfriend? "Sheila" is now wealthy living in her own Park Avenue apartment in a different world.































Above left to right, Hedy Lamarr, Judy Garland, and Lana Turner in the "Minnie from Trinidad" production number.

After "Sheila" turns down "Bill's" marriage proposal, he joins a bootlegging gang, ends up in prison. She becomes an alcoholic and is fired from the "Ziegfeld Follies" after falling from the stage during a show. Now broke, "Sheila" moves into her family's house back in Flatbush. "Gil" is released from prison, visits her, pledges his love, but also knows she is dying. 

Knowing how badly her health is, "Sheila" can't resist the lure of the stage and goes to watch "Susan", now the main star, perform. Not able to stand anymore, "Sheila" collapses, "Sandra" and "Franz", who are there, rush to her side as "Susan" sings on stage and the end credits start to roll.


















Next, Hedy Lamarr finally received first billing, portraying "Marvin Myles", in "H.M. Pulham, Esq.", that premiered in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 3, 1941. Her co-stars were Robert Young, portraying the title character and Ruth Hussey as his wife, "Kay". 



The motion picture had been directed by King Vidor, who wrote in the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle", for the December 21, 1941 edition, about his movie:

Here was American life today told in terms of American humor, romance and a generous sprinkling of our home-grown satire. In addition, the story covered a span of more than 30 years, and I saw a chance to present a sort of American cavalcade of the significant events of this century while telling the human story of an American gentleman.

The book is written in the first person. It was all told from Harry Pulham's viewpoint. This is responsible for much of the deep human psychology of the novel. Here was a challenge. Could a motion picture be told completely in the first person? It would mean that nothing could happen in the entire picture unless it was seen or witnessed or experienced by Pulham. We decided to try it. The result is that in the picture nothing happens that is not experienced by Pulham.

So Robert Young is in every scene of the picture or is in the room when every scene happens. In the case of telephone conversations, no one is shown at the other end of the line. We only hear what Pulham hears. We do not see the other person at any time, for this would be letting the audience see something that Harry Pulham didn't see.

The movie is told in a flashback when "Harry Pulman" is organizing a 25-years-old college reunion and that triggers it. 
















The audience learns of "Harry's" childhood and meets Harvard classmates, "Harry" and "Bill King", portrayed by Van Heflin. "Bill" works in an advertising agency with a vivacious, and for a woman just after the First World War ended, independent, co-worker with the odd name of "Marvin Myles". She is introduced to "Harry" and they start a relationship.






































The relationship ends when "Harry" wants to marry and have a traditional wife and family and "Marvin" does not. They're still in love with each other, but go their separate ways,

"Harry's" parents, "John Pulman", portrayed by Charles Colburn, and his mother, portrayed by Fay Holden, have been both been against "Marvin Myles" for her lifestyle, and wanted their son to marry a "proper woman of his own station". To their delight, their son marries "Cordelia 'Kay' Molton", portrayed by Ruth Hussey, and the memory of happier times with "Marvin" fades away over time, or has it?





























Returning the story to the present, the audience finds "Harry Pulman" completely dissatisfied with the life he has been living with "Kay". At the breakfast table having thought of his past life before "Marvin" and he went their separate ways. "Harry" asks "Kay" to escape their dull life and go away somewhere to rekindle their love, but "Kay" dismisses "Harry" as talking silly.

After not seeing each other for the last twenty years, "Harry" calls "Marvin" and is invited to her apartment for lunch,

















Her phone rings, she answers it and, "Harry Pulham, Esq." realizes "Marvin Myles" doesn't exist anymore. She is the married, "Marvin Myles Ransome". Outside on the street, "Harry" sees "Kay" in a car trying to get his attention. "Kay" tells "Harry", she thought about what he had said at breakfast,  cancelled all her appointments, packed their bags, and is ready to go with him. "Harry" seems to be happy again.


In 1935, John Steinbeck published a novel, on November 23, 1941, the motion picture version started actual production.

TORTILLA FLAT the movie premiered in New York City on May 12, 1942



John Steinbeck, besides writing novels short stories, and plays, was also a screenplay writer, but he only wrote the screenplays for two of his own work. However, his original screenplays include director Alfred Hitchcock's, 1944, "Lifeboat", and director Elia Kazan's, 1952's, "Viva Zapata". My article for interested readers is "John Steinbeck Motion Picture Screenplay Writer" at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2024/02/john-steinbeck-motion-picture.html

The actual screenplay for "Tortilla Flat", was written by two writers. John Lee Mahin, from 1940's, "Boomtown", and Benjamin Glazer, the classic 1927, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, "7th Heaven", Greta Gabo's, 1931, "Mata Hari", and the Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes, 1932 version of Ernest Hemingway's, "A Farewell to Arms", 

The motion picture was directed by Victor Fleming, the credited director for both 1939's, "Gone with the Wind", and "The Wizard of Oz". Although there were several uncredited directors on both feature films. Immediately before this motion picture, Fleming directed the 1941, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". He followed this feature with 1943's, "A Guy Named Joe", starring Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne.

Spencer Tracy portrayed "Pilon". Tracy had just co-starred with Katharine Hepburn in 1942's, "Woman of the Year". The same two actors co-starred in the movie that followed this one, 1942's, "Keeper of the Flame".
















Hedy Lamar portrayed "Dolores Sweets Ramirez". 


















