You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This

United States

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.

Episodes

113: Coming Home  

Jean buries her child in Iowa, and then returns to Paris in a fragile mental state. Increasingly plagued by both justifiable paranoia and delusions, she makes her last significant films (including another misguided collaboration with Romain Gary), and another attempt at marriage. Back in the States, Jane subsumes her passion for activism into her new marriage to Tom Hayden, and works to get her movie career back on track by producing commercial yet socially conscious vehicles in which she can star in. One of these films, Coming Home, would become both an anti-war and feminist landmark, and would win Jane another Oscar.

112: Hanoi Jane & The FBI vs. Jean Seberg’s Baby  

After shooting a film with a much-changed Jean-Luc Godard, Jane Fonda travels to Vietnam, where she naively participates in a stunt that would leave her branded “Hanoi Jane” for decades. The world media had a field day mocking her, the US government set to work plotting to destroy her, and Jane would seek refuge in a new relationship with activist-turned-politician Tom Hayden. Meanwhile, in the midst of divorcing Romain Gary, Jean found herself pregnant. Having wiretapped a phone call between Jean and a Black Panther about her pregnancy, the FBI decided to “neutralize” both Seberg and her unborn child.

111: Jean and Jane Become Public Enemies  

On the heels of making her biggest Hollywood movies in years, Jean Seberg becomes involved with two black radicals, one a cousin of Malcolm X who spouted violent, anti-white rhetoric, the other a leader of the Black Panthers. Jean starts offering money and support to these men and their causes, which attracts the attention of the FBI. Meanwhile, Jane leaves Vadim - and Hollywood - to find herself as a political activist, working on behalf of American Indians, the Black Panthers, and Vietnam veterans. Despite all her best efforts, Jane hadn’t yet alienated Hollywood - while she was being watched by the FBI, Jane starred in one of the great surveillance thrillers of the 1970s, Klute. 

110: Jane vs "Barbarella"  

Having coaxed Jane into participating in an open marriage, Vadim began casting her in films as a male fantasy of female sexual liberation. This phase of her career would peak with Barbarella, a sci-fi film based on an erotic comic book featuring Jane as a horny space warrior. Jane’s perfect body was on full display and fetishized the world over, but no one knew the self-destruction that went on behind the scenes in order to maintain her looks. While Vadim was building her up as an international sex kitten, Jane was gradually becoming more socially conscious. For all of his experience with women, Roger Vadim didn’t know what to do with a woke wife. 

109: Jean vs "Lilith"  

Having left her husband to be the mistress of writer/diplomat Romain Gary, Jean secretly gave birth to a son, and then made the movie that she thought would prove herself as an actress once and for all. In Lilith, Seberg would go all in on her portrayal of madness - perhaps too deep. After a disastrous collaboration with Gary, Jean happily accepted an offer to star in a big budget Hollywood musical. But it was 1969, the studio system had crumbled, and that musical - Paint Your Wagon - would become a symbol of everything that was wrong with the Hollywood establishment.


108: Jean and Jane in Paris (Jean & Jane Episode 3)  

With her Hollywood career already something of a disappointment, Jean Seberg took a chance on a French film critic turned first-time director who wanted her to play an amoral American in an experimental movie without a script. The result was Breathless, the catalyzing hit of the French New Wave and the movie that would make Jean Seberg an icon. Soon thereafter, Jane Fonda got her own invitation to come make a movie in Paris, where she’d soon fall in love with Roger Vadim, the man who discovered Brigitte Bardot. Jane Fonda would become Vadim’s new creative muse, as well as his third wife. 


107: Jean and Otto Preminger/Jane in New York (Jean & Jane Episode 2)  

Jean Seberg made her first two films, Saint Joan and Bonjour Tristesse, for director Otto Preminger, a tyrannical svengali character whose methods would traumatize Jean for the rest of her life and career. No wonder she rebelled against this bad dad figure by marrying a handsome French opportunist. Meanwhile, Jane Fonda moves to New York, joins the Actors Studio, takes up with her own hyper-controlling male partner, and tries to define herself as something other than Henry Fonda’s daughter. 

106: Hollywood Royalty/Middle-American Martyr (Jean & Jane Episode 1)  

Introducing our new series, “Jean and Jane,” exploring the parallel lives of Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg, two white American actresses who found great success (and husbands) in France before boldly and controversially lending their celebrity to causes like civil rights and the anti-war movement. Fonda and Seberg were both tracked by the FBI during the Nixon administration, which considered both actresses to be threats to national security. But for all their similarities, Jane and Jean would end up on different paths. They also started from very different circumstances. Today we’ll track Jane’s difficult upbringing with her famous but absentee father and troubled mother, and the path of privilege - and tragedy - that led her to the Actor’s Studio. Meanwhile, in small town, church-dominated Iowa, Jean Seberg announced herself as the town rebel at age 14 when she joined the NAACP. Three years later, she was plucked out of obscurity by a mad genius movie director to star in one of the highest-profile Hollywood movies of the late-50s. 

105: Dorothy Stratten (Dead Blondes Part 13)  

Our Dead Blondes season concludes with the story of Dorothy Stratten. Coaxed into nude modeling by Paul Snider, her sleazy boyfriend-turned-husband, 18 year-old Stratten was seized on by Playboy as the heir apparent to Marilyn Monroe. She ascended to the top of the Playboy firmament quickly, and just after Hugh Hefner decided to make her Playmate of the Year, she met filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, who fell in love with her and rewrote his upcoming film, They All Laughed, to give Dorothy a star-making role. After filming They All Laughed Dorothy planned to leave Snider and Playboy for life with Bogdanovich - but her husband had other ideas. 

