You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. It’s the brainchild and passion project of Karina Longworth (founder of Cinematical.com, former film critic for LA Weekly), who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode. It is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction: navigating through conflicting reports, mythology, and institutionalized spin, Karina tries to sort out what really happened behind the films, stars and scandals of the 20th century. Part of the Infinite Guest network from American Public Media.

131: Clara Bow (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 11) (9/2018)

We’ll close this half of our Hollywood Babylon season with one of that book’s most famously distorted stories: the tale of “It” Girl Clara Bow’s supposed nymphomania and alleged “tackling” of the entire USC football team. The real story of Clara Bow’s life and career is a much richer tale, involving changing sexual mores, and the change in the audience’s tastes that overlapped with the end of the silent era. 

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130: Rudolph Valentino (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 10) (9/2018)

Rudolph Valentino was Hollywood’s first “latin lover.” His shocking death at the age of 31 was attributed to side effects from an appendectomy, but Hollywood Babylon forwards theories that Valentino may have actually been poisoned, or killed by the husband of a lover, and/or secretly gay and recently divorced from his second secretly lesbian wife. What was the real story of Valentino’s marriages, and what really led to his untimely demise?









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129: Thomas Ince and the Hearst "Coverup" (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 9) (8/2018)

Thomas Ince was one of early Hollywood’s most pioneering producers—in fact, some credit him for popularizing “producer” as a job title and for codifying what it meant to do the job, as well as helping to develop the Western as a genre. But today, if Ince is remembered at all, it’s for his death aboard a yacht owned by William Randolph Hearst, amidst a star-studded party attended by Chaplin, writer Elinor Glyn, and actress/Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies. For decades, rumors have swirled that Ince was felled not by “acute indigestion,” as Hearst’s papers claimed, but by “a bullet hole in [his] head,” as Kenneth Anger put it. Who was Ince, what really happened on that yacht, and why have fictionalizations of his death (spread by Anger and others) flourished for so long?





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128: Peggy Hopkins Joyce and Charlie Chaplin (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon, Episode 8) (8/2018)

The Kim Kardashian of her day, Peggy Hopkins Joyce was famous for being rich and famous—and for her marriages and involvements with rich and famous men, including Charlie Chaplin. Did Peggy really ask Chaplin on their first date if he was “hung like a horse?” We’ll investigate this and other claims made about the affair in Hollywood Babylon, and chart how the dalliance with Hopkins Joyce inspired Chaplin’s first dramatic film A Woman of Paris, and explain how a woman of the 1910s-1920s could come from nothing and become internationally famous before ever arriving in Hollywood. 

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127: Will Hays and "Pre-Code" Hollywood (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 7) (8/2018)

Who was Will Hays, and how did he come to put his name on the censorship “Code” that would shape the content of movies more than any other single force from the early 1930s into the 1960s? How much power did Hays really have in 1920s Hollywood, how corrupt was he, and why did it take a decade before the Hays Code was fully enforced?

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126: Wallace Reid (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 6) (8/2018)

According to Hollywood Babylon, actor Wallace Reid—a morphine addict who died in an asylum at the age of 31—was the first sacrificial lamb of the post-scandal era, and Reid’s wife, a former teen star named Dorothy Davenport, was the ultimate opportunistic hypocrite. What made Reid’s case different from the other scandals around this time? Was Davenport the black widow that Anger suggests, or should she be remembered as a pioneering female writer, producer and director? 

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125: Mabel Normand (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 5) (7/2018)

A frequent co-star of Roscoe Arbuckle’s, Mabel Normand was the definitive female screen comedienne of her generation. But it wasn’t her association with Arbuckle that brought Normand’s career to an abrupt close and her life to an early end. Today we’ll interrogate Hollywood Babylon’s claim that Normand was a cocaine addict, explore Normand’s involvement in various scandals which did more damage than drugs, and talk about the disease that led to her early death.

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124: William Desmond Taylor (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 4) (7/2018)

The killing of director William Desmond Taylor was the third in a trifecta of scandals which, over the course of about a year and a half, painted such a sordid a picture of the movie colony as a hotbed of sin that the industry was forced to fundamentally change its way of conducting business. Anger’s telling implies that Taylor’s murder may have been a consequence of the affairs he supposedly conducted simultaneously with several women, including both a starlet and her mother, or related to the fact that Taylor was living under an assumed identity and employing his own brother as his butler. Today we’ll sort out fact from fiction in the Taylor case, and demonstrate how the media frenzy surrounding it had wide-ranging consequences despite the fact that no one was ever arrested for the crime.

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123: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Virginia Rappe (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 3) (7/2018)

At a boozy party over Labor Day weekend 1921, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, silent Hollywood’s superstar plus-size comedian, followed sometime actress Virginia Rappe into a hotel room. They were alone together for only a few minutes, but in that time, Rappe fell ill, and died several days later from her sickness. Arbuckle was tried for murder, and accused of rape in the newspapers. The story of the definitive sex-and-death scandal in early Hollywood history, which left a woman dead and effectively killed off a star comedian’s career, has been plagued with misinformation and distortions for nearly 100 years. Today we’ll closely examine Anger’s text to demonstrate how he implies both Arbuckle and Rappe’s guilt, and we’ll also use more recent scholarship on the case to try to suss out what really happened in that hotel room, and how the facts were distorted throughout Arbuckle’s three trials. 

This episode includes graphic descriptions of sexual violence. 

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122: Olive Thomas (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 2) (7/2018)

The first Hollywood scandal to attract international attention was the death-by-poison of Olive Thomas, the twenty-five-year old star of au courant Hollywood hit The Flapper. According to Hollywood Babylon, Thomas’s death was the suicide of a woman desperate over her failure to score dope for her junkie husband. What’s the real story—and what role was played by Jack Pickford, Olive’s husband and the brother of the actress then considered “America’s Sweetheart”?

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