John Garfield portrayed "Daniel 'Danny' Alvarez". He had just co-starred with Nancy Coleman and Raymond Massey in the spy-crime-drama, 1941's, "Dangerously They Live", and followed this motion picture with director Howard Hawks's, classic, 1943, "Air Force".

















Frank Morgan portrays "The Pirate". Morgan had just co-starred with Kathryn Grayson and Spring Byington, in the comedy-biography, 1942', "The Vanishing Virginian", and followed this motion picture with the next feature I will be mentioning.













The Basic Screenplay with a Revised Happy Ending:

The hard hitting of John Steinbeck's words has been removed here. Although several of those important incidents remain, but sterilized for Second World War America. 

The setting is the Mexican-American community of "Tortilla Flat", located along the California coast near Monterrey. "Danny" and the other men lay about, not working, and then two things happen. "Danny's" grandfather dies and he inherits two run down houses in the community. 

"Danny" lets "Pilon", taking advantage of his kindness, and his lazy friends, move into one of the houses. 





























In the community is a hermit that everyone calls "The Pirate", and he is saving all the money he gets. "Pilon" plans on stealing that savings, until he learns why "The Pirate" is saving the money. He wants to buy a pair of golden candlesticks to burn candles in honor of Saint Francis for saving the life of one of his many dogs. In a typical Steinbeck twist, the dog later will be run over and killed.

The second thing happens, at the local cannery, there is a young woman, a newcomer to "Tortilla Flat", "Dolores Sweets Ramirez". "Danny" becomes very interested in her, but she wants a man who can provide for her. To the shock of "Pilon", "Danny" actually gets a job in the fishing business and talks about buying his own boat.

















What follows is a series of incidents revolving around "Danny" and his quest for "Dolores". In one incident, "Dolores" takes care of a baby, whose mother has just died. In another, "Pilon" causes a misunderstanding between "Danny" and "Dolores" over a vacuum cleaner. 

















In a related incident, leading to a major change in the novel's ending, "Danny" gets very drunk over what "Pilon" did with the vacuum cleaner, and interrupts "Dolores" and others at the cannery. 

















Which leads to him having a bad accident there and almost dying from it. In the end, "Pilon" straightens everything out with the cannery owners, and "Dolores". He has also raised the money for "Danny's" boat, and "Danny" and "Dolores" are married at the screenplays happy ending.
















Below, is the release of the John Steinbeck novel containing photos from the motion picture. The novel has not been modified to agree with the screenplay and that means "Danny dies" and there is no "Happy ending" to his story.




















Hedy Lamarr now found herself in a film-noir:

CROSSROADS premiering in New York City on July 24, 1942



This screenplay has an interesting metamorphosis, which started with the release, on September 9, 1938, in France, of the motion picture, "Carrefour (Crossroads)".

That French motion picture was based upon the novel of that name, by John H. Kafka, writing as Hans Kafka. I could not find biographical information that would confirm that John Hans Kafka, was actually related to novelist Franz Kafka, who did have three-siblings. However, both novelists were born in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, only 19-years-apart.

The plot of the French screenplay:

A wealthy French industrialist, "Roger de Vetheuil", who suffers from amnesia, is accused of being a petty criminal who deserted the French Army during the First World War and will be blackmailed over it by an unknown person.













Two-years-later, a remake of the 1938 French screenplay was made in the United Kingdom. The title of this motion picture was "Dead Man's Shoes", released in England, on May 5, 1940.














The Plot of the United Kingdom version:

An amnesia victim has become a well respected member of his community. A man claiming to be from his past, now shows-up, stating that "Roger de Vetheuil" is really an international criminal. The stranger now threatens to reveal all, unless "Vetheuil" pays-up.

Which brings me to the "Staff Review" of the American, 1942, "Crossroads", in the Hollywood Trade paper, "Variety", https://variety.com/1941/film/reviews/crossroads-1200413899/

This is a Grade A whodunit, with a superlative cast. The novel story line, which would do credit to an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, has the added potency of Hedy Lamarr and William Powell. 
A prominent member of France’s Foreign Office, William Powell, is accused of having been a thief prior to a train accident in which he suffered a fractured skull and amnesia. Not remembering anything about his past, and since having married the beauteous Hedy Lamarr, Powell has a blackmailer arrested.

Jack Conway was back as the picture's director. 

William Powell portrayed "David Talbot". Powell had just co-starred with Myrna Loy in 1941's, "Shadow of the Thin Man". Three pictures later and the actor was seen in 1944's, "The Thin Man Comes Homes".

Hedy Lamarr portrayed his wife, "Lucienne Talbot".
















Claire Trevor portrayed "Michelle Allaine". Look at some of her films prior to this one and you'll see classics, 1937's, "Dead End", 1938's, "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse", 1939's, "Stagecoach", 1940's, "Dark Command", and 1941's, "Honky Tonk".

Basil Rathbone portrayed "Henri Sarrou". Of these four-actors, Rathbone's work load is amazing up to this point in his career. Just in 1935 alone,  were both Charles Dickens - "David Copperfield", and "A Tale of Two Cities", Leo Tolstoy's - "Anna Karenina", producer Merian C. Cooper's version of- "The Last Days of Pompeii", and Rafael Sabatini's - "Captain Blood".

















