163 episodes

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.

You Must Remember This Stitcher

    • TV & Film

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.

    157: Cass Elliot, Carnie Wilson and Fat-Shaming in Rock and Pop (Make Me Over, Episode 6)

    157: Cass Elliot, Carnie Wilson and Fat-Shaming in Rock and Pop (Make Me Over, Episode 6)

    Cass Elliot didn’t die eating a ham sandwich. But the lasting power of that urban legend speaks to a far darker story. Elliot possessed one of the most influential voices of the 1960s. However, while her big break with The Mamas and The Papas and meteoric career changed the LA music scene forever, it also entrapped Elliot in a cycle of fat-shaming, sending her spiraling into catastrophic weight-loss regimens. In this episode, we’ll talk about the music industry’s complicated relationship with weight, how crash dieting likely led to the untimely death of this music legend, and the true legacy of Elliot in pop culture.


    This episode was written and performed by Lexi Pandell, a writer from Oakland, California. Her work has been published by The Atlantic, the New York Times, WIRED, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Playboy and many others.

    • 43 min
    156: Esther Williams and the Birth of Waterproof Makeup (Make Me Over, Episode 5)

    156: Esther Williams and the Birth of Waterproof Makeup (Make Me Over, Episode 5)

    Esther Williams single-handedly helped popularize the pastime of swimming — first as the star swimmer of the San Francisco production of Billy Rose's Aquacade, and then as the star of Hollywood films like Bathing Beauties and Million Dollar Mermaid. Williams’s stardom — and the necessity to maintain her image as a grinning glamour girl, even while submerged underwater — led to the creation of several waterproof products and swimwear innovations, from waterproof foundation and eyeliner to bathing cap couture. Despite two decades of sustained celebrity and brand power, Williams eventually struggled to maintain the pristine bathing beauty facade. She lost her MGM contract in the 1960s and had to pay millions to the studio in damages. On her way down, she slapped her name on swimming pools and exercise videos, stumbled through four unhappy marriages and started to experiment with LSD for her depression. Drawing on previously untapped resources, Rachel Syme will tell the story of Williams' rise and fall, and the innovations in aqua-beauty she inspired, while also analyzing why we want to be waterproof, why we want to be so invulnerable to the elements and why putting swimming on-screen led to pressures for women to look put-together, even when sopping wet. 


    This episode was written and performed by Rachel Syme, a writer, reporter and cultural critic living in New York City. She writes a regular column for The New Yorker on fashion and beauty. She is also a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair and Esquire. She often writes about the complex intersection between fame, glamour, beauty and feminism.

    • 41 min
    155: Passing for White: Merle Oberon (Make Me Over, Episode 4)

    155: Passing for White: Merle Oberon (Make Me Over, Episode 4)

    In 1935, Merle Oberon became the first biracial actress to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, an incredible achievement in then-segregated Hollywood -- except that nobody in Hollywood knew Oberon was biracial. Born in Bombay into abject poverty in 1911, Oberon's fate seemed sealed in her racist colonial society. But a series of events, lies, men and an obsession with controlling her own image -- even if it meant bleaching her own skin -- changed Oberon's path forever.


    This episode was written and performed by Halley Bondy, a writer and journalist whose work has appeared on NBC, The Outline, Eater NY, Paste Magazine, Scary Mommy, Bustle, Vice and more. She's an author of five young adult books plus a handful of plays and is a writer / producer for the podcast "Masters of Scale." She lives in Brooklyn with husband / cheerleader Tim and her amazing toddler Robin.

    • 44 min
    154: Marie Dressler, the First Female Star to Conquer Hollywood’s Ageism (Make Me Over, Episode 3)

    154: Marie Dressler, the First Female Star to Conquer Hollywood’s Ageism (Make Me Over, Episode 3)

    In 1933, the biggest female star in American movies wasn’t a sex symbol like Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow or Marlene Dietrich. It was Marie Dressler — homely, overweight and over 60 years old. The public loved nothing better than to see their Marie play a drunk or a dowager and steal every scene from the glamour girls less than half her age. Dressler had been down and out for most of the 1920s. That she became a star at age 60 was an achievement that told Depression-battered audiences it was never too late. Today we take a look at the life of Marie Dressler; from Broadway, to the picket lines, to the breadline and to the Oscar podium, she proved that in some cases, Hollywood stardom can be more than skin-deep.


    This episode was written and performed by Farran Smith Nehme, who has written about film and film history for the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the New York Times, Film Comment, Sight & Sound, Criterion and at her blog, Self-Styled Siren. Her novel, Missing Reels, was published in 2014.

    • 43 min
    153: Hollywood’s First Weight Loss Guru: Madame Sylvia (Make Me Over, Episode 2)

    153: Hollywood’s First Weight Loss Guru: Madame Sylvia (Make Me Over, Episode 2)

    Glamorous and shrewd, Sylvia of Hollywood became the movie industry’s first weight-loss guru during the end of the silent era. An immigrant of mysterious origin, she would cannily market herself to clients like Gloria Swanson, who she promised to ‘slenderize, refine, reduce and squeeze’ into shape. But her taste for gossip and publicity would become her downfall in the 1930s when she published a catty tell-all memoir about her star clients. 


    This episode was written and performed by Christina Newland, an award-winning journalist on film, pop culture and boxing at Sight & Sound Magazine, Little White Lies, VICE, Hazlitt, The Ringer and others. She loves 70s Americana, boxing flicks, fashion and old Hollywood lore. She was born in New York and lives in Nottingham, England.

    • 38 min
    152: Hollywood’s First Weight Loss Surgery: Molly O’Day (Make Me Over, Episode 1)

    152: Hollywood’s First Weight Loss Surgery: Molly O’Day (Make Me Over, Episode 1)

    At the age of 18, actress Molly O’Day’s career showed great promise — the only thing holding her back was a bit of pubescent pudge. When diets failed, she became the guinea pig of Hollywood's first highly-publicized weight loss surgery. This was in 1929, and the procedure was, as one fan magazine described it "dangerous... and all in vain." What lead Molly to such desperation? And what happened after the surgery to make her former lover, actor George Raft, declare it “ruined her health, her career and damn near killed her?"

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

Indigor ,

So Interesting!

Every episode is fast moving and entertaining. Karina also does a great job of weaving threads together. And btw, I love her voice!

Steven Awalt ,

Disney Hit Job

Really loved this show until it did a completely one-sided hit job on Walt Disney. A film historian reports history, but Longworth found a way to use every detail as an opinionated attack 70-plus years after the fact. For but one of many instances, Baskett’s Oscar. It clearly meant much to his family and the dying actor himself, but she suffocates that with her own opinion that it was a sop. It was anything but a sop to his family, and she surely knows an Oscar doesn’t always pave the way to further career advancement, no matter one’s race. (Not to mention the fact Baskett died so her opinion is further invalidated.) But Disney bad, Baskett’s feelings be damned.

mistojen ,

So disappointed

I was so excited for this podcast because the subject matter is incredibly interesting to me but I can't stand the way Karina speaks. She's so overdramatic, even when it isn't warranted. I had to stop listening because it was driving me nuts, even though I really wanted to hear the stories. So bummed ☹️ If there's ever a new host, I would be so pumped to listen but as it stands ugh I just can't...

Top Podcasts In TV & Film

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Stitcher