Rupert Hughes's Women (The Seduced, Episode 1) / by Karina Longworth

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Welcome to a mini-season of You Must Remember This, peripherally related to Karina Longworth’s new book, Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, which explores the lives and careers of over a dozen actresses who were involved, professionally and/or personally, with Howard Hughes. Inspired by the You Must Remember This episodes on “The Many Loves of Howard Hughes” produced in 2014-2015, the book goes in depth, with much new research, into the stories of stars like Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Ida Lupino, Jane Russell and many more.

In this short series of You Must Remember This, we’ll discuss some of the women who serve as peripheral characters in Seduction: four actresses who were briefly seduced by Hughes, either professionally or romantically, and one writer whose travails in Hollywood during the Hughes era speak to the conflicted female experience behind the camera in 20th century Hollywood.

We’ll begin the season by talking about the complicated, intermingled romantic and professional relationships of Howard’s uncle, Rupert Hughes, who paved the way for his nephew as a Hollywood figure known for his colorful history with women. Howard Hughes was not the first man in his family to find success in Hollywood, or to build a reputation built in part on multiple relationships with women. His uncle, Rupert Hughes, was a respected writer and director in the silent era, whose accomplishments included one of the first Hollywood meta-movies. He also married three times, while making frequent public statements, and films, critiquing marriage and divorce laws. One of his marriages ended in a sensational divorce trial; the other two Mrs. Hughes committed suicide.

 Rupert Hughes, c. 1920-30

Rupert Hughes, c. 1920-30

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Music:

The music used in this episode, with the exception of the intro and outro, was sourced from royalty-free music libraries and licensed music collections. The intro includes a clip from the film Casablanca. The outro song this week is “Charmless Man” by Blur.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Reflectif—Artist Unknown

Feelin’ Lucky—Artist Unknown

Mississippi Ramble 1—Martin Gauffin 

My Simple Thing—Peter Sandberg

Traceless 5-Peter Sandberg

Rendezvous 3—Martin Landh

Song for Johanna-Franz Gordon

Ragtime Jam 3—Magnus Ringblom

Whiskey Rondo—Hakan Eriksson

Jazz And Blue Piano 1—Jonatan Jarpehag

Sleepless—(artist unknown) 

Hot Rod Rebels 5—Victor Olsson

Sunset—Kai Engel 

Bad News Piano—1-Oscar Collin

Speakeasy 2—Gunnar Johnsen

Peaceful Pianos 5—Martin Klem

After the Freakshow—Jenny Roos

 Rupert Hughes and his wife in Photoplay magazine, July 1921

Rupert Hughes and his wife in Photoplay magazine, July 1921

Credits:

This episode was written, narrated and produced by Karina Longworth.

Special appearance by Noah Segan, as Howard Hughes.

Editor: Olivia Natt.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.