Hollywood 1940s

Carole Landis (Dead Blondes Episode 5) by Karina Longworth

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Carole Landis was a gifted comedienne, a decent singer, and -- once she dyed her natural brown hair blonde -- perhaps the most luminous beauty in movies of the early 1940s. Plus, she was one of the most dedicated USO performers of WWII, and her elopement with an Air Force pilot on her travels became the inspiration for a book, movie and long running tabloid narrative. But then Landis fell into an affair with Rex Harrison -- and this affair turned out to be Landis’ last.

Carole Landis with World War II troops 

Carole Landis with World War II troops 

Show notes:

Sources specific to this episode:

Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl, by Eric Gans

Fatal Charm: The Life of Rex Harrison, by Alexander Walker

Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley, by Jeffrey Spivak

Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann, by Barbara Seaman

This is the issue of TIME Magazine mentioned in the intro.

The book containing the claims about Pat DeCicco’s violent involvement in Carole Landis’ changed nose is Carole Landis: A Tragic Life In Hollywood by EJ Fleming. Other than citing this one specious claim, I did not use this book as a source precisely because Fleming has a tendency to phrase conjecture as though it is fact. 

Credits:

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

Rex Harrison and Carole Landis

Rex Harrison and Carole Landis

Blacklist Flashback: Lena Horne During WWII by Karina Longworth

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Stunning singer/actress Lena Horne was the first black performer to be given the full glamour girl star-making treatment. But as the years went on and her studio failed to make much use of her, Horne started feeling like a token — and she wasn’t wrong. Today we’ll detail Horne’s experiences rising through the ranks of the black nightclub world to MGM, where she remained under contract through the 1940s, and found herself competing with Ava Gardner for parts. Next week, we’ll talk about Horne’s post-MGM career and her struggle to stay off the blacklist.

This episode originally debuted in February 2015

There are several excerpts in this episode from the autobiographical stage show Lena mounted in the early 1980s, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.” Some of these excerpts come from a television version of the show that’s been posted on YouTube; others are from the official soundtrack album.

Other audio-video sources used in this episode, not including music:

Lena Horne on the Tonight Show 

Lena Horne on Good Morning America, 1981

Clip from Cabin in the Sky

Jubilee! Episode #89, from Armed Forces Radio Service, July 24, 1944

Monsieur Verdoux: Charlie Chaplin's Road to Hollywood Exile (The Blacklist Episode #7) by Karina Longworth

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Picking up where last week’s episode left off, we’ll catch up with Chaplin’s post-The Great Dictator activism, talk about Chaplin’s savage satirical follow-up, Monsieur Verdoux, and explain the witch hunt that ended with him forced to leave his adopted home, and Hollywood career, behind.

Here is a list of published sources that the entire season draws from:

The Red and the Blacklist: An Intimate Memoir of a Hollywood Expatriate by Norma Barzman

Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

Trumbo: A biography of the Oscar-winning screenwriter who broke the Hollywood blacklist by Bruce Cook

When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics by Donald T. Critchlow

Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten by Edward Dmytryk

City of Nets by Otto Friedrich

Hollywood Radical, Or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist by Bernard Gordon

I Said Yes to Everything by Lee Grant

Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J. Hoberman

Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky

West of Eden: An American Place by Jean Stein

The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-60 by Larry Ceplair


Sources specific to this episode:

Chaplin's War Trilogy: An Evolving Lens in Three Dark Comedies, 1918-1947 by Wes D. Gehring

My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd

The Gordon File: A Screenwriter Recalls Twenty Years of FBI Surveillance by Bernard Gordon

When Chaplin Became The Enemy” by J. Hoberman, NY Times, June 8, 2008

Booting a Tramp: Charlie Chaplin, the FBI, and the Construction of the Subversive Image in Red Scare America” by John Sbardellati and Tony Shaw

Excerpts from Chaplin’s FBI file can be found on the FBI’s website.

This episode was edited by Henry Molofsky, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

He Ran All The Way: John Garfield (The Blacklist Episode #6) by Karina Longworth

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John Garfield was Brando before Brando -- a Method-style actor who repped the New York working class while becoming a major sex symbol in film noir and World War II films. Garfield was not a Communist; most of his friends -- and his wife -- were, but they mostly thought “Julie” was well meaning but not a serious political animal. HUAC disagreed, and in the early 1950s, Garfield became the biggest star to be blacklisted.

This episode was edited by Henry Molofsky, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

Comments and Corrections, March 8, 2016 by Karina Longworth

Sometimes we get emails with comments and corrections that we think our listeners should be aware of. Here are a couple in reference to the first few episodes of our Blacklist series. 

 In reference to episode 3, Dorothy Parker, Ron Radosh writes:

"I am a historian and author or co-author of 17 books, including the one I wrote with my wife Allis Radosh, Red Star Over Hollywood, which is about the Communists in Hollywood and the blacklist.