The Plot of the United States version:

"David Talbot" is being accused of being a 1922 career thief named "Jean Pelletier". The mysterious blackmailer is "Carlos Le Duc", portrayed by Vladimir Sokoloff, and he claims "Talbot" was his partner. "Le Duc", is arrested by gendarmes, leading to a trial. The prosecution denies that "David Talbot" is "Jean Pelletier" and claims that "Carlos Le Duc" is an extortionist. "Talbot" testifies that he was in a train accident in 1922 and has suffered from amnesia from that wreck forward. A psychiatrist, "Dr. Tessier", portrayed by Felix Bressart, who has treated him since the train wreck confirms the story. Who's telling the truth? Who's lying, or is there a completely different possibility here?

I leave those questions to my reader and to reveal the ending, my reader only needs to watch the motion picture. To further tantalize my reader, this link, as of this writing, will take you to the original trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yaMK14oRvU


Above left to right in court, William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, and Felix Bressart, 






































Keeping with an interesting history, was the adventure-drama:

WHITE CARGO released on December 12, 1942



Ida Vera Simonton wrote the 1912 novel "Hell's Playground". Her novel was turned into a 1923 stage play by Leon Gordon (Bennett) entitled "White Cargo". In May 1929, the United Kingdom film company, "Neo-Art Productions", released a silent film version based upon the play, from a screenplay written by producer J.B. Williams. In October 1929, the film company added sound, actually only music with very few pieces of sound dialogue. However, they deliberately misinformed their United Kingdom viewing audience that "White Cargo" was now an "All TALKING Picture".

Of interest is that the role of "Langford" was portrayed by twenty-eight-years-old, Maurice Evans. Between 1964 and 1971, American television audiences knew the actor as "Maurice", on "Bewitched". However, fans of the original "Planet of the Apes" series, knew Maurice Evans as "Dr. Zaius", in both 1968's, "Planet of the Apes", and its first sequel, 1970's, "Beneath the Planet of the Apes".

  




 Above is Gypsy Rhouma portraying "Tondelayo" and Maurice Evans as "Langford".






The credits for the "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" version mentions the novel, but credits playwright Leon Gordon (Bennett), for both the play and the screenplay.

The motion picture was directed by Richard Thorpe, who started directing short-films in 1923. Through the silent era, Thorpe mainly directed "B" westerns. However, with the coming of sound, he switched to popular films, such as "Metro's", 1939 version of Mark Twain's, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", starring Mickey Rooney. The studio assigned the director to their popular
"Tarzan" series, and he directed. 1936's, "Tarzan Escapes", 1939's, "Tarzan Finds a Son", 1941's, "Tarzan's Secret Treasure", and 1942's, "Tarzan's New York Adventure". Bringing my reader to this feature film.


Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Tondelayo". For her following motion picture, "MGM" re-teamed Hedy with William Powell, but this time in a comedy-romance. The story is about a neglected wife who believes her astrologer's prediction about finding "her dream man" will come true, in 1944's, "The Heavenly Body".





Walter Pidgeon portrayed "Harry Witzel". Pidgeon has just been Greer Garson's co-star, in the 1942, classic story, "Mrs. Miniver". The two next teamed-up for 1943's, "Madame Curie", immediately followed by both appearing in 1944's, "Mrs. Parkington".

















Frank Morgan portrayed "The Doctor". Morgan next appeared in the 1943 version of author William Saroyan's, "The Human Comedy", starring Mickey Rooney. 
















Richard Carlson portrayed "Mr. Langford". Carlson had just appeared in the 1942, romantic-comedy, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", portraying "Professor Richard Inglethrope Culbertson Kay aka: R.I.C. Kay aka: Rick". He followed this feature film co-starring with Frank Moran and Jean Rodgers, in the 1943, romantic-comedy-drama, "A Stranger in Town". My article is "Richard Carlson the Academic Turned Actor" found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/08/richard-carlson-academic-turned-actor.html





Reginald Owen portrayed the "Skipper of the Congo Queen". British character actor Reginald Owen, in the 1932, movie "Sherlock Holmes", portrayed British author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, "Dr. Watson". The following year in 1933's, "A Study in Scarlett", he portrayed the reverse role, as "Sherlock Holmes". That same year he portrayed "King Louis XV" in actor George Arliss's,
"Voltaire", and finished the year with Greta Garbo's, "Queen Christina". His many classic character roles are found in 1934's, "House of Rothschild", and "Madam Du Barry". In 1935, it was Jack London's, "Call of the Wild", Leo Tolstoy's, "Ann Karenina, and Charles Dickens's, "A Tale of Two Cities". Speaking of Dickens, take a look at the 1938, "A Christmas Carol", with Reginald Owen as "Scrooge". My reader should give this forgotten actor a look.

























Henry O'Neill portrayed "The Reverend Dr. Roberts". O'Neill had last been seen on-screen as "Father Ramon", in 1942's, "Tortilla Flat". He followed this feature film with the Second World War movie, 1942's, "Stand by for Action", starring Robert Taylor, Brian Donlevy, and Charles Laughton.



















Bramwell Fletcher portrayed "Wilbur Ashley", I could not locate a photo of him. Fans of 1930's, "Universal Pictures" horror movies may recognize his name for portraying "Ralph Norton", who reads the "Scroll of Troth", bringing Boris Karloff's "Im-ho-tep" to life in 1932's, "The Mummy". Fletcher had just portrayed "Dr. Jeff Colbert", in the 1942, horror movie about a family curse, "The Undying Monster". He followed this motion picture with seventh-billing behind Reginald Owen, in 1942's, "Random Harvest", starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer vs the Hayes Office:

Both the original play and the British motion picture have "Tondelayo" as an African woman, referred to as a "negress", and because of that fact. Will Hays of the censorship office stated the character violated the 1924 "Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA)" agreement for self-censorship. Will Hayes proceeded to ban the motion picture from being shown in the United States, because it contained miscegenation between "Tondelayo" and "Mr. Langford", portrayed by Maurice Evans. 

