Hollywood 1920's

Ann Dvorak (The Seduced, Episode 3) by Karina Longworth

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The child of a silent film actress, Dvorak was so determined to be a star that at first, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Her big break came when she was cast in Howard Hughes’s production of Scarface. But Hughes would sell her contract to Warner Brothers, and when Ann later accused Hughes of having “sold [her] down the river,”  she would swiftly suffer the consequences of going up against Hughes in the press when his mastery over the medium of publicity was at its peak.

Paul Muni and Ann Dvorak and in  Scarface , 1932

Paul Muni and Ann Dvorak and in Scarface, 1932

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

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

Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel by Christina Rice

Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood by Todd McCarthy

“Sold Down the River’ Declares Ann Dvorak.” Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1932

Production Code Administration files on Scarface, Margaret Herrick Library

Lincoln Quarberg files, Special Collections, Margaret Herrick Library

Clips from Scarface (1932) and The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)

Ann Dvorak and Richard Cromwell in  The Strange Love of Molly Louvain  (1932)

Ann Dvorak and Richard Cromwell in The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)

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 “Slow Down” by Blur.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Reflectif - Artist Unknown 

Time for Miles - Artist Unknown 

Kansas City Flashback 1 - Magnus Ringbloom

Club Noir 2 - John Ahlin

Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg

Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson

Cluedo - Hasan Eriksson 

Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone - Franz Gordon

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnson

Loser - Anders Ekengren

After the Freakshow - Jenny Roos

Victoria’s Vintage Pearls 3 - Peter Sandberg

Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonathan Jarpehag

Traceless 5 - Peter Sandberg

Empty Streets - Gunnar Johnson

Got That Feeling - Peter Sandberg

Credits:

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

Special Guest Noah Segan as Howard Hughes

Editor: Olivia Natt.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

Photo from the personal scrapbook of Ann Dvorak/Collection of Christina Rice via Huffington Post

Photo from the personal scrapbook of Ann Dvorak/Collection of Christina Rice via Huffington Post

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

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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.

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

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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