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You Must Remember This

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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.
156 Episodes
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After two more successful theatrical releases, in 1980 and 1986, Disney decided to put Song of the South in the “Disney Vault” and never released it on home video or theatrically in the US ever again. And yet, at the same time, the company was developing a theme park ride around Song of the South’s characters and its most memorable song -- but without Uncle Remus, or any signifiers of the complicated racial and historical dynamics the film, however clumsily portrayed.
Song of the South’s most successful re-release came in 1972 at a time when Hollywood was dealing with race by making two very different kinds of movies: Blaxploitation films, which gave black audiences a chance to see black characters triumph against white authority figures; and movies like Dirty Harry, which were emblematic of a concurrent cultural and political shift away from the Civil Rights Movement and toward Reagan-style Republicanism.
Concerned that his movie about a former slave devoting his life to a white child’s emotional needs might be perceived as racist, Walt Disney hired known Communist Maurice Rapf to rewrite Song of the South. Rapf, the son of an MGM exec, was radicalized as a college student, and shortly after Song of the South was released, he was blacklisted. Today we’ll discuss Rapf’s life and career, and talk about how white leftists in Hollywood tried to subvert the industry’s racial status quo -- and how their mission to “make movies less bad” led to their own persecution.  This episode is sponsored by Parcast - Mythology (www.parcast.com/MYTHOLOGY).
Song of the South’s most famous element is “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” a song written for the movie but reminiscent of a racist standard popularized in blackface minstrel shows of the 1830s. Today we’ll explore this song and the other ways in which minstrel imagery and tropes made their way into Song of the South and other animated and live action films of the first half of the 20th century. And, we'll talk about how all of this is related to Walt Disney's push to net Song of the South Oscars.
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.
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?
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.
Ramon Novarro was a Mexican actor and singer whose stardom at MGM in the 1920s and 30s was not impeded by his offscreen life as a gay man. In Hollywood Babylon, Anger focuses only on Novarro’s grisly murder in 1968 -- which outed Novarro to a public that had largely forgotten him--and needlessly embellishes a crime scene that was already pretty horrible. Today, in our final episode of Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon, we will explore the life which Anger left out of Hollywood Babylon, and correct that book’s version of Novarro’s death.
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. 
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. 
Jewish gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel is frequently credited with corrupting Hollywood’s unions and “inventing” Las Vegas. Siegel did have movie star friends, but the true story of his involvement with the Flamingo casino is also the story of a much bigger movieland player: Hollywood Reporter founder/publisher/columnist Billy Wilkerson. 
The bisexuality of Marlene Dietrich was not exactly a secret in 1930s Hollywood -- in fact, her ambiguous sexuality was part of her on-screen brand. But there is some debate as to who Dietrich counted among her lovers, and which of her fellow stars participated in what has been called the “sewing circle” of female intimacy. Anger alleges that Dietrich had a “passionate affair” with Claudette Colbert, an Oscar-winning actress with an extremely heteronormative persona. We’ll explore what was going on in Dietrich’s life and career around the time when this affair could have taken place, and then delve into Colbert’s image as a very different kind of on-screen sex symbol, and her complicated off-screen personal life. 
Mexican actress Lupe Velez was the victim of one of Anger’s cruelest invented stories. His fabrication of her manner of death lays bare a vicious racism in addition to Hollywood Babylon’s usual sexism. Today we will sort out the fact of Velez’s life from Anger’s fiction and consider the star of the Mexican Spitfire series as a comedienne ahead of her time.
In 1936, actress Mary Astor (who had not yet made her most famous film, The Maltese Falcon) and her husband went to court to fight for custody of their four year-old daughter. The trail made international news thanks to both sides’ use of Astor’s diary, in which she had recorded details of her affair with playwright George S. Kaufman. How much did Astor truly reveal in her diary, and what role did the scandal play in her life and career?
Mae West was the biggest new star in Hollywood in 1933, thanks to two hit films she co-wrote and starred in as a sexually implicit, wisecracking broad who romanced a young Cary Grant. In Hollywood Babylon, Anger credits West’s abrupt decline in movies to a coordinated conspiracy organized by William Randolph Hearst and carried out by the Hays Office. Today we’ll explore West’s background, her history of pushing the censors past the limits of legality, and the truth of her lightning-fast rise in Hollywood and somewhat slower descent back to earth. 
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 essentially made it impossible for her to work for any other U.S. producer.
136: Yvonne De Carlo