In April 1942, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" stated they had purchased the rights to Leon Gordon (Bennett's) play and screenplay. They hired him to update the story and to get around Will Hayes, "Todelayo" became an exotic Arab woman. In the play and British motion picture the fact that "Tondelayo" was a black African woman is not revealed to the end. For his agreement to pass the "MGM" screenplay, Will Hayes required that her ethnicity be revealed much earlier in the story.

The Basic Screenplay:

The Second World War had been going on since September 1, 1939, on December 7, 1941, the United States entered it. The screenplay starts during the war's early years, as a seaplane named the "Congo Queen" is flying over West African jungles. On board inspecting rubber plantations that he now overseas, is "The Boss", a man named "Worthing", portrayed by Richard Ainley. The seaplane lands at a modern operation, "Worthing" speaks to the plant manager and goes inside the office and notices a picture of some people on a wall. The camera zooms in on the photo and the story flashes back to 1910.

Four men, "Harry Witzel", "Wilbur Ashley", the alcoholic "The Doctor", and a missionary, "Reverend Dr. Roberts", await the arrival of the riverboat the "Congo Queen". For "Ashley", this is his way out of West Africa, because on the riverboat is his replacement, "Langford", coming to the rubber plantation for his contracted four-years. The "Congo Queen" arrives, "Ashley" leaves, "Langford" arrives and "Witzel", who hates breaking in a new man and is quick to let "Langford" know.

The situation, as it had been with "Ashley", keeps getting worse as "The Doctor" and "Reverend Dr. Roberts" attempt to keep the two men from fighting each other and, instead, getting the work of the rubber plantation done.


Into this tense, daily situation, comes the seductive, trouble maker, "Tondelayo". Who the local magistrate, "Harry Witzel", had ordered her to leave the district, because she was disruptive, and immoral.


















"Tondelayo" sees "Mr. Langford" as a way to get at "Harry". As she tells "Langford":

I AM TONDELAYO!































"Langford" has fallen under the spell of "Tondelayo" and starts buying her jewelry from the Nigerian city of Lagos. This is, of course, effecting "Langford's" work performance and "The Doctor" and "Reverend Roberts" have joined "Harry" in attempting to get the love-sick "Langford" to realize what the young woman is doing to him. There is no choice for "Harry Witzel", but once again banish "Tondelayo" from the district. What happens next, from "Langford" takes all three of the other men by surprise, as "Langford" announces his plans to marry "Tondelayo".

Now comes "Tondelayo's" ethnicity reveal to get the approval of Will Hayes:

The "Reverend Dr. Roberts" reveals that "Tondelayo" is not an African native. She is half Egyptian, half Arab, therefore, even against the other men's sensibilities toward her not being white, she is acceptable for marriage. The reverend performs the marriage of "Langford" and "Tondelayo".

After five-months of marriage, "Tondelayo" is bored with it. She attempts to seduce "Harry", but he reminds "Tondelayo" that her marriage to "Langford" is "until death do you part".

















"Langford" becomes ill and "The Doctor" gives "Tondelayo" medication to give her husband, but she sees this as a way out. She trades a rifle with a native for poison and gives a small amount to "Langford" instead of the medication. "Harry" suspects she is up to something and hides from her view.


















Just as "Tondelayo" is about to give "Langford" the fatal dose of poison, "Harry" comes out hiding, stops her, and as magistrate, passes judgement. He forces "Tondelayo" to drink the poison, screaming, she runs into the jungle and drops to the ground dead.

"The Doctor" takes "Mr. Langford" away on the "Congo Queen", and "Harry Witzel" annotates that the riverboat is carrying:

WHITE CARGO

As the riverboat pulls away from the pier, "Harry" meets "Langford's" replacement. The new man is overly enthusiastic, and infuriating in his eagerness to go to work. After attempting to control his temper, "Harry" grabs him, tells him to just "stick around". As nothing will stop him from eventually thinking, and living rubber, 24-hours a day.



 









The movie returns to the present, as the older "Worthing" still looking at the photo, says that he did "stick around".

In 1943, Hedy Lamarr married British actor John Loder.












I give my reader Hedy Lamarr’s first son James, or not. I leave it to my reader to decide for themselves.

Based upon his birth certificate, according to "Ancestry.com

 https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/james-loder-24-j5bs3v

James Loder was born on March 6, 1939, either one, or two days after, Hedy Lamarr married Gene Markey. However, his mother's name is given as Hedwig Kiesler.

Yet, throughout her life, Hedy Lamarr claimed that her first son, James, was adopted by her and Markey, and not biologically related to either. She again made this claim in a "New York Times" article, dated November 5, 1941. For some unstated reason, when James reached the age of either 11, or 12-years-old, Hedy sent him to boarding school and disavowed him. She would also remove his name from her "Will". They never spoke to each other for the next 50-years of their lives. I could not locate who raised either, depending on the source, James Lamar Loder, or James Markey Loder.

