1920's Hollywood

The Bacchanal of 1920s Hollywood, via Frederica Sagor Maas (The Seduced, Episode 2) by Karina Longworth

Frederica Sagor Maas.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

Seduction begins at an MGM sponsored orgy at the Ambassador Hotel, as told through the eyes of one of the attendees, a young female screenwriter named Frederica Sagor. Sagor would go on to pen one of the frankest memoirs of 1920s Hollywood ever written, revealing the systematic sexual exploitation of women in the film industry by men like Marshall Neilan -- one of Howard Hughes’s early mentors. Frederica’s story also details how tough it was for a woman to hold on to power behind the scenes in the film industry as Hollywood evolved. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 5.15.37 PM.png



Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by Karina Longworth

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim by Frederica Sagor Maas

Lois Weber in Early Hollywood by Shelley Stamp

Are the Stars Out Tonight? The Story of the Famous Ambassador and Cocoanut Grove “Hollywood’s Hotel” by Margaret Tante Burk

Marshall Neilan’s autobiographical notes, Marshall Neilan special collection, Margaret Herrick Library


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 “It Could Be You” by Blur.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Reflectif (Artist Unknown)

The Charleston 1 Hakan Ericsson

Club Noir 4-John Ahlin

Waltz for Cello 3—Jonatan Jarpehag

42nd and Broadway (Artist Unknown)  

Got That Feeling-Peter Sandberg

My Simple Thing—Peter Sandberg

Chamber String Rock-Hakan Ericsson

Kansas City Flashback 1-Magnus Ringbloom

Sad Drama 4-Merlean

Loser-Anders Ekengren

Black and White Memories 3-Martin Hall

Jazz And Blue Piano 1-Jonathan Jarpehag

Viona’s Lullaby-Peter Sandberg

Sunset—Kai Vogel

Marshall Neilan and Mary Pickford on set, c. 1920's | Photo via the Mary Pickford Foundation

Marshall Neilan and Mary Pickford on set, c. 1920's | Photo via the Mary Pickford Foundation


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

Editor: Olivia Natt.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

Frederica Sagor Maas

Frederica Sagor Maas