Clara Bow (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 11) / by Karina Longworth

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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. Featuring special guest Natasha Lyonne!

Clara Bow and the WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1924

Clara Bow and the WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1924

Portrait of Clara Bow, 1920's

Portrait of Clara Bow, 1920's



This episode is a response to, and includes a brief excerpt from, Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger.

Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild by David Stenn

Directed by Dorothy Arzner by Judith Mayne

Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger

Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince by Budd Schulberg

The New York Graphic: The World’s Zaniest Newspaper by Lester Cohen

Final Thoughts on The “It” Girl and the Secretary,

The Evening Graphic's Tabloid Reality By Bob Stepno,

Clara Bow and Charles "Buddy" Rogers in Wings, 1927

Clara Bow and Charles "Buddy" Rogers in Wings, 1927


Original music was composed for this episode by Evan Viola. Most of the rest of 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 “Daughter of a Child” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
After the Freakshow - Jenny Roos
Cinema Romanza 14 - Jonatan Jarpehag
Bad News Piano 02 - Oscar Collin
Angry Cats - Hakan Ericsson
Loser - Anders Ekengren
My Simple Thing 2 - Peter Sandberg
Mississippi Ramble 1 - Martin Gauffin
I Don’t Smoke - Mythical Score Society
“Fight On” - Milo Sweet, 1922 (USC Fight Song) 
The Hepcat Swagger - Martin Landh
My Simple Thing - Peter Sandberg
Music from “The Wild Party” 1929 - John Leipold
French Girls - Hakan Eriksson
Dust Bowl 1 - Hakan Eriksson
Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson
People Falling Down 3 - Gavin Luke
Black and White Memories 3 - Martin Hall
Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson
Mas Cerca De Ti 5 - Martin Carlberg
Music from “Call Her Savage” 1932 - Peter Brunelli, Arthur Lange
Sad Piano Walk 1 - Oscar Collin  



Our special guest this week is Matt Bomer.

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

Editors: Sam Dingman and Jacob Smith.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

Marilyn Monroe as Clara Bow, photographed by Richard Avedon

Marilyn Monroe as Clara Bow, photographed by Richard Avedon