136: Yvonne De Carlo

2018-11-1300:44:222

The future Lily Munster became a star when producer Walter Wanger cast her in Salome, Where She Danced (1945). A curvaceous brunette in her early 20s, De Carlo fit the mold of Howard Hughes’ mid-century girlfriends to a T. But that relationship would be brief, and De Carlo would go on to distinguish herself in movies, television, and as a star of the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. 
A stunning brunette sex symbol married to cinematographer Pev Marley, Darnell thought her affair with Howard Hughes would result in marriage to the aviator. But after Hughes’ near-fatal 1946 plane crash, Marley tried to make a deal to sell his wife to the tycoon--which was not what Darnell wanted. This was not the low point of a life that ended in incredible tragedy, amid a career that, to this day, has not been given the acclaim it deserves.
The child of a silent film actress, Dvorak was so determined to be a star that at first, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Her big break came when she was cast in Howard Hughes’s production of Scarface. But Hughes would sell her contract to Warner Brothers, and when Ann later accused Hughes of having “sold [her] down the river,”  she would swiftly suffer the consequences of going up against Hughes in the press when his mastery over the medium of publicity was at its peak. 
Seduction begins at an MGM sponsored orgy at the Ambassador Hotel, as told through the eyes of one of the attendees, a young female screenwriter named Frederica Sagor. Sagor would go on to pen one of the frankest memoirs of 1920s Hollywood, revealing the systematic sexual exploitation of women in the film industry by men like Marshall Neilan--one of Howard Hughes’ early mentors. Frederica’s story also details how tough it was for a woman to hold on to power behind the scenes in the film industry as Hollywood evolved. 
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Comments (96)

drora gibson

mega interesting episode, thanks! interested in the recommended new podcast about clasic movies, where Karina appeared as a geust. easy mentioned in one of the last three episodes. did not get the name..appreciate a "clue"...

Nov 23rd
Reply (5)

Jennifer de Caussin

So glad you've returned from hiatus. Looking forward to the new episodes.

Nov 22nd
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Steve Dronzewski

The narrator is horrible! I can't listen.

Nov 19th
Reply (2)

james knox

Let the Rain come down sounds a lot like Midnight Special.

Nov 10th
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Jackie Grimes

missed you

Nov 7th
Reply

Zhane Edwards

so happy this is back

Nov 6th
Reply (1)

Stephanie Warren

My jaw dropped with the song comparison/when Zip Coon started playing. Wow.

Nov 6th
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Amanda Manny Anne

outstanding episode! they need a movie on Hattie.

Nov 5th
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Felicia DeLappi

Welcome back, darling. I've missed you.💋

Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

Anthony Milan

"A flip switched"

Oct 14th
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Natalie Topnik

I love your pod cast. I would really love to have you back. I've learned so much, you have done such a great job and I will miss it.

Sep 23rd
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Steve Dronzewski

What's with the annoying clicking sounds?

Sep 23rd
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Kae

interesting episode - it's marish-ka not mariss-ka though

Aug 20th
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Felicia DeLappi

You're a fascinating narrator, but please don't ever attempt to impersonate Grace Kelly or Alfred Hitchcock ever again. Not Ever.

Aug 20th
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Frank-P. Goede

i realy love your potcasst. it makes me happy. thank you!

Jul 19th
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G R L S

John Mulaney!

Jun 21st
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L.

Wild

May 1st
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Cyn

Content is great. Presenter enunciated entirely too much, making it very hard to follow. Would be wonderful with more natural speaker.

Mar 17th
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StartinaM 🌟

This episode should be titled "Liz and Monty"

Mar 16th
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Ceil Francisco

I love this podcast and came catch up on episodes I'd missed only to find out you'd be using automated voice bots to read major parts of the episode??? I turned it off immediately just like I do when YouTube videos do this. I am sad that I'm skipping this 'season' because those computer voices make my skin crawl 😔

Mar 7th
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