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You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This is a storytelling podcast exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. It’s the brainchild and passion project of Karina Longworth (founder of Cinematical.com, former film critic for LA Weekly), who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode. It is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction: navigating through conflicting reports, mythology, and institutionalized spin, Karina tries to sort out what really happened behind the films, stars and scandals of the 20th century.

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87: Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Douglas Fairbanks / Lucille LeSueur Goes to Hollywood

In order to understand Joan Crawford’s rise to fame, we have to talk about what Joan - born Lucille LeSueur, and called “Billie Cassin” for much of her childhood - was like before she got to Hollywood, and what Hollywood was like before she got there. To accomplish the latter, we’ll focus on Douglas Fairbanks: top action star of the silent era, the definition of Hollywood royalty, and the father of Crawford’s first husband. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

44mins

9 Aug 2016

Rank #1

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146: Disney’s Most Controversial Film (Six Degrees of Song of the South, Episode 1)

Disney Plus is launching with the stated intention of streaming the entire Disney library... except for "Song of the South," a 1946 animation/live-action hybrid film set on a post-Civil War plantation. It was theatrically re-released as recently as 1986, and served as the basis for the ride Splash Mountain, but has never been available in the US on home video. What is "Song of the South?" Why did Disney make it and why have they held the actual film from release, while finding other ways to profit off of it? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr

22 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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147: Hattie McDaniel (Six Degrees of Song of the South, Episode 2)

Song of the South co-stars Hattie McDaniel, the first black performer to win an Oscar (for her supporting role as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind). By the time Song of the South was released, McDaniel was the subject of much criticism in the black community for propagating outdated stereotypes in her roles. But McDaniel actually began her career subverting those same stereotypes, first in black minstrel shows and then in Hollywood movies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr

29 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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44: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 1: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Manson Murders

This season, You Must Remember This will explore the murders committed in the summer of 1969 by followers of Charles Manson. Today, we’ll talk about what was going on in the show business capital that made Manson seem like a relatively normal guy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

40mins

26 May 2015

Rank #4

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“It wasn’t sexism, then” (Polly Platt, The Invisible Woman, Episode 1)

We’ll begin with a look at how Polly Platt’s legacy was appraised when she died in 2011. Then we’ll go back in time to tell Polly’s story from the start, beginning with her Revolutionary Road-esque childhood in Europe and America as the neglected daughter of two alcoholics; to her years studying scenic design in environments in which women weren’t welcome; the secret pregnancy that halted her formal education, and the early marriage that took her West and cemented her desire to tell stories through design. Throughout, we’ll talk about how Platt’s experiences, as the product of an American military family of the 1950s—and the daughter of a mother who had been forced to abandon a career for motherhood––shaped her view of gender roles and relations, and her idea of what it meant to be the wife of a important man. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr 9mins

26 May 2020

Rank #5

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Orson Welles, What’s Up Doc, Paper Moon (Polly Platt, The Invisible Woman, Episode 4)

In the aftermath of The Last Picture Show — and the collapse of her second marriage — Polly finds an unlikely ally, and a new job, in Orson Welles. Anxious to build on her career momentum (and become the first female film art director accepted into her union), Polly agrees to work on Peter’s next two films, What’s Up Doc and Paper Moon – two massive hits which make Peter one of the most famous directors of the decade. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr 6mins

16 Jun 2020

Rank #6

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45: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 2: How Manson Found His Family

Today we're tracing Charles Manson's life from his birth to a teenage con artist, through multiple stints in reform schools and prisons, and finally to San Francisco circa 1967, where Manson began to try out his guru act on the local hippie kids. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

39mins

2 Jun 2015

Rank #7

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Rupert Hughes's Women (The Seduced, Episode 1)

In the new book Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, Karina Longworth explores the lives and careers of over a dozen actresses who were involved, professionally and/or personally, with Howard Hughes. Inspired by the You Must Remember This episodes on “The Many Loves of Howard Hughes” produced in 2014-2015, the book goes in depth, with much new research, into the stories of stars like Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Ida Lupino, Jane Russell and many more. In this short series of You Must Remember This, we’ll discuss some of the women who serve as peripheral characters in Seduction: four actresses who were briefly seduced by Hughes, either professionally or romantically, and one writer whose travails in Hollywood during the Hughes era speak to the conflicted female experience behind the camera in 20th century Hollywood. We’ll begin the season by talking about the complicated, intermingled romantic and professional relationships of Howard’s uncle, Rupert Hughes, who paved the way for his nephew as a Hollywood figure known for his colorful history with women. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

51mins

16 Oct 2018

Rank #8

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46: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 3: The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, and Charles Manson, Songwriter

In this episode we’ll talk about Charlie Manson’s arrival in Los Angeles, discuss Dennis Wilson’s life and the role he played in enabling Manson’s rock n’ roll delusions, and explain how The Beach Boys came to record a song written by Charles Manson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

50mins

9 Jun 2015

Rank #9

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55: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 12: The Manson Family on Trial

The trials of the Manson family became a kind of public theater which a number of current and future filmmakers found themselves caught up in. Joan Didion bought a dress for a Manson girl to wear to court, Dennis Hopper visited Manson in prison, and a young John Waters attended the trial and took inspiration for his legendary film, Pink Flamingos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

56mins

11 Aug 2015

Rank #10

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Will Hays and "Pre-Code" Hollywood (Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 7)

