165 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.

    159: Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston and Hollywood’s Misogynoir Problem (Make Me Over, Episode 8)

    159: Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston and Hollywood’s Misogynoir Problem (Make Me Over, Episode 8)

    In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win Miss America. In 1984, a few weeks from the end of her reign, she was forced to step down when she found out Penthouse was going to publish unauthorized nude images of her in their magazine. Williams went on to have a successful singing career and star in movies, but her career trajectory tells more than the story of a black beauty icon who overcame obstacles to make it in Hollywood. It's a story that echoes the legacies of racism, colorism, tokenism and misogynoir (the misogyny experienced specifically by black women) in 20th century Hollywood and how, as a result, black women — from Williams to Whitney Houston — have had to display exceptional talent to make the case that their images are worth circulating and celebrating as beautiful.


    This episode was written and performed by Cassie da Costa, an entertainment writer for The Daily Beast. She lives in Ojai, California.

    • 37 min
    158: The Hemingway Curse? Mariel and Margaux (Make Me Over, Episode 7)

    158: The Hemingway Curse? Mariel and Margaux (Make Me Over, Episode 7)

    A close look at the parallel lives of Margaux and Mariel Hemingway, sisters born with a world-famous last name that stood for both genius and self-destruction. Both rose to fame in the 1970s, Margaux as a supermodel and Mariel as an actress, and then both struggled with various demons. But while Margaux followed her grandfather's fate, Mariel confronted the family's dark legacy and reinvented herself as a mental health and wellness advocate.

     

    This episode was written and performed by Michael Schulman, a writer at The New Yorker and the author of "Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep," a New York Times bestseller. His work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times and other publications.

    • 44 min
    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

Customer Reviews

rosetta the real rosa ,

When they hide the story from the real person

These people make videos in secretly how is that fair and just substitutes the characters names not fair at all it’s all hidden

mrsedna ,

Vanessa Williams segment is terrible!

I really enjoy her podcasts.
Updated on 3/21/2020
The last podcast of the recent season was terrible. I rated it one star although You Must Remember This is still a favorite of mine.

I think a better subject would have been Vanessa L.Williams. She has faced more obstacles due to her beauty and talent as a brown skinned black actor.

In fact comparing her to Vanessa Williams in regards to how Hollywood embraces the lighter skinned V. Williams over the gorgeous brown skinned V. L. Williams would have made for a far better discussion and study.

Your researcher not only did not choose the better subject, but some of her facts are incorrect.

For instance when she ends by saying V. Williams had the only successful Hollywood career of all Miss America Queens
she-is -wrong.

Lee Merriweather won the Miss America crown and had a very successful acting career.

I am surprised at the low quality of this last segment compared to the overall high quality of Ms. Karina’s podcast.

Kdjlkcl ,

Professionally Produced

I have been a long time fan of this podcast. The podcasts are always presented with professionalism and thoroughly researched. It’s refreshing to hear others participating in the podcast. It adds diversity from a different perspective. My only complaint is that the content can be difficult to hear and somewhat depressing. While I can’t deny the importance of impeccable content and honest experiences , I recommend highlighting the importance of determination and ability to overcome obstacles. Unfortunately, many of the episodes leave the impression that many of the actresses and actors broken, with a life full of regrets, mistakes, and unfulfilled. While we all face obstacles, many find solace and strength through therapy, self determination, advocacy, support, and gratitude.

I commend Ms. Longworth and hope shs continues to press on. She is very talented and has so much to offer. I have a feeling that she’s a perfectionist & has difficulty delegating. 😉
It’s ok to let go. 💕

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