I’ve long regarded Karina Longworth‘s You Must Remember This as the most soothingly intelligent podcast of its type. Old Hollywood excursions, I mean. Soft-spoken but frank, sifting through historical sands, mildly sassy, hitting the refresh button, analysis and perspective, etc. It gives you a kind of Percocet with hot herbal tea feeling.
I was going to settle into her latest, a piece about Yvonne DeCarlo and a portrait of Howard Hughes as the original #MeToo predator, but reading Sophie Gilbert‘s Atlantic profile persuaded me to dive in this evening.
Excerpt: “Since Longworth started podcasting in 2014, You Must Remember This has found a cult following. Part old-timey radio show, part reportorial deep dive, it picks lovingly at the stars in the Old Hollywood firmament.
“Longworth has brought a new perspective to some of the most overexposed stories and characters in film history, producing chronicles that incorporate her narration and research with fragments of actors reproducing real dialogue. But she’s also introduced a new generation of cinephiles to less-enduring actors like Linda Darnell and Olive Thomas, giving credence to women whose talent and biographies were buried. With an academic’s approach to research and a critic’s eye for quality, Longworth interrogates Old Hollywood: its myths, its icons, its injustices.
“Longworth is Old Hollywood’s most vital historian. Four years in, You Must Remember This has spawned more than 140 episodes over multiple seasons, delving into Hollywood lore in all its sticky, self-replicating, unreliable complexity. ‘Dead Blondes,’ released in 2017, mined the careers of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Grace Kelly, while reintroducing lesser-known actors such as Barbara Loden and Dorothy Stratten. Longworth’s 2015 series on Charles Manson’s murders was so intricately researched that it was frequently cited as a definitive source on Manson after his death last year.”