Marilyn Monroe whispers to Laurence Olivier during a press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London. July, 1956.
In just a day I managed to clear through the first six episodes of “You Must Remember This,” Karina Longworth’s weekly podcast on the secrets and forgotten histories of Hollywood in the 20th century. I couldn’t tell you how I came across “You Must Remember This,” a fact made all the more ludicrous when I divulge that I only discovered it yesterday. But these are the rabbit holes you fall down when you’re a rapaciously obsessive consumer of facts, histories, and morsels of gossip like me—especially when it’s movie or fashion related. After spending three and a half of the last 24 hours with Longworth poring over the legacy of Judy Garland, the misrepresentation of Frances Farmer, the many dalliances of Howard Hughes, and more, I’m now hooked.
Longworth researches, writes and narrates her podcasts herself. Each episode has a bibliography as long as your arm but her tone is decidedly witty, nuanced and forgiving. In the 91 episodes released at the time of writing, Longworth covers a range of people and subjects from silent film, through to the talkies, into the Golden Age of the studio system and the American New Wave, concluding with Hollywood at the dawn of a new millennium. So if you’re balking, saying “Joan Crawford is overrated” (who could say something that unholy) or “Who’s David O’Selznick?” (if that’s the case you really need to tune in), know that there is something for everyone, especially if you’re the kind of person who appreciates a well told story, which is my definition of everyone. So I implore you—as Longworth does at the beginning of each episode—to “join us, won’t you..?” Fall down the rabbit hole with me.