The Many Loves of Howard Hughes, Part 2: The Many Loves of Ida Lupino (YMRT #9) / by Karina Longworth


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In this second installment of our ongoing series, The Many Loves of Howard Hughes, we explore the life, loves and work of Ida Lupino. Hughes dated Lupino when she was a teenage starlet; nearly 20 years later, after Lupino had become the only working female feature director in 1940s Hollywood, Hughes signed his ex-girlfriend’s production company to a deal at RKO. Hughes supported Lupino as a director, but also helped to kill off her second marriage. We’ll explore how Ida’s relationship with Hughes, and other men in her life, alternately enhanced her career and complicated it. Also: haunted houses, HUAC, The Twilight Zone, post-traumatic stress, polio, more shitty pettiness from Harry Cohn, more high-minded anti-Hollywood talk from Robert Rossellini, and much more.

Show notes!

This week’s episode is quite dense with information, and I don’t have much to add. My primary sources were Ida Lupino: A Biography by William Donati; Howard Hughes: The Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown; and the Senses of Cinema profile of Lupino by Wheeler Winston Dixon. The photographs that inspired the storyline are above. I used clips from this episode of The Twilight Zone, and Robert Aldrich’s The Big Knife.

Lupino’s last indie directorial effort, The Bigamist, is I think, in the public domain, and watchable on YouTube, where you can also find a few segments from Lupino and Howard Duff’s CBS sitcom  Mr. Adams and Eve.


"It’s Love," performed by Blossom Dearie

"The Continental," performed by Blossom Dearie

"Naive Song," by Mirwais

"Prelude," by Gene Harris

"Melody," by Serge Gainsbourg

"Hairy Trees," by Goldfrapp

"Involution," by Mirwais

"Walking Wounded," by Everything But the Girl

"Night and Day," performed by Lena Horne

"Fable of the Elements," by Joan of Arc

"Stars" by Xx

"Keechie," by No Age

"Emperor Tomato Ketchup," by Stereolab

"Sea Within a Sea," by The Horrors

"Repeat Defender," by Don Caballero

"Butterfly," by The Verve

"Rock My Boat (Roger O’Donnell Mix)," by Dntel

"Tara," by Roxy Music

"Shatter,"by Liz Phair

"Puma," by Dntel

"Capri," from the score for Contempt, by Georges Delerue

"Off You," by The Breeders