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

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.



93: Peg Entwistle (Dead Blondes Part 1)  

This season we’re going to explore the stories of 11 blonde actresses who died unusual, untimely or otherwise notable deaths - deaths which, in various ways, have outshined these actress’ lives. Today we’ll explain why we’re doing this, and will tell the story of Peg Entwistle - idol of Bette Davis, successful stage star turned movie aspirant, and one of the first Hollywood blondes who became more famous in death than in life.

This episode contains selections from the album Industry, by Unheard Music Concepts. Used in accordance with Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. 



92: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Mommie Dearest  

The year after Joan Crawford died, her estranged, adopted daughter Christina published a tell-all, accusing her late mother of having been an abusive monster when the cameras weren’t around. Three years later, Mommie Dearest became a movie, starring the only actress of the “new Hollywood” who Joan herself had commended, Faye Dunaway. The disastrous production of that film revealed how much had changed in Hollywood since Joan’s heyday, and the finished film did much to mutate Joan’s persona in the minds of future generations. 

91: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Bette Davis, "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?," and Crawford’s last years  

Robert Aldrich’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  has done more to define later generation’s ideas about who Crawford was than perhaps any other movie that she was actually in. Unfortunately, most of those ideas center around Crawford’s supposed feud with co-star Bette Davis, which began as a marketing ploy and turned into something quasi-real - or, at least as real as certain celebrity “feuds” of today. 

90: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: The Middle Years (Mildred Pierce to Johnny Guitar)  

Joan Crawford struggled through what she called her “middle years,” the period during her 40s before she remade herself from aging, slumping MGM deadweight into a fleet, journeywoman powerhouse who starred in some of the most interesting films about adult womanhood of the 1940s and 1950s. That revival began with Mildred Pierce (for which Crawford won her only Oscar), and included a number of films, such as Daisy Kenyon and Johnny Guitar, directed by men who would later be upheld as auteurs, subversively making personal art within the commercial industry of Hollywood. 

89: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Barbara Payton  

By the mid-1930s, Joan Crawford was very, very famous, and negotiating both an affair with Clark Gable (her most frequent co-star and the only male star of her stature), and a new marriage to Franchot Tone, who, like Joan’s first husband, was an actor who was not quite on her level of stardom. Crawford’s marriage to Tone would span the back half of the decade, as Crawford’s stardom peaked, and then began its first decline. Today we’ll talk about that, and then we’ll tell a story about what happened to Franchot Tone after Joan Crawford - particularly, the strange love triangle he entered into in the 1950s, with the gorgeous but self-destructive starlet Barbara Payton at its center.

88: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Douglas Fairbanks Jr. / Our Dancing Daughters to Grand Hotel  

Joan Crawford’s early years in Hollywood were like - well, a pre-code Joan Crawford movie: a highly ambitious beauty of low birth does what she has to do (whatever she has to do) to transform herself into a well-respected glamour gal at the top of the food chain. Her romance with Douglas Fairbanks Jr - the scion of the actor/producer who had been considered the King of Hollywood since the early days of the feature film - began almost simultaneous to Crawford’s breakout hit, Our Dancing Daughters. But the gum-snapping dame with the bad reputation would soon rise far above her well-born husband, cranking out a string of indelible performances in pre-code talkies before hitting an early career peak in the Best Picture-winning Grand Hotel. 

87: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Douglas Fairbanks / Lucille LeSueur Goes to Hollywood  

In order to understand Joan Crawford’s rise to fame, we have to talk about what Joan - born Lucille LeSueur, and called “Billie Cassin” for much of her childhood - was like before she got to Hollywood, and what Hollywood was like before she got there. To accomplish the latter, we’ll focus on Douglas Fairbanks: top action star of the silent era, the definition of Hollywood royalty, and the father of Crawford’s first husband.

86: The Blacklist Part 16: Kirk Douglas, Dalton Trumbo, and Otto Preminger (Breaking the Blacklist, Part 2)  

How did the Blacklist come to an end? If you ask Kirk Douglas, the end began with his hiring of Dalton Trumbo to write Spartacus -- or, rather Douglas flaunting of that hiring. Otto Preminger, who hired Trumbo to write Exodus, might see it differently. In truth, the end of the blacklist was a process that took over a decade, and couldn’t have happened without actions taken by Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, director Joseph Losey, and president John F. Kennedy. We'll talk about the connection between the end of the blacklist and the weakening of the production code, and what both had to do with the slow dissolution of the studio system amidst the rise of independent producers and a younger generation of audiences. Finally, we’ll discuss how those who had been blacklisted struggled to move on. 

85: The Blacklist Part 15: Frank Sinatra and Albert Maltz (Breaking The Blacklist, Part 1)  

In the first of two episodes about major stars attempting to end the Blacklist, we’ll look at Frank Sinatra’s efforts to hire Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz. Timing got in the way of Sinatra’s good intentions: this was the exact moment when Sinatra had become the coolest middle-aged man in America as “chairman of the board” of the newly-formed Vegas act now known as the Rat Pack. It was also the moment when Sinatra thought he was on the verge of acquiring real political power through his proximity to presidential candidate John F. Kennedy.

Blacklist Flashback: Frank Sinatra through 1945  

Before our episode on Frank Sinatra’s attempt to end the blacklist, we’re going to flashback to an episode from April 2015, on Sinatra’s rise to fame and his experiences during World War II.  In the early 1940s, shortly after skyrocketing to fame as a heartthrob crooner, Sinatra was perceived, and from some corners pilloried, as a draft dodger. Today we’ll talk about how Sinatra acquired that reputation, how it impacted his early career, and the early success which, as we’ll see next week, faded, and became something that Sinatra struggled to recapture, and couldn’t bear to let go of once he did so. 

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84: The Blacklist Part 14: After the Fall: Arthur Miller  

Arthur Miller considered Elia Kazan a close friend and collaborator, but when Kazan named names to HUAC, Miller broke with him and wrote The Crucible, a parable about anti-communist hysteria set amidst the Salem Witch Trials. But despite the committee’s sensitivity to criticism, HUAC didn’t subpoena Miller until he became engaged to Marilyn Monroe, then the biggest star and sex symbol of her day. Miller and Kazan would remain estranged for a decade, until the latter directed a play written by the former which, while drawing headlines for its depiction of Monroe, also seemed to parallel their falling out over HUAC.

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83: The Blacklist Part 13: On the Waterfront: Elia Kazan  

Elia Kazan introduced audiences to Warren Beatty, James Dean and Marlon Brando. His films of the 1950s -- including A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden -- comprise perhaps the most impressive body of work of an American director of the decade. But Kazan, who was briefly a Communist in the 1930s, likely would not have been able to make many of those films had he not named names to HUAC in 1952. 

This episode is brought to you by Slack. Visit Slack.com/REMEMBER, Create a new team and you’ll get $100 in credit for when you decide to upgrade to a paid plan.

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