For that, we spent an entire day and in addition had many phone conversations with the late Budd Schulberg. We taped the day long interview, held in his home way out in Long Island.

Budd told us, and emphasized that he had never made this public or told anyone before, but he wanted everything previously hidden or not known to finally come out.

What he told us is that he personally recruited Dorothy Parker to the Communist Party, and it was decided for various reasons that she, like many others, would remain a secret member who simply appeared as a fellow-traveler or someone who had a friendly attitude towards Communist positions. He also said he was assigned the task, since he recruited her, to meet with her each week to collect her Party dues.

Budd was a serious, honest man, who to the last days of his life, considered himself both anti-Communist and anti-fascist. He went ballistic when Ann Coulter praised Joe McCarthy and asked me how to get in touch with her so he could let her know how little he thought of her.

So for what it's worth, my wife and I both believe Budd was telling us the truth. He was not the kind of person to make up things and tell false stories."

 In reference to episode 2, The Hollywood Ten, Bob Shayne writes:

 "You got one important matter wrong. The Ten refused to answer citing the First Amendment, not the Fifth Amendment. If they had taken the Fifth, they would not and could not have been indicted, as the Fifth is what prevents anyone from being forced to testify against themselves in case of criminal activity. But the feeling among the Ten (or 19 originally) and their lawyers was that they had done nothing criminal and hence should not hide behind the Fifth. Further, if the First protects free speech, then it must protect the freedom not to speak. If must convey the right to privacy. That’s the theory with which they invoked the First.

It was that theory that the Supreme Court ruled against when they ruled against the Ten. Two liberal justices who were expected to rule in the Ten’s favor on that theory had died before the case got to the Court, as you stated."

This error was made in the portion of the episode toward its end, describing the downfall of J. Parnell Thomas, the ringleader of HUAC during the 1947 hearings:

 A few months later, Thomas himself was brought before a grand jury to answer to charges of corruption; there were accusations that he had sold government jobs to relatives, and that he had also put the names of non-existent people on federal payrolls so that he could embezzle their salaries. Thomas, who had ensured that the Hollywood Ten would be cited for contempt of congress for invoking their Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating themselves, took the stand in his grand jury trial and plead the Fifth. He was convicted of misuse of government funds, and sent to the same federal prison where Lester Cole and Ring Lardner Jr were serving their sentences. In 1951, in consultation with the American Legion, the collected studios agreed to add a provision to the blacklist guidelines set forth in the Waldorf Declaration: now they would deny employment to anyone who hid behind the Fifth Ammendment.

I regret all errors, of course, but at least I can sort of explain why this one happened. I confused the first and fifth amendments in part due to my personal dyslexia over numbers, and in part because both were used by HUAC witnesses at different times. To quote from Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky:

From that day [in 1951] forward those called to testify were advised by their attorneys that they had three choices: to invoke the First Amendment, with its guarantee of free speech and association, and risk going to prison for contempt of Congress like the Hollywood Ten; to invoke the Fifth Amendment, with its privilege against self-incrimination, and lose their jobs (Howard Da Silva and Gale Sondergaard, who followed Parks onto the stand that day, refused to answer the Committee, citing the Fifth Amendment, and were quickly excused and quickly blacklisted); or to cooperate with the Committee and name names and hope to continue working (as Sterling Hayden did, the first witness after Larry Parks to name names). The ground rules for the decade were set. 

We appreciate the correction and will clarify this issue in a future episode.  

 In reference to episode 5, Barbara Stanwyck, Kenton Bymaster writes via Facebook: 

"I just listened to this latest podcast, and you said that Karen Morley was married to King Vidor, but she was actually married to the director Charles Vidor."

The Strange Love of Barbara Stanwyck: Robert Taylor (The Blacklist Episode #5) by Karina Longworth

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Barbara Stanwyck’s first marriage helped to inspire A Star is Born. Her second marriage, to heartthrob Robert Taylor, didn’t make sense in a lot of ways, but the pair were united by their conservative politics. Both joined the blacklist-stoking Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, but only Taylor testified before HUAC. Called to shamed MGM for forcing him to star in wartime pro-Soviet film Song of Russia, Taylor would become the only major star to name names. Today we’ll talk about Taylor and Stanwyck’s relationship, and the difference between her groundbreaking career as the rare actress who refused to sign long term studio contracts, and his much more conventional experience as MGM chattel.