James always wondered about who his father really had been? According to an article on line at the "New York Post" website:

https://nypost.com/2001/02/05/hedy-news-lamarrs-son-not-adopted/

But Loder always felt there was more to his birth than he knew. 
And that hunch was confirmed when he recently tracked down a copy of his birth certificate, which shows he was born as James Lamarr Loder, the magazine says.

At the time, Lamarr was wed to Gene Markey, but the father was listed as John Loder, who would marry her four years later.

Hedy Lamarr and John Loder did have a daughter, Denise Loder, and a son, Anthony Loder.


After making the aforementioned, 1944, "The Heavenly Body", Hedy Lamarr found herself in a movie that might have been better fitted to Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, from the two-years earlier, "Warner Brothers", "Casablanca".

THE CONSPIRATORS premiered in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on October 11, 1944



The screenplay was based upon the novel of that title, by Frederic Prokosch, billed as Fredric Prokosch. 

The screenplay has two on-screen credited writers. Vladimir Pozner, this was the French screenplay writers first of seventeen films. Co-writing credit went to American humorist Leo Rosten, this was his fourth of sixteen screenplays that included two-television-scripts. 

There were two uncredited writers, additional dialogue was provided by Jack Moffitt, who was one of the credited writers, just before this feature, on the Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains, 1944, "Passage to Marseille". 

His co-uncredited writer  Charles Nordhoff, one of the co-writers of "The Mutiny on the Bounty", classic trilogy novels.

The other uncredited writer had all of her work eliminated and that was authoress Ayn Rand. Which was a controversy in itself covered in an article by David Hayes at: 

https://movies.dhwritings.com/Conspir.html

The motion picture was directed by Jean Negulesco. Between 1936 and this motion picture, Negulesco primarily directed short subjects and only shot two-motion pictures out of fifty-one directing assignments. One of those two was immediately before this motion picture, 1944's, "The Mask of Dimitrios", starring Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Zachery Scott. A change in direction for Jean Negulesco, as the director on two-classic feature films, 1946's, "Humoresque", starring Joan Crawford, and John Garfield, and 1948's, "Johnny Belinda", for which he was nominated for the "Best Director Academy Award".

Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Irene Von Mohr". She would follow this feature film with 1944's, "Experiment Perilous" from "RKO"Although from a different source, the story is a psychological tale very similar to "MGM"s, "Gaslight", starring Ingrid Bergman, released seven-months earlier. 
















Paul Henreid portrayed "Vincent Van Der Lyn". The co-star of 1942's, "Casablanca", had just co-starred in 1944's, "Between Two Worlds". He would follow this motion picture appearing as himself, as would several "Warner Brothers" actors, in cameos, for 1944's, "Hollywood Canteen".















Sydney Greenstreet portrayed "Ricardo Quintanilla". The "Casablanca" supporting actor had just been in 1944's, "The Mask of Dimitrios", and followed this film with 1944's, "Hollywood Canteen", as himself.

Peter Lorre portrayed "Jan Bernazsky". The "Casablanca" supporting actor had just been in 1944's, "Arsenic and Old Lace", and followed this film, as himself, in 1944's, "Hollywood Canteen". My article is "PETER LORRE: Overlooked, or Forgotten Performances" to be read at:

 http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2017/11/peter-lorre-overlooked-or-forgotten.html
















Victor Francen portrayed "Hugo Von Mohr". He was in both 1944's, "The Mask of Dimitrios", and the "Hollywood Canteen", as himself. 



















Joseph Calleia portrayed "Police Inspector Pereira". He had just been seen in 1943's, "The Cross of Lorraine", and followed this feature with the 1946, film-noir, "Deadline ay Dawn".














Above is the only still with Joseph Calleia I could locate. This is the confrontation between Paul Henreid's "Vincent Van De Lyn", on the left, and Joseph Calleia's", "Police Inspector Pereira". 

The Basic Screenplay:

"Vincent Van De Lyn" is a dutch school teacher who has become a major problem for the Nazi's. His superiors order him to travel to England via neutral Lisbon, Portugal. When he arrives in Lisbon, "Police Inspector Pereira" asks for his passport and notes that there is no exit stamp on it. "Pereira" tells the new arrival not to worry, the only thing that matters is that the Portuguese visa is in order, and it is. However, a German agent named "Otto Lutzke", portrayed by Kurt Katch, overhears the two men and becomes suspicious of "Van De Lyn", and decides to tail him.

"Irene Von Mohr" is in an alley and passes a card to a man and as she walks by, he is shot in the back and killed. She quickly enters a restaurant, but the police enter looking around. Quickly, "Irene" sees a man sitting alone at a table and sits down beside him to throw off the police. She tells the surprised Dutchman that she is a frequent gambler at the Casino Estoril. As suddenly as she arrived, she leaves "Vincent Van De Lyn" and the restaurant.

"Vincent" intrigued by "Irene" goes to the casino and finds her. She warns him to stay away from her, but they are now joined by "Hugo Von Mohr", a high ranking German Official, and "Lutzke". Later, the two Germans identify "Van De Lyn", as a saboteur known to the Germans as "The Flying Dutchmen".

Next, "Vincent" meets his contact, "Ricardo Quintanilla", who introduces him to other members of the resistance in Lisbon, including the Pole "Jan Bernazsky".



"Ricardo" asks "Vincent" to brief his replacement, "Jennings", portrayed by Monte Blue. Next, in private, "Quintanilla" warns "Van Der Lyn" that he believes there is a mole in the organization.

