Hollywood Babylon

Mae West (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 12) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

Today we begin part two of our season, Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon. Mae West was the biggest new star in Hollywood in 1933, thanks to two hit films she co-wrote and starred in as a sexually implicit, wisecracking broad who romanced a young Cary Grant. In Hollywood Babylon, Anger credits West’s abrupt decline in movies to a coordinated conspiracy organized by William Randolph Hearst and carried out by the Hays Office. Today we’ll explore West’s background, her history of pushing the censors past the limits of legality, and the truth of her lightning-fast rise in Hollywood and somewhat slower descent back to earth.

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger

Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It by Mae West

Becoming Mae West by Emily Wortis Leider

She Always Knew How: Mae West, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration by Thomas Doherty

The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code by Leonard J. Leff


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 “I’m No Angel” by Mae West.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

One Two Three 4 - Peter Sandberg

One Two Three 5 - Peter Sandberg

My Simple Thing 2 - Peter Sandberg

Up We Go 4 - Peter Sandberg

Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg

Eventually Maybe - Oakwood Station

Say It Is So - Magnus Ringblom Quartet

In The Lounge 02 - Lars Olvmyr

In The Lounge 05 - Lars Olvmyr

City Fashion 3 - Björn Skogsberg

Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Franz Gordon

Corny Local Restaurants 2 - Magnus Ringblom

Goofy Moments 3 - Magnus Ringblom

Sophisticated Gentlemen 2 - Magnus Ringblom

Bachelor On The Move 4 - Martin Landh

Thieves Adventures 21 - Magnus Ringblom

Club Noir 2 - John Åhlin

 Mae West and Grant in  I'm No Angel  (1933)

Mae West and Grant in I'm No Angel (1933)

Credits:

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

Editor: Cameron Drews.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

 Mae West, shot by Diane Arbus, c. 1965

Mae West, shot by Diane Arbus, c. 1965

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

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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.

 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

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

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, derangedlacrimes.com

The Evening Graphic's Tabloid Reality By Bob Stepno, stepno.com

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

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

Music:

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  

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Credits:

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

Rudolph Valentino (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 10) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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?

 Rudolph Valentino, 1920's

Rudolph Valentino, 1920's

 Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres in  The Sheik  1921

Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres in The Sheik 1921

Music:

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 “Lenny Valentino” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
Angry Cats - Hakan Ericsson
Pesado Manouche 3 - John Ahlin
Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson
I Don’t Smoke - Mythical Score Society
Loser - Anders Ekengren
Mas Cerca De Ti 1 - Martin Carlberg
Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
The Sheik (My Rose of Araby) (1921) - Ted Snyder
Mas Cerca De Ti 5 - Martin Carlberg
After the Freakshow - Jenny Roos
Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson
People Falling - Gavin Luke
Tartango 1 - Josef Falkenskold
Bad News Piano 02 - Oscar Collin 

 Portrait of Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova, 1925

Portrait of Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova, 1925

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Credits:

Our special guest this week is John Hodgman.

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.

Portrait of Rudolph Valentino by Henry Waxman, 1920's.png

Thomas Ince and the Hearst "Coverup" (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 9) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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?

 Thomas Ince, Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett & D. W. Griffith, c. 1915

Thomas Ince, Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett & D. W. Griffith, c. 1915

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

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

Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies (Film and Culture Series) by Louis Pizzitola

The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons by Samantha Barbas

Thomas Ince: Hollywood's Independent Pioneer by Brian Taves  

Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger

“The Chateau Elysee: Scientology's Celebrity Centre Before it Went Clear” by Hadley Meares, kcet.org, April 19, 2013

“Hollywood’s historic Villa Carlotta returns to rental market as upscale, Airbnb-style lodging, What about rent control?” by Jenna Chandler, la.curbed.com, June 1, 2018

 Inceville, c. 1919

Inceville, c. 1919

Music:

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 “Life Classes/Life Model” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
Finkelstein’s Walk in the Rain - Per-Anders Nilsson
Dust Bowl 1 - Hakan Eriksson
Loser - Anders Ekengren
My Simple Thing 2 - Peter Sandberg
Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson
Paris Waltz - Hakan Eriksson
Time to Tango - Hakan Eriksson
Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Bad News Piano 17 - Oscar Collin
Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson
Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag

 The Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's ship

The Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's ship

Credits:

Our special guest this week is Fred Savage.

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.

Thomas Ince Newspaper.png

Peggy Hopkins Joyce and Charlie Chaplin (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon, Episode 8) by Karina Longworth

PeggyHopkinsJoyce c. 1933.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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.

