Bombshell

Gina Lollobrigida (The Seduced, Episode 6) by Karina Longworth

Gina Lollobrigida in the 1960s.jpg

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This Italian pin-up, along with Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, was emblematic of a brand of post-war European sexuality that America happily imported. But the Hollywood career of  “La Lollo” was delayed, thanks to Howard Hughes, whose obsession with Lollobrigida led him to keep her virtually imprisoned in a Los Angeles hotel, and sign her to a contract that made it essentially impossible for her to work for any other US producer.

Gina Lollobrigida in  Bread, Love and Dreams , 1953

Gina Lollobrigida in Bread, Love and Dreams, 1953

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 “For Tomorrow” by Blur.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Reflectif - Artist Unknown 

Rendezvous 3 - Martin Landh 

Mysterious Grand Piano - Jonas Elander

Cluedo - Hakan Erikson

Sophisticated Gentleman 3 - Magnus Kingbloom

My Simple Thing 2 - Peter Sandberg

Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg

After the Freakshow - Jenny Roos

Jazz and Blue Piano 1-Jonatan Jarpehag

Campers Day-Magnus Ringblom

Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone - Franz Gordon

Speakeasy 2 - Gunnar Johnsen

Credits:

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.

Gina Lollobrigida, 2014 | Photograph by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair

Gina Lollobrigida, 2014 | Photograph by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair

Jayne Mansfield (Dead Blondes Episode 9) by Karina Longworth

Mansfield, Jayne (Kiss Them for Me)_01.jpg

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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.

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, 1957

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, 1957

Jayne Mansfield in  The Girl Can't Help It  (1956) 

Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It (1956) 

Anton Lavey and Jayne Mansfield, 1966

Anton Lavey and Jayne Mansfield, 1966

Marilyn Monroe: The End (Dead Blondes Episode 8) by Karina Longworth

Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern, 1962

Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern, 1962

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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.

Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, 1959

Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, 1959

Credits:

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Special guest appearance by Rian Johnson as John Huston. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.