The next day, when "Irene" gets into her automobile, "Vincent" invites himself into the car and the two spend the day together. "Vincent" tells "Irene" he has fallen in love with her, but learns "Irene" is married to "Hugo". She tells him they were married after "Von Mohr" got her out of the Dachau Concentration Camp. 
















When "Vincent" returns to his hotel room, he finds "Jennings" slumped over the desk. As "Jennings" dies, he is able to pass a message to "Van Der Lyn", "The Eagle has been taken", which means absolutely nothing to "The Flying Dutchman".

















Now acting on a false tip, "Police Inspector Pereira" arrests "Van Der Lyn" for the murder of "Jennings". "Irene" tells "Perira" that "Vincent" was with her all day, but refuses to testify in court about that information. She next visits "Vincent" in jail and he accuses her of framing him. 

"Vincent" is able to jump a guard and escapes the jail. He is found by "Irene", who offers to take "Vincent" to "Ricardo". This makes him more suspicious of her, but she hands him a loaded gun and "Irene" reveals she is also a part of the resistance. 

Upon arriving at the resistance headquarters, "Ricardo" accuses "Vincent" of being a traitor, which he concedes he looks like, but when he mentions "The Eagle has been taken", everything suddenly changes. 




"The Eagle" is a rare coin that was to be used to identify "Jennings", which "Vincent" had no knowledge about. Therefore, "Ricardo" and the others are convinced he is telling the truth. Next, "Hugo Von Mohr" is revealed to be a member of the resistance group. 

The climax is set up by "Ricardo" letting it be known that the replacement for "Jennings" is in the casino. It is hoped that the Nazi's will fall into his trap by looking for that man. So, they can replace him with one of their own.


At the casino, "Perira" spots "Van Der Lyn" and goes to arrest him, but is convinced to give him some time to find the real murderer. Fifteen-minutes before the resistance group is to meet the new man, they are at a roulette table that has several Nazi's around it also playing. "Ricardo" reveals that the new man is staying in room 865. "Hugo" now places bets on numbers 8, 6, and 5, revealing him to be the traitor. "Ricardo Quintanilla" and the other resistance members start to escort "Hugo" out of the casino.

However, he escapes them and is pursued by both "Vincent" and "Police Inspector Perira". There is a shoot-out and "Hugo Von Mohr" is killed by "Perira" and "Van Der Lyn". "Vincent", then finds "The Eagle" in one of "Hugo's" pockets.

As a result of all that has happened, "Vincent Van Der Lyn" decides to remain in Europe and fight for the resistance, now using "The Eagle" as his identification. "Irene" promises to wait until she has word that he has safely crossed the border and "Vincent" promises to come back to her.

















After the previously mentioned 1944, "Experiment Perilous",  Hedy Lamarr’s next four movies consisted of two comedy-romances 1945’s, “Her Highness and the Bellboy”, co-starring with Robert Walker and June Allyson, and 1948’s, “Let’s Live a Little”, co-starring with Robert "Bob" Cummings and Anna Sten. 

“The Strange Woman”, from 1948, was described as a romantic-thriller, and Hedy Lamarr co-starred with two “B”  picture leading men, George Sanders and Louis  Hayward. While, the 1947, crime-drama, “Dishonored Lady”, co-starred Dennis O’Keefe and her current husband, John Loder, they divorced that year.

The following motion picture was from the "King of the Hollywood Biblical Epics" and the producer - director who discovered that "Biblical Sex" sold. Which was fine with censor, Will H. Hayes, because these "Hollywood" stories came from the "Bible" and that was the word of God, go figure. That story is part of my article "The Bible According to Hollywood" found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/05/the-bible-according-to-hollywood.html

SAMSON AND DELILAH the New York City premiere was on December 21, 1949



As the above poster indicates, the motion picture was:

Produced and Directed by CECIL B. DeMILLE

His previous motion picture was 1947's, "Unconquered", starring Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard. DeMille's next feature film was 1952's, "The Greatest Show on Earth", starring Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Dorothy Lamour, and Gloria Grahame.

The screenplay for "Samson and Delilah" was based upon a novel, originally published in the Russian Empire as a 1926 serial, in the Russian Zionist journal "Razsvet". The original title was "Samson The Nazarite", written by Odessa, born, Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky, using the pen name of, Ze've Jabotinsky. The serial was first published in book form in the Russian Empire in 1927. In 1930, the first English language translation as "Judge and Fool" was published, it would be re-published in 1945, but now under the title, "Prelude to Delilah". For the motion picture, on-screen credit as both the novelist and one of two treatment writers, the author was billed as Vladimir Jabotinsky.

The other treatment of Zhabotinksy's novel was by American historical fictional novelist, Harold Lamb. Lamb had co-written the screenplays for Cecil B. DeMille's, 1935, "The Crusades", about Richard the Lion Hearted, 1936's, "The Plainsman", about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, and 1938's, "The Buccaneer", about Jean Lafitte.

The actual screenplay was from two writers, Jesse Lasky Jr., was an uncredited writer on 1938's, "The Buccaneer", but received full credit as a writer on Cecil B. DeMille's, 1939, "Union Pacific", 1940's, "Northwest Mounted Police", 1942's, "Reap the Wild Wind", 1947's, "Unconquered", and 1956's, "The Ten Commandments".

