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The most beautiful woman in the world November 14, 2007

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Movies.

Hedwig Kiesler was nineteen years old when she appeared in the movie that changed her career and her life …

Hedy Lamarr in Ecstasy

Notice that I say “changed” her career, for contrary to conventional wisdom Ekstase was not the future Hedy Lamarr‘s first film. But it certainly was her best known for much of her career.

In Ecstasy and Me, her ghost-written autobiography, Hedy claims to have been too young and innocent to have understood the import of the scenes director Gustav Machatý was staging. But this is somewhat suspicious, especially considering thgat she ended up suing her own ghostwriters for distorting her story.

Lamarr plays the role of Eva, a young girl who has married an older man who treats her as a plaything and has no time for her. Bored, she goes horseriding, and decides to take off her clothes to go swimming, draping her clothes over the back of her horse:

The man who returns her horse to her becomes her lover. The other controversial scene shows Eva in the midst of passion:

In 1933, the year that Ekstase was released and quickly became the most scandalous movie ever made, Hedwig Kiesler’s parents arranged her marriage to Friedrich “Fritz” Mandl, who was on his way to becoming the third richest man in Austria. Mandl, who was fifteen years older than Hedy, tried to buy every print of Ekstase and burn it. He also treated Hedy as a plaything and had no time for her, which makes one think he must have seen the movie.

To learn what happened next, read my original screenplay, Eighty-Eight Frequencies.

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4. Bill Bartmann - September 3, 2009

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