Hedy Lamarr was already a movie star in her native Austria, when she met Friedrich Mandl.
She was just nineteen years old and already grabbing headlines for the film Extase (Ecstasy in English). There had been scenes where she ran naked through a woodland setting; and then there was that moment.
Lying on a bed, the camera focusing in extreme close up on her face, her expression had been one of, ahem, rapture.
Friedrich, on the other hand, was thirty-two years old and reputed to be the third richest man in Austria. They married on August 10th 1933, just eight months after the release of Extase.
There is no doubt that he viewed the actress as his 'trophy wife'. As soon as they were married, Friedrich used his immense wealth in a bid to buy up every copy of Extase in circulation. He did not want anyone else to see her in the throes of passion.
What he did want was for Hedy to sit down and shut up, smiling sweetly and waiting upon his guests, at the couple's lavish business dinners.
She was so bored. She was so unbelievably bored. But while the teenager was listening to all of these munitions men describing their latest torpedos, her quick mind couldn't fail to take notes. These were important arms dealers. Their weapons were the latest, biggest, fastest and most destructive on the market. Hedy absorbed it all.
But Europe was changing. In Germany, the Third Reich was rising and Adolf Hitler had just become Chancellor. The Nazis became Friedrich's key clientele; and he supported their ideology too. Which was a little worrying for Hedy, as she was Jewish.
She got to hear it all first hand. Both Hitler and Mussolini attended parties hosted by the Mandls. She heard her husband, so controlling in his marriage, also agreeing with policies which would destroy her people.
One day, Hedy persuaded her husband to allow her to wear all of her jewelry for a dinner party. Then she simply left. He pursued her. He had the funds to pay for good investigators and information too.
Hedy ended up in Paris, France, where she hired a maid who looked just like her. Drugging the poor woman, Hedy dressed in the maid's uniform and managed to sneak out unseen that way. She was soon on an ocean liner heading to the United States of America. She was free.