You Must Remember This
You Must Remember This
Life and Style in Hollywood's Golden Age
Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670026098, 262pp.
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
For millions of movie lovers, no era in the history of Hollywood is more beloved than the period from the 1930s through the 1950s, the golden age of the studio system. Not only