 Peggy Hopkins Joyce, c. 1920's

Peggy Hopkins Joyce, c. 1920's

 Peggy Hopkins Joyce and Charlie Chaplin, c. 1922

Peggy Hopkins Joyce and Charlie Chaplin, c. 1922

Music:

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 “I'm a Rich Man's Toy” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
Sad Piano Walk 1 - Oscar Collin
1920s Chicago 3 - Magnus Ringblom
French Girls - Hakan Ericsson
French Cuisine - Magnus Ringblom  
Mississippi Ramble 1 - Martin Gauffin
Wedding March in C Major - Felix Mendelssohn
Pesado Manouche 3 - John Ahlin
Pesado Manouche 2 - John Ahlin
Klezmer Feeling 1 - Gunnar Johnsen
Victoria’s Vintage Pearls - Peter Sandberg
Black and White Memories 3 - Martin Hall
My Simple Thing 3 - Peter Sandberg
Yellow Leaves 2 - Peter Sandberg
Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Widows Dance - Hakan Eriksson
Motions 9 - Line Neesgaard

Credits:

Our special guest this week is John Mulaney.

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.

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Will Hays and "Pre-Code" Hollywood (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 7) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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?

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

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

The Memoirs of Will H. Hays by Will H. Hays

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann

Go West Young Women! by Hillary Hallett

Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration by Thomas Doherty

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen

“Will Hays, First Film Czar, Dies; Former G. O. P. Leader Was 74; Arbiter of Hollywood's Morals 23 Years Was Postmaster General Under Harding” By The Associated Press, March 8,1954, New York Times

“Will H. Hays and the Motion Picture Industry 1919-1922: by Gerald S. Schatz, from The Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 3, September 1961, pp. 316-329

“Will H. Hays Gets Divorce in Indiana; Court Awards Custody of Son to Motion Picture Official in Uncontested Suit.” New York Times, June 22, 1929

“Mrs. Will H. Hays Dies; Widow of Former 'Czar' of Movie Industry Was 84” New York Times, August 30, 1960

“The Letters That Warren G. Harding’s Family Didn’t Want You to See” by By Jordan Michael Smith, New York Times, July 7, 2014

“Pictures More Realistic” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 31, 1930

“Morals and the Movies” The News Leader, April 28, 1930

“America’s Horniest President Warren G. Harding might have been a useless leader, but he sure could craft a sex scandal” By Jordan Michael Smith, August 16, 2015

 William Hays (center) shaking hands, c. 1920's

William Hays (center) shaking hands, c. 1920's

Music:

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 “Chinese Bakery” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

he Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
My Simple Thing 2  - Peter Sandberg
The Hipcat Swagger 3 - Martin Landh
Mississippi Ramble 1 - Martin Gauffin
Sophisticated Gentlemen 3 - Magnus Ringblom
Loser - Anders Ekengren
Club Noir 4 - John Ahlin
March Militaire - Franz Schubert
Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson
Black and White Memories 3 - Martin Hall
War March 1 - Peter Sandberg
O Come All Ye Faithful - Traditional

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Credits:

Our special guest this week is Gideon Yago.

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.

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Hollywood Babylon Opening Montage Credits by Karina Longworth

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Our Hollywood Babylon series opening montage includes audio clips from various documentaries and television programs. Here are the audio clip sources: 

"The great films of the silent years..."
Orson Welles discussing the 1916 film Intolerance on the 1971 TV series The Silent Years:   

"This isn't news, this is totally unfounded gossip!"
Nigel Finch's TV documentary series Arena, episode "Hollywood Babylon" 

"It's a long way from Hollywood..." and "Have been criticized for dealing too frankly with such themes as sex and nudity..." 
1965 news report about "underground films" that mentions Anger's work

"Hollywood" and "Babylon" are clips from various documentaries, exact sources unknown. 

Wallace Reid (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 6) by Karina Longworth

Wallace Reid, 1910s.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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-sandal 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?

 Wallace Reid and Dorothy Davenport with son Billy, 1917

Wallace Reid and Dorothy Davenport with son Billy, 1917

 Wallace Reid in  The Dictator,  1922

Wallace Reid in The Dictator, 1922

Music:

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 “Professional Widow” by Tori Amos.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
Dust Bowl 1 - Hakan Eriksson
My Simple Thing 2  - Peter Sandberg
Music from The Birth Of A Nation (1915) score by Joseph Carl Breil
Toreador Song - Georges Bizet  (From Carmen)
Loser - Anders Ekengren
Quentino 9  Stefan Netsman
Bad news Piano 17 - Oscar Collin
Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag
Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg
Sad Piano Walk 1  - Oscar Collin
Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Meditation for Viola and Piano 14 - Jonaton Jarpehag
Widow’s Dance - Hakan Eriksson
My Simple Thing 3  - Peter Sandberg

 Davenport on the set of  Human Wreckage , 1923

Davenport on the set of Human Wreckage, 1923

Credits:

Our special guest this week is Mark Olsen.