Who was Will Hays, and how did he come to put his name on the censorship “Code” that would shape the content of movies more than any other single force from the early 1930s into the 1960s? How much power did Hays really have in 1920s Hollywood, how corrupt was he, and why did it take a decade before the Hays Code was fully enforced? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

54mins

14 Aug 2018

Rank #11

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Clara Bow (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 11)

We’ll close this half of our Hollywood Babylon season with one of that book’s most famously distorted stories: the tale of “It” Girl Clara Bow’s supposed nymphomania and alleged “tackling” of the entire USC football team. The real story of Clara Bow’s life and career is a much richer tale, involving changing sexual mores, and the change in the audience’s tastes that overlapped with the end of the silent era.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr 4mins

11 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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70: MGM Stories Part 15: Mayer’s Downfall

In the 1940s, Louis B. Mayer was the highest paid man in America, one of the first celebrity CEOs and the figurehead of what for most Americans was the most glamorous industry on Earth. In 1951, Mayer was fired from the studio that bore his name. What happened -- to Mayer, and to Movies on the whole -- to hasten the end of the golden era of hollywood?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

52mins

22 Dec 2015

Rank #13

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27: Star Wars Episode I: Bette Davis and the Hollywood Canteen

In the first installment of 'Star Wars' (about the experiences of stars during wartime, not Chewbacca or Mos Eisley), Karina Longworth looks at Bette Davis and the Hollywood Canteen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

50mins

5 Jan 2015

Rank #14

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Peter Bogdanovich and the Woman Behind the Auteur (Polly Platt, The Invisible Woman, Episode 2)

After the death of her first husband and creative partner, Polly moves to New York, where she swiftly meets and falls in love with Peter Bogdanovich. Together Polly and Peter build a life around the obsessive consumption of Hollywood movies, with Polly acting as Peter’s Jill-of-all-trades support system as he first ingratiates himself with the previous two generations of Hollywood auteurs as a critic/historian, and then makes his way into making his own films. Together, Polly and Peter write and produce Targets, Bogdanovich’s first credited feature, and also collaborate on a documentary about the great director John Ford. By the time Polly gives birth to their first daughter, she believes she and Peter are an indivisible, equal creative partnership — regardless of how credit is distributed in Hollywood. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

1hr 8mins

3 Jun 2020

Rank #15

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86: The Blacklist Part 16: Kirk Douglas, Dalton Trumbo, and Otto Preminger (Breaking the Blacklist, Part 2)

How did the Blacklist come to an end? If you ask Kirk Douglas, the end began with his hiring of Dalton Trumbo to write Spartacus -- or, rather Douglas flaunting of that hiring. Otto Preminger, who hired Trumbo to write Exodus, might see it differently. In truth, the end of the blacklist was a process that took over a decade, and couldn’t have happened without actions taken by Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, director Joseph Losey, and president John F. Kennedy. We'll talk about the connection between the end of the blacklist and the weakening of the production code, and what both had to do with the slow dissolution of the studio system amidst the rise of independent producers and a younger generation of audiences. Finally, we’ll discuss how those who had been blacklisted struggled to move on.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

56mins

21 Jun 2016

Rank #16

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23: Mia Farrow in the 1960s, Part One: Mia & Frank

Before Mia Farrow was an outspoken activist, devoted mother to 14 children, and the famously jilted partner of Woody Allen, she was … a lot of other things. Today in the first of a two parter, we’ll begin to explore Mia Farrow’s life and career from 1960-1970. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

41mins

17 Nov 2014

Rank #17

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54: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 11: Death Valley ’69

After the murders, Manson moved his family to the depths of the California desert. There, even before they were finally apprehended by the law, their utopia started to fall apart. Hollywood was in the process of being changed by Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider, a film shot partially in the same desert where Manson was now hiding. The Family and their flight to Death Valley -- and the impossible dream of the 60s revolution in general -- was soon thereafter unwittingly reflected in Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni's attempt to make a Hollywood studio film, Zabriskie Point, starring Hopper's future wife. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

48mins

4 Aug 2015

Rank #18

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Sneak Peek: Six Degrees of "Song of the South"

This season, we explore the most controversial film in the history of Disney Animation.With the launch of Disney Plus, the company's entire library could be made available for streaming. The one film promised to remain locked away is "Song of the South," the 1946 animation/live-action hybrid set on a post-Civil War plantation. What is "Song of the South?" Why did Disney make it even amidst protests? And why have they held the actual film from release for the past thirty-plus years, while finding other ways to profit off of it?Join us, won’t you? As we uncover this hidden film in the Disney vault. New episodes of “You Must Remember This” will be released every Tuesday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

4mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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69: MGM Stories Part 14: Elizabeth Taylor, The MGM Years

Elizabeth Taylor grew up on the MGM lot, spending 18 years as what she referred to as “MGM chattel.” The last four years of that 18 year sentence were arguably the most interesting. From 1956-1960, she made a run of really interesting films including Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Butterfield 8, and she met the “love of her life”, Mike Todd, and turned him into her third husband. When Todd died a year later Liz sought comfort in the arms of Todd’s friend - and Debbie Reynolds’ husband — Eddie Fisher. Taylor capped off the decade by almost dying, winning her first Oscar, and breaking free from MGM to become the highest paid actress up to that time. This episode is brought to you by Harry's. Make every morning he shaves feel like a Holiday. Harry’s will give you $5 off your first order with code REMEMBER. Free shipping for the Holidays ends on December 10th, so act now. Harrys.com enter code REMEMBER. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

47mins

15 Dec 2015

Rank #20