Hollywood 1950s

Maureen O'Hara and the Confidential Magazine Trial (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 18) by Karina Longworth

Listen, download this episode, or find on Apple Podcasts.

In part two of our two-parter on the demise of the biggest and most pernicious tabloid of the 1950s, we’ll explore what happened after the magazine’s claim that redheaded star Maureen O’Hara was caught having sex at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. O’Hara positioned herself the “Joan of Arc” of Hollywood, single-handedly defending a cowardly industry against the existential threat posed by Confidential. As we’ll see, this is one story where the Kenneth Anger version is more credible than the version related by one of the subjects.

Maureen O'Hara in Modern Screen Magazine, 1947

Maureen O'Hara in Modern Screen Magazine, 1947

Maureen O'Hara in Confidential Magazine, March 1957

Maureen O'Hara in Confidential Magazine, March 1957

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 “Like a Prayer” by Madonna.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg
Club Noir 2  - John Allen
Unsolved - Mythical Score Society
Southern Flavors 3 - Martin Gauffin
One Two Three 5 - Peter Sandberg
Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Franz Gordon
City Fashion 3 - Björn Skogsberg 
In The Lounge 02 - Lars Olvmyr
Eventually Maybe - Oakwood Station

Maureen O'Hara, at the Confidential Magazine trial, 1957

Maureen O'Hara, at the Confidential Magazine trial, 1957

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.

1957_confidential_liberace.jpg

Dorothy Dandridge and the Confidential Magazine Trial (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 17) by Karina Longworth

Listen, download this episode, or find on Apple Podcasts.

Over two episodes, we will explore Hollywood Babylon’s coverage of Confidential Magazine and the two celebrities who testified against the scandal rag in the 1957 trial that helped end what Anger rightfully refers to as its “reign of terror.” We’ll begin with Dorothy Dandridge, the first black actress to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Dandridge’s testimony against Confidential reveals the publication’s racist agenda, as well as the double standards that governed her real private and public lives.

Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in Carmen Jones (1954)

Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in Carmen Jones (1954)

Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Robert Mitchum and Otto Preminger

Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Robert Mitchum and Otto Preminger

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 “Over and Over” by Madonna.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg
Club Noir 2  - John Allen
City Fashion 3 - Björn Skogsberg 
A Playful Mood 2 - Peter Sandberg
Downtown Alley 2 - Magnus Ringblom
In The Lounge 02 - Lars Olvmyr
Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Franz Gordon
In The Lounge 05 - Lars Olvmyr
One Two Three 5 - Peter Sandberg
The Piano And Me 3 - Peter Sandberg
Goofy Moments 3 - Magnus RingblomSay It Is So - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Eventually Maybe - Oakwood Station

Dorothy Dandridge arrives at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1955, where we was the first African American actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress

Dorothy Dandridge arrives at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1955, where we was the first African American actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress

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.

Dorothy Dandridge in LIFE Magazine 1954

Dorothy Dandridge in LIFE Magazine 1954

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

Gina Lollobrigida in the 1960s.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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