You Must Remember This

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.

Episodes

August 17, 2021 4 min
When Hollywood mogul Walter Wanger (Jon Hamm) shot an agent he suspected was having an affair with his actress wife, Joan Bennett (Zooey Deschanel) — one of the key femme fatales of 1940s film noir — Bennett was the one who paid a public price for her husband’s crimes. Joan and Walter’s granddaughter/filmmaker Vanessa Hope, and film historian/podcaster Karina Longworth (You Must Remember This), tell the untold story of the Bennett/...
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The Hollywood studio system begins to crumble, and Louella and Hedda decline and fall, too. But just as a new generation of filmmakers rises from the ashes and reinvents the movie business, so too does gossip find new life in a new look. We’ll end our season by talking about a woman who was the antithesis of Louella and Hedda -- liberal, Jewish, sexually forward, and so unwilling to play the industry’s games that she may have ensur...
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Appalled by rock n’ roll and its racial and sexual implications, Hedda and Louella find themselves in further danger of obsolescence when the gossip game is turned upside down by CONFIDENTIAL Magazine.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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June 17, 2021 5 min
Do you remember the first time you watched The Wizard of Oz? Those famous red ruby slippers are some of the most iconic objects in Hollywood history that still bring back nostalgic memories every time they’re seen. They became a rare collector’s item worth millions. In the summer of 2005, a pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in the small town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In No Place Like Home, C13Originals, a Cadence13 Stu...
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The 1950s were a decade of massive contradictions in terms of national and cultural attitudes towards sex. As Louella Parsons struggled to keep up with these rapid changes -- and to compete with her bolder, bitchier rival Hedda Hopper -- she reflected and steered the sexual panic through her coverage of two stories: Rita Hayworth’s marriage to a Muslim prince, and Ingrid Bergman’s “illegitimate” pregnancy. Plus: the emergence of Sh...
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During an era in which Hollywood and Washington are shakily aligned in the witch hunting of actual and reputed socialists, Louella struggles to maintain her position as cheerleader for the status quo, while Hedda grabs a torch and tries to burn it all down, using celebrity gossip to further the racist, xenophobic interests of the FBI. There’s also a new competitor in town, who at once subversively spoke to and for Hollywood’s gay c...
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Louella’s daughter, Harriet Parsons, became a groundbreaking female film producer at a moment in history in which virtually all mainstream filmmakers were male. She was also a lesbian, at a time when being openly gay was unacceptable in Hollywood -- and, in much of America, illegal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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World War II begins to reveal the gulf between Louella’s conservative but essentially business-minded politics, and Hedda Hopper’s virulent right-wing fervor. These differences — and the glee with which Hopper would destroy lives to shore up political power and further her ideology — come through loud and clear in the stories of two controversies: the casting of Gone with the Wind, and the paternity trial of Charlie Chaplin. Meanwh...
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In 1938, washed-up actress Hedda Hopper is installed as a movie gossip columnist with the express purpose of puncturing the success of Louella and Hearst. But Hedda quickly establishes a voice of her own, revolutionary for its insistence on making movie gossip political. Once friends, Louella and Hedda become bitter rivals, egged on in their feud by a third party who sees Hedda as an ally in right-wing conservatism. Learn more abou...
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In 1923, Louella Parsons signed a contract with William Randolph Hearst for nationwide syndication of the first major Hollywood gossip column. Parsons quickly built a brand based on protecting (and whitewashing) Hollywood’s interests, as well as Hearst’s, relentlessly promoting — and spying on — Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Both Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper worked for papers created by charismatic barons whose publications were nakedly corrupt, totally biased -- and absolutely mainstream. Once we get a feel for this media climate, we’ll trace Louella’s early years of struggle and reinvention on the road to her pioneering bylines, and, finally, her role in canonizing The Birth of a Nation -- the most viciously racist Hollywood blockbuster of all ti...
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You Must Remember This presents an exclusive first listen of the audio trailer for Mank, a David Fincher film about the screenwriter of Citizen Kane, coming to Netflix on December 4. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Polly Platt’s unfinished memoir ends abruptly in 1995. What were the remaining 16 years of her life like? Using interviews with those who knew her, we’ll explore how her career in Hollywood came to an end, and the tragic circumstances of her death. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Polly Platt's collaboration with James L. Brooks hits choppy waters with I’ll Do Anything, which at one point was a musical with songs by Prince, but became one of the most notoriously misbegotten productions of the 1990s. Polly recaptures her indie roots by shepherding the directorial debut of Wes Anderson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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In the mid-to-late 80s, Polly Platt worked on a number of films that defined and reflected that decade’s ideas about female power. With an Oscar nomination under her belt, Polly starts trying in earnest to direct. She ends her career as a production designer with The Witches of Eastwick, a star-studded special-effects extravaganza. Inspired by Polly, Brooks creates the character played by Holly Hunter in Broadcast News, infusing th...
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Polly’s third marriage falls apart, and she enters more than one destructive affair. During these tumultuous times, Polly establishes a new collaboration with a male writer-director, James L. Brooks, and together the two turn another Larry McMurtry novel into a classic film: Terms of Endearment. Once again, while working on this film about a combative mother-daughter relationship, Polly finds that art and life are intertwined. Poll...
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In an attempt to save her family, Polly transitions to screenwriting and producing, basing the prostitution drama Pretty Baby, starring a pre-teen Brooke Shields, on her own daughter. Polly finds herself increasingly overcome by alcoholism, while dealing with Shields’s own alcoholic mother. Polly’s already-difficult relationship with her two daughters is made much more complicated by the murder of Peter’s girlfriend, Dorothy Stratt...
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When Polly begins her own on-set affair, the double standard of what men can get away with in Hollywood versus what was expected for women would push her to a breaking point. With collaborating with her ex-husband no longer an option, Platt starts attempting to rebuild her career, designing classics such as A Star is Born and Bad News Bears, while also navigating predatory men in power in post-sexual revolution Hollywood. Learn mor...
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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 ab...
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At Polly’s urging, Peter decides to direct an adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel The Last Picture Show. Though credited only as the film’s “designer,” Polly is involved in every creative decision, including casting — and it’s with his pregnant-again wife’s enthusiasm that Bogdanovich casts 20-year-old model Cybill Shepherd as the film’s femme fatale. Though Polly believed she and Peter were “deliriously happy,” Bogdanovich and Sh...
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