Classic Hollywood

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. Featuring special guest Natasha Lyonne!

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

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

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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.

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. 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

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