Show notes:

Here is a list of published sources that the entire season draws from:

The Red and the Blacklist: An Intimate Memoir of a Hollywood Expatriate by Norma Barzman

Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

Trumbo: A biography of the Oscar-winning screenwriter who broke the Hollywood blacklist by Bruce Cook

When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics by Donald T. Critchlow

Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten by Edward Dmytryk

City of Nets by Otto Friedrich

Hollywood Radical, Or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist by Bernard Gordon

I Said Yes to Everything by Lee Grant

Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J. Hoberman

Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky

West of Eden: An American Place by Jean Stein

The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-60 by Larry Ceplair

Sources specific to this episode:

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 By Victoria Wilson

Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood and Communism by Linda Alexander

Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman by Dan Callahan

Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System by Emily Carman

Robert Taylor Actor -- A very well-researched fan page

This episode includes a clip from Red Salute, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube. You can also watch Taylor’s controversial film Song of Russia, which is not available on DVD, here.

Other clips used:

Robert Taylor’s testimony about Howard Da Silva: 

The “back to Russia” testimony: 

Special thanks this week to Brian Clark and Noah Segan for their help in tracking down research materials.

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

The African Queen: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn and John Huston (The Blacklist Episode #4) by Karina Longworth

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In the late 1940s, as the country was moving to the right and there was pressure on Hollywood to do the same, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and John Huston all protested HUAC in ways that damaged their public personas and their ability to work in Hollywood. Hepburn’s outspokenness resulted in headlines branding her a "Red" and, allegedly, audiences stoning her films. Bogart and Huston were prominent members of the Committee For the First Amendment, a group of Hollywood stars who came to Washington to support the Hollywood Ten -- and lived to regret it. With their career futures uncertain, the trio collaborated on the most difficult film any of them would ever make, The African Queen.

 photo candidkatehuston-1.jpg

Show notes:

Here is a list of published sources that the entire season draws from:

The Red and the Blacklist: An Intimate Memoir of a Hollywood Expatriate by Norma Barzman

Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

Trumbo: A biography of the Oscar-winning screenwriter who broke the Hollywood blacklist by Bruce Cook

When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics by Donald T. Critchlow

Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten by Edward Dmytryk

City of Nets by Otto Friedrich

Hollywood Radical, Or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist by Bernard Gordon

I Said Yes to Everything by Lee Grant

Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J. Hoberman

Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky

Sources specific to this episode:

West of Eden by Jean Stein

By Myself and Then Some by Lauren Bacall

Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer

Kate: The Woman who was Hepburn by William J. Mann

Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn

An Open Book by John Huston

John Huston: Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers

As Bogart Sees it Now” Milwaukee Journal, December 3, 1947

I’m No Communist” by Humphrey Bogart, Photoplay, May 1948

Special thanks to our special guest, Rian Johnson, who reprised his recurring role as John Huston.

This episode included excerpts from the following videos:

Episode 1 of Hollywood Fights Back:

Bogart on Episode 2 of Hollywood Fights Back:

Katharine Hepburn’s speech at the May 1947 Henry Wallace rally:

Humphrey Bogart’s Oscar acceptance speech:

This episode was edited by Henry Molofsky, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks

Crossfire: The Trials of the Hollywood Ten (The Blacklist Episode #2) by Karina Longworth

Hollywood10.jpg
"Hollywood10". Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

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In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed dozens of Hollywood workers to come to Washington and testify to the presence of Communists in the film industry. 19 of those who were subpoenaed announced that they wouldn't co-operate with the Committee; of those 19, 10 "unfriendly" witnesses were called to the stand and refused to answer "The $64 Question": "Are you now or have you ever been a Communist?" Those 10 men were subsequently denied employment, and imprisoned; afraid of collateral damage to the industry, the studio moguls were thus moved to design the Blacklist. This episode will explore the work and politics of the Hollywood Ten -- and films on which they came together, such as Crossfire -- and delve into the far-reaching consequences of their false assumption that the Constitution would protect them.

Show notes:

Here is a list of published sources that the entire season draws from:

The Red and the Blacklist: An Intimate Memoir of a Hollywood Expatriate by Norma Barzman

Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

Trumbo: A biography of the Oscar-winning screenwriter who broke the Hollywood blacklist by Bruce Cook

When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics by Donald T. Critchlow

Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten by Edward Dmytryk

City of Nets by Otto Friedrich

Hollywood Radical, Or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist by Bernard Gordon

I Said Yes to Everything by Lee Grant

Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J. Hoberman

Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky

Sources specific to this episode:

“Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before The House Un-American Activities Committee,” Open Culture

“Reagan Played Informant For FBI in ‘40s” by Scott Herhold, Knight-Ridder Newspapers/Chicago Tribune

This episode includes excerpts from the following YouTube clips:

Crossfire Trailer:

 

Louis B. Mayer testifies against communism: 

John Howard Lawson’s testimony: 

 

Dalton Trumbo’s testimony (itself featured in an excerpt from an unidentified documentary): 

Bertolt Brecht’s testimony: 

This episode was edited by Henry Molofsky, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.