104: Barbara Loden (Dead Blondes Part 12)  

Barbara Loden won a Tony Award for playing a character based on Marilyn Monroe in Arthur Miller’s After the Fall. Like Marilyn, Barbara was a beauty with no pedigree who fled a hopeless upbringing in search of the fulfillment of fame. Like Marilyn, Loden found some measure of security as the mistress (and eventual wife) of a powerful man, in Loden’s case Elia Kazan. But instead of satisfying her, her small taste of fame and her relationship with Kazan left Barbara Loden wanting more, which would lead her to write, direct and star in a groundbreaking independent movie of her own. 

103: Grace Kelly (Dead Blondes Part 11)  

The quintessential “Hitchcock blonde,” Grace Kelly had an apparently charmed life. Her movies were mostly hits, her performances were largely well reviewed, and she won an Oscar against stiff competition. Then she literally married a prince. Was it all as perfect as it seemed? Today we’ll explore Kelly’s public and private life (and the rumors that the two things were very different), her working relationship with Hitchcock, her Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl, the royal marriage that took her away from Hollywood and Kelly’s very specific spin on blonde sexuality. 

102: Barbara Payton (Dead Blondes Part 10)  

In our Joan Crawford series, we talked about Barbara Payton as the young, troubled third wife of Crawford’s ex Franchot Tone, whose inability to choose between Tone and another actor brought all three of them down into tabloid Hell. Today, we revisit Payton’s story, and expand it, to explore her rise to quasi-fame, and the slippery slope that reduced her from “most likely to succeed” to informal prostitution, to formal prostitution, and finally to a way-too-early grave. 

101: Jayne Mansfield (Dead Blondes Part 9)  

More famous today for her gruesome car crash death than for any of the movies she made while alive, Jayne Mansfield was in some sense the most successful busty blonde hired by a studio as a Marilyn Monroe copy-cat. Mansfield’s satirical copy of Monroe’s act was so spot-on that it helped to hasten the end of the blonde bombshell, paradoxically endangering both actress’ careers. But she did manage to star in Hollywood’s first rock n’ roll movie, Hollywood’s first postmodern comedy, meet The Beatles, experiment with LSD, cheerfully align herself with Satanism for the photo op, and much more. 

100: Marilyn Monroe: The End (Dead Blondes Part 8)  

How did a star whose persona seemed to be all about childlike joy and eternally vibrant sexuality die, single and childless, at the age of 36? In fact, the circumstances of Marilyn Monroe’s death are confusing and disputed. In this episode we will explore the last five years of her life, including the demise of her relationship with Arthur Miller, the troubled making of The Misfits, and Marilyn’s aborted final film, and try to sort out the various facts and conspiracy theories surrounding her death. 

99: Marilyn Monroe: The Persona (Dead Blondes Part 7)  

How did Marilyn Monroe become the most iconic blonde of the 1950s, if not the century? Today we will trace how her image was created and developed, through her leading roles in movies and her featured coverage in the press, with special attention to the way Monroe’s on-screen persona took shape during the height of her career.  We’ll pay special attention to the films Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Bus Stop, and the struggles behind the scenes of Seven Year Itch and The Prince and the Showgirl. 

98: Marilyn Monroe: The Beginning (Dead Blondes Part 6)  

Today we begin the first of three episodes on the most iconic dead blonde of them all, Marilyn Monroe. We’ll start be revisiting our episode on Marilyn from our series on stars during World War II, in which we traced the former Norma Jean from her unhappy, almost parentless childhood through her teenage marriage, her work in a wartime factory, her hand-to-mouth days as a model, her struggles to break into movies and, finally, the sex scandal that made her a star. 

97: Carole Landis (Dead Blondes Part 5)  

Carole Landis was a gifted comedienne, a decent singer, and - once she dyed her natural brown hair blonde - perhaps the most luminous beauty in movies of the early 1940s. Plus, she was one of the most dedicated USO performers of WWII, and her elopement with an Air Force pilot on her travels became the inspiration for a book, movie and long running tabloid narrative. But then Landis fell into an affair with Rex Harrison - and this affair turned out to be Landis’ last.

96: Veronica Lake (Dead Blondes Part 4)  

Veronica Lake had the most famous hairdo of the 1940s, if not the twentieth century. Her star turn in Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels and her noir pairings with Alan Ladd made her Paramount’s biggest wartime draw behind Hope and Crosby, but behind the scenes, Lake was a loner with a drinking problem who didn’t give an F about Hollywood etiquette. Bankrupt and without a studio contract, in the early 1950s she consciously quit movies. She claimed she left Hollywood to save her own life - so how did she end up dead at 50?

95: Jean Harlow Flashback (Dead Blondes Part 3)  

Jean Harlow was the top blonde of the 1930s, and even though she didn’t survive the decade - she died in 1937 at the age of 26 - she’d inspire a generation of would-be platinum-haired bombshell stars. Today we revisit our 2015 episode on Harlow, to set the stage for the relentless forward march of Dead Blondes through the Twentieth Century.





94: Thelma Todd (Dead Blondes Part 2)  

Thelma Todd - a curvaceous white-blonde who predated Jean Harlow - was a sparkling comedienne who began in the silent era and flourished in the talkies, both holding her own opposite the Marx Brothers and playing straight woman in one of cinema’s first all-girl comedy teams. She was also an early celebrity entrepreneur, opening a hopping restaurant/bar with her name above the door. But today, Thelma is best remembered for her shocking 1935 death, which was deemed an accident but still sparks conspiracy theories that it was really murder.



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