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.

Mabel Normand (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 5) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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.

SHOW NOTES  

Sources:

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

Goldwyn: a Biography by A. Scott Berg

Mabel: Hollywood’s First I Don’t Care Girl by Betty Harper Fussell

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann

Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger

My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin

“Mickey (1918)” by Roger Fristoe, tcm.com

“Mabel Normand: Her Great-Nephew’s Memoir” by Stephen Normand, themabelnormand.com

 Mabel Normand, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, c. 1915

Mabel Normand, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, c. 1915

Music:

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 “Underground Movies” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen

My Simple Thing 3 - Peter Sandberg

Pesado Manouche 3 - John Ahlin

Mississippi Ramble 1 - Martin Gauffin

Kansas City Flashback 2 - Magnus Ringblom

One Two Three 1 - Peter Sandberg

Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag

Mickey (1918) - Harry Williams (lyrics) & Neil Moret (music)

Victoria’s Vintage Pearls 2 - Peter Sandberg

Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet

My Simple Thing - Peter Sandberg

 Mack Sennett Studios

Mack Sennett Studios

Credits:

Our special guest this week is Fred Savage.

This episode was written, narrated and produced by edited 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.

William Desmond Taylor (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 4) by Karina Longworth

William Desmond Taylor) (publicity photo).jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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.

 Mary Miles Minter c. 1919

Mary Miles Minter c. 1919

 William Desmond Taylor directing May McAvoy in the silent film Top of New York (1921), several months before his death

William Desmond Taylor directing May McAvoy in the silent film Top of New York (1921), several months before his death

Music:

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 “Brainchild” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen

Sophisticated Gentlemen 3 - Magnus Ringblom

My Simple Thing 3 - Peter Sandberg

Bad News Piano 2 - Oscar Collin

Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson

Bad News Piano 17 - Oscar Collin

Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet

Black and White Memories 3 - Martin Hall

Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson

 Mabel Normand is questioned during the inquest surrounding William Desmond Taylor's death in 1922. (AP Photo)

Mabel Normand is questioned during the inquest surrounding William Desmond Taylor's death in 1922. (AP Photo)

Credits:

Our special guest this week is Fred Savage.

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.

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Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Virginia Rappe (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 3) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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. 

 Portrait of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle wearing a smoking jacket and surrounded by kneeling young ladies, c. 1918

Portrait of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle wearing a smoking jacket and surrounded by kneeling young ladies, c. 1918

 Virginia Rappe, c. 1920

Virginia Rappe, c. 1920

 Trashed hotel suite at the St. Francis Hotel, 1921

Trashed hotel suite at the St. Francis Hotel, 1921

Music:

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 Modern History by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsén 

Widow’s Dance - Håkan Eriksson

Sophisticated Gentlemen 3 - Magnus Ringblom 

1920s Chicago 3 - Magnus Ringblom 

Kansas City flashback 2 - Magnus Ringblom 

Blue Zones - Martin Gauffin 

The Old House - Håkan Eriksson 

Bad News Piano 17 - Oscar Collin

Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag

Bad News Piano 3 - Oscar Collin 

Paris Waltz - Håkan Eriksson 

Meditation for Viola and Piano 14 - Jonaton Jarpehag

My Simple Thing 3 - Peter Sandberg


Credits:

Our special guest this week is Gideon Yago.

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.

 Arbuckle's Mug Shot 1921

Arbuckle's Mug Shot 1921

Olive Thomas (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 2) by Karina Longworth

olive_thomas c 1916.jpg

Listen and download this episode, or find on Apple Podcasts.

The first Hollywood scandal to attract international intentional 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”?

 Olive Thomas and Jack Pickford, c. 1920

Olive Thomas and Jack Pickford, c. 1920

 Special thanks to Allison Anders, who provided this image of Pickford and Thomas from her personal collection.

Special thanks to Allison Anders, who provided this image of Pickford and Thomas from her personal collection.

Music:

Original music was composed for this episode by Evan Viola. Most of the rest of 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 "The Upper Classes" by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsén 

Mississippi Ramble 1 - Martin Gauffin 

Sophisticated Gentlemen 3 - Magnus Ringblom

One Two Three 1 - Peter Sandberg 

Black and White Memories 3 - Martin Hall

Speakeasy 2

1920s Chicago 3 - Magnus Ringblom

Time To Tango - Håkan Eriksson 

Pesado Manouche 3 - John Ahlin

Widow’s Dance - Håkan Eriksson

Paris Waltz - Håkan Eriksson 

Say It Is So -Magnus Ringblom

Victoria’s Vintage Pearls 2 - Peter Sandberg

Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag 

Credits:

Our special guest this week is Gideon Yago.

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.