The second screenplay writer was Fredric M. Frank, 1947's, "Unconquered", 1952's, "The Greatest Show on Earth", and 1956's, "The Ten Commandments".

It should be noted that DeMille originally planned on turning the novel into a screenplay back in 1934, after the release of his "Cleopatra", starring Claudette Colbert, and co-starring Henry Wilcoxon as "Marc Anthony". Wilcoxon was to become "Samson" and actress, Miriam Hopkins, "Ivy" in the "Academy Award Winning", 1931, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", was to be "Delilah". However, the project fell through, DeMille and Wilxcoxon went on to make 1935's, "The Crusades", with Loretta Young. While Hopkins, made both 1935's, "Becky Sharp", for which she received the "Best Actress Academy Award", and "The Barbary Coast".

Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Delilah". The actress would follow this Biblical epic with the "B" western, 1950's, "Copper Canyon", co-starring with Ray Milland and Macdonald Carey.


















Victor Mature portrayed "Samson". He had just appeared co-starring with Betty Hutton and William Demarest in the crime-musical-comedy, 1949's, "Red, Hot and Blue". Mature followed this movie with the 1950 musical, "Wahbash Avenue", co-starring Betty Grable. My article is "Victor Mature: 'One Million B.C.' to 'The Big Circus'---The Leading Man as a Character Actor" found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2020/06/victor-mature-one-million-bc-to-big.html
















George Sanders portrayed "The Saran of Gaza". Sanders was just in director Otto Preminger's, 1949, "The Fan", and followed this motion picture by co-starring with Bette Davis and Anne Baxter's, 1950's, "All About Eve".

















Angela Lansbury portrayed "Semadar". She had been in "MGM's" anti-Soviet Union, all-star, motion picture, 1949's, "The Red Danube". Lansbury followed this motion picture with the 1951, crime-film-noir, "Kind Lady".


















Henry Wilcoxon portrayed "Ahtur". Wilcoxon was just in Bing Crosby's, 1949, musical version of Mark Twain's, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". The actor followed this feature film with a role in the Greer Garson and Walter Pigeon, 1950, "The Miniver Story".

















Russ Tamblyn portrayed the future "King Saul of Israel". At the time of filming, he was 14 years old, and this was his fourth feature film. Tamblyn would be one of the dancing brothers in the 1954 musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". His other films include the Glenn Ford western, 1956's, "The Fastest Gun Alive", the 1957 movie "Peyton Place", two George Pal produced features, 1958's, "Tom Thumb" and the 1962, Cinerama production of "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm". He portrayed "Riff, the leader of the Jets" in the 1961, classic musical, "West Side Story" and for fans of Japanese Kaiju (Monster) movies. He replaced Nick Adams for 1966's, "War of the Gargantuas". Holding "Saul", below, is "Miriam", portrayed by Olive Deering, "Samson's" Hebrew childhood friend. Who has always been in love with him.



The following is modified, as was the above actor descriptions, from my linked article, under Victor Mature, as a very brief overview of the motion picture:

The screenplay opens with "Samson", a Danite Hebrew, who at birth, was placed by his mother "Hazelelponit", portrayed by Fay Holden, under a vow to marry a Philistine girl named "Semadar". 

At their wedding feast,"Samson" first meets his bride to be's younger sister "Delilah",



Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah (1949)


 Next, "Semadar" tricks "Samson" into a wager with some Philistines and he looses. 




He now has to find a way to pay his debt. "Samson" leaves the feast and attacks 30 Philistines and takes their cloaks. When he returns to pay the wager, "Samson" discovers that while he was gone. "Semador's" father, "Tubal", played by William Farnum, had her quickly marry another Philistine to avoid a Hebrew husband.

Below, "Semador" and "Deliah" have joined the "Saran" on a lion hunt and come across "Samson".




This leads to "Samson", as a demonstration of his strength that impresses "Delilah". of fighting and killing a lion with his bare hands. 




Above, "Samson" is receiving a prize from the "Saran" for killing the lion. After which with "Delilah" seductively embracing the Hebrew Judge, they leave together.



 


Later, a fight breaks out between the Philistines and "Samson". When it is over, both "Semador" and her father are dead. Ignoring the provocations that cause the fight, "Samson" is blamed by the "Saran" and "Delilah" for her father and sister's deaths.




As a result of "Samson's" actions,  the "Saran of Gaza" uses the fight to impose harsher taxes on all the Hebrews, believing that will force the Hebrews to turn against "Samson".

The "Saran's" plan works and "Samson" is turned over to the Philistines at the delight of "Delilah". However, while being escorted by "Prince Ahtur" and as full regiment of Philistine troops. "Ahtur" decides to taunt "Samson" and this leads to the Hebrew Judge ripping off the ropes binding him and picking up the jawbone of an ass, Biblical for a wild donkey, and Biblically, "Samson" slews all the troops. However, "Ahtur", who is permitted to return to the "Saran".




"Delilah" and the "Saran" discuss the political situation caused by the Hebrew Judge's actions. She comes up with the idea of seducing "Samson" to find out the source of his strength.




"Delilah's" plan works, because "Samson" is blinded to "Miriam's" true love and desires "Semador's" sister. "Samson" reveals that God told him never to cut his hair and he believes that is the source of his strength.




After drugging "Samson", "Delilah" cuts off his hair, and Philistine soldiers take him prisoner,



Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, and Henry Wilcoxon in Samson and Delilah (1949)


Unknown to "Deliah", the "Saran" has ordered that "Samson" be blinded.

Next, comes the climax as "Samson" is brought before the people, in a colosseum like temple, for public torture. However, the "Saran of Gaza"  seems not to realize that "Samson's" hair has grown back and what that might mean for the Philistines, except "Delilah". She starts looking over the temple for a place to speak to "Samson".





"Saul" runs to him, but "Samson" tells the boy to leave and take "Miriam" and the other Hebrews to safety. He also tells "Saul" that one day he will rule Israel,




"Delilah" takes a whip, leaves the stands, making the "Saran of Gaza" and the other Philistine's believe she is going to take out her revenge on "Samson" over her sister and father's death. Instead, she uses it to lead the blind strongman to the two main temple pillars. 



Once he's in position, "Samson" tells her to leave, but she stays, as he brings the temple down upon the Philistines. In a true, "Hollywood", biblical recreation. 

Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah (1949)





Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah (1949)

Victor Mature and George Sanders in Samson and Delilah (1949)



Hedy Lamarr's next motion picture was once more from "MGM" and a very forgettable, 1950, crime-film-noir entitled "A Lady Without Passport". However, even though "Samson and Delilah" came from competitor studio, "Paramount Pictures", partly owned by Cecil B. DeMille, "Metro" knew the value of taking that picture's success to draw in their audience. Note the tag line on the following poster just under Hedy's name.




On June 11, 1951, Hedy Lamarr married Swiss born, former band leader and night club owner, Ernest Ted "Teddy" Stauffer. She was his second wife, and the marriage didn't last a year, with their divorce on March 18, 1952. His first wife had been actress Faith Domergue, from 1946 - 1947, in all he was married five times.












"A Lady Without Passport" was followed by a 1951, comedy-spy-musical, starring Bob Hope, entitled "My Favorite Spy". This was the third and last, the laughs had run out, of a somewhat trilogy. The first was 1942's, "My Favorite Blonde", with Hope co-starring with Madeleine Carroll. The second was 1947's, "My Favorite Brunette", with Bob co-starring with his "Road" pictures teammate, Dorothy Lamour. 













As the December 31, 1950, issue of the "Hollywood Trade Paper", "Variety", wrote:

My Favorite Spy is in the same general pattern of other Bob Hope My Favorite films, scattering chuckles through the footage, with an occasional howler. Ably partnering is Hedy Lamarr, lending herself to the knockabout pace with a likeable loss of dignity


On April 10, 1953, Hedy Lamarr became a naturalized American citizen.

On December 22, 1953, Hedy Lamarr married Texas oilman W. Howard Lee. Their marriage lasted into 1960.














Hedy Lamarr and St. Petersburg, Russia, born producer and director, Victor Pahlen, decided to make a television anthology series with Hedy portraying famous woman of history. The filming was in Italy, but the series could not get backing and what episodes were shot were made into three, possibly only two, motion pictures released in Italy in 1954. 

Although a title for a second film is listed on IMDb as "L'eterna femmina", the roles Hedy Lamarr portrayed are not shown and the rest of the cast roles are also not listed either. However, all of these actors were in the first Italian combined television episode feature, "L'amante di Paride (Paris's Lover)", released in the United States and dubbed into English as 1954's, "Loves of Three Women". Several motion picture sites could not locate that second title on the IMDb listing, and it is believed to be this first release under a different name.






















Hedy's third, or more likely, her second motion picture created from the anthology series was 1954's,  "l Cavalieri dell'illusione (The Knights of Illusion)".





Three-years later, Hedy Lamarr portrayed Julie Adams's mother in 1957's, "Slaughter on 10th Avenue", released on September 1, 1957, but all her scenes were deleted. 



















On October 23, 1957, Hedy Lamarr portrayed "Joan of Arc", in producer and director Irwin Allen's first all-star spectacle and his first all-star flop, "The Story of Mankind". My article is "IRWIN ALLEN: The Story of 'THE STORY OF MANKIND" at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2022/11/irwin-allen-story-of-story-of-mankind.html













Next came the last on-screen appearance of actress Hedy Lamarr, in what was considered an "A-List" motion picture. "The Female Animal" premiered in New York City, on January 22, 1958. Hedy portrayed aging actress, "Vanessa Windsor", it should be noted that she was 44-years-old. Portraying her grown daughter, "Penny Windsor", was 29-years old, Jane Powell. Both, mother and daughter are having sexual relations with a movie extra portrayed by 36-years-old, George Nader, as "Chris Farley".

















As I said, "The Female Animal", was considered in 1958, a "A-List actor" motion picture. It was released with what was considered, at the time, a, "B-List actor" motion picture on a double-bill. That "B-List" motion picture was the Orson Welles directed, "Touch of Evil", starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, and Orson Welles. Any of my readers remember "The Female Animal"?

On March 4, 1963, Hedy Lamarr married her last husband, lawyer, Louis J. Boies, they divorced on June 21, 1965, and she would spent the 1970 basically in seclusion.













In 1997, Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil received the "Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award" for the discovery of "Frequency Hopping". Additionally, she became the first woman to receive the group's "BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award", known as "The Oscar of Inventing"

Three-years later, after battles over her will with James, on January 19, 2000, 85-years-old, Hedy Lamarr passed away from heart disease.





Hedy Lamarr: Inventor and Samson's Delilah

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, on November 9, 1914, in Vienna, in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Five-months earlier, on June 28, 19...