Mystery

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

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

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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Thomas Ince and the Hearst "Coverup" (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 9) by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

Thomas Ince was one of early Hollywood’s most pioneering producers—in fact, some credit him for popularizing “producer” as a job title and for codifying what it meant to do the job, as well as helping to develop the Western as a genre. But today, if Ince is remembered at all, it’s for his death aboard a yacht owned by William Randolph Hearst, amidst a star-studded party attended by Chaplin, writer Elinor Glyn, and actress/Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies. For decades, rumors have swirled that Ince was felled not by “acute indigestion,” as Hearst’s papers claimed, but by “a bullet hole in [his] head,” as Kenneth Anger put it. Who was Ince, what really happened on that yacht, and why have fictionalizations of his death (spread by Anger and others) flourished for so long?

Thomas Ince, Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett & D. W. Griffith, c. 1915

Thomas Ince, Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett & D. W. Griffith, c. 1915

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources:

This episode is a response to, and includes a brief excerpt from, Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger.

Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies (Film and Culture Series) by Louis Pizzitola

The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons by Samantha Barbas

Thomas Ince: Hollywood's Independent Pioneer by Brian Taves  

Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger

“The Chateau Elysee: Scientology's Celebrity Centre Before it Went Clear” by Hadley Meares, kcet.org, April 19, 2013

“Hollywood’s historic Villa Carlotta returns to rental market as upscale, Airbnb-style lodging, What about rent control?” by Jenna Chandler, la.curbed.com, June 1, 2018

Inceville, c. 1919

Inceville, c. 1919

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 “Life Classes/Life Model” by The Auteurs.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

The Smoke Room - Gunnar Johnsen  
Finkelstein’s Walk in the Rain - Per-Anders Nilsson
Dust Bowl 1 - Hakan Eriksson
Loser - Anders Ekengren
My Simple Thing 2 - Peter Sandberg
Whiskey Rondo - Hakan Eriksson
Paris Waltz - Hakan Eriksson
Time to Tango - Hakan Eriksson
Black and White - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Bad News Piano 17 - Oscar Collin
Cluedo - Hakan Eriksson
Jazz and Blue Piano 1 - Jonaton Jarpehag

The Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's ship

The Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's ship

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