by Ruth Kerr of Silver Screenings
Hedy Lamarr has never been accused of acting with too much depth. Take her performance in The Strange Woman (1946), where she plays a desperately poor woman who desires to be rich. Because the film is set in the 1820s, her character’s options for financial independence are limited, especially considering her father is a violent drunk. But, when her father unexpectedly dies, Opportunity presents itself.
That opportunity comes in the form of Gene Lockhart, a leading member of Society. Lockhart is an older, affluent entrepreneur who doesn’t do anything that doesn’t make him money.
Except when it comes to Lamarr. He’s in love with her, and when her father dies, he arranges a meeting with town leaders to determine where the newly-orphaned Lamarr should live. He finagles them into suggesting he marry her, then “reluctantly” agrees to the marriage – only because he’s a civic-minded person, after all.