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Cinema Chat

By Clip Syndicate

John Nelka walks us through some of the highlights of the career and accomplishments of Hedy Lamarr. Video: Cinema Chat
John Nelka walks us through some of the highlights of the career and accomplishments of Hedy Lamarr. Thu, 17 May 2018 23:30:00 +0000 Cinema Chat John Nelka walks us through some of the highlights of the career and accomplishments of Hedy Lamarr. BCTV ? and have you all to myself ? ? alone and apart, out of a dream ? ? safe in my heart ? ? safe in my heart ? ? out of a dream of you ? and she came out the other side remembering what her father had advised her from childhood: "be yourself choose and take what you want," which was certainly hedy's quality all her life. found an american film agent. somebody took me to a hotel and there was a little man there. i didn't know who he was, what he was. i couldn't speak english, obviously. louis b. mayer was the little man. that was louis b. mayer? with his entourage, yeah. louis b. mayer, of metro-goldwyn-mayer, had come to europe to buy up all the actors and actresses who were escaping nazi germany. he figured he could take them back to hollywood and enslave them in his metro-goldwyn-mayer empire for a cheap price. he offered her $125 a week and reminded her that she had to keep her clothes on. and she said, "i'm sorry, that's not good enough, and walked out. she impressed him, i'm sure. people didn't usually turn down metro-goldwyn-mayer. ? but minutes after she walked out, she had second thoughts and quickly booked passage on the normandie, the ship mayer was sailing back to new york. ? she, i think, probablyather cleverly made sure that she saw him about the decks in her tennis clothes and so forth, in her bathing suit. ? on the first or second night out, hedy went to her very modest cabin and pulled out her designer couturier gown and she put on the last baubles that she owned and she walked through the dining room of the normandie, past louis b. mayer's table. ? there's douglas fairbanks jr. sitting right there, and his eyes are glued to hedy lamarr, as are the eyes of every man and woman in that dining room. and louis b. mayer knew he had to have her. he snapped his fingers and i didn't know why, i didn't know what... all of a sudden i got $500 every week. hedy kiesler, hedy kiesler, kiesler. we gotta do something about the name. so, louis b. mayer's wife was there and she said, "well, barbara la marr is one of my favorites why not hedy lamarr?" lamarr, the sea, perfect. let's be hedy lamarr. ? she didn't speak a word of english. she learned those few lines on the boat to convince louis b. mayer that he should hire her as an actress. ? she created her own reality, and i find that really fascinating. ? you know, when things don't come easy figure out why... and then do something about it. and if people... walk over you then don't let them! ? she stped off the ship in new york to crowds of flashing light bulbs and reporters firing questions at her as hedy lamarr, the latest discovery of metro-goldwyn-mayer. ? were on the verge of winning the war. they seemed to be unsinkable because they easily outmaneuvered the outdated british torpedoes. in times of cris, most of us feel powerles but a few discover in themselves unexpected strength. and hedy being hedy, she said, "i'm gonna do something about that. so, in this article, hedy says, "i got the idea for my inventio when i tried to think of some way to even the balance for the british. a radio-controlled torpedo i thought would do it." a torpedo launched on a given trajectory might need to be changed, redirected. you want, ideally, your launching boat to communicate with the torpedo. the problem is you can't control radio communications. they're not secure. your enemy, if they're smart, finds the frequency withhich you're talking to the torpedo and jams it. ? jamming. the germans fill the air with radio interference. she came up with the idea of a secret way of guiding that torpedo to the target that couldn't be interrupted, that couldn't be jammed, that couldn't be messed with. it was secret. ? instead of just one transmit frequency communicating, she said, "what if we changed those frequencies constantl in sync with each other?" frequency hopping. you couldn't jam it because you'd only jam a split second of it in a single frequency. so, frequency change, frequency hop, frequency hop, frequency hop. that concept, secure radio communications, was brilliant. now there are vari because an idea hit her." so, my mother was a pest. she had to invent, she had to invent, and she pulled george antheil in with her. the most successful of their inventions was a secret communication system based on hedy's idea of frequency hopping. george is taking all these notes, and i think there was some sort of a-ha moment where he said, "you know, i have this system, i guess he got from dealing with player pianos, "that we might be able to adap and make--make your concept work." george antheil got thrown out of t's big realization was, if piano rolls can activate piano keys, why couldn't they activate radio frequencies in both torpedo and the ship? ? the basic idea is that by using two miniature piano rolls that would start at the same moment and turn at the same speed, a ship and a torpedo could secretly communicate on the same pattern of frequencies. ultimately, hedy and george wanted their torpedo and ship to communicate on 88 different frequencies, like an encryption system, basically, that nobody could crack. wonderfully clever idea. and the inventors counci agreed. the members of the national inventors council... and it was a council of actual engineers with a major inventor in his own right, charles kettering, who was struck by the value and the originality of hedy and george's idea. so they helped george and hedy by connecting them up with a physicist at caltech in california who was an expert on electronics. and he presumably designed the electronics part of this device. the day came when this invention was issued a full patent. ? hedy and george donated their invention re actually gave hedy an award thanking her for coming up with her idea. ? and when i called her, i said, "mom, they're gonna give you an award, but she just didn't want to be seen. the award i'm about to present is in recognition of a famous actress turned inventor, hedy lamarr. i gave a talk to about 800 people. but right in the middle oft... if i have seen farther... (cell phone rings) oh, my god. (laughter) are you serious? my mother's here too. i'll tell you a little bit later. hello? how did it go? i'm in the middle of it. (laughter, applause) i just said, "mom, if you could say something what would you say?" and this is what she said. i'm happy that this invention has been so successful. i appreciate your acknowledgement of you honoring me and that it was not done in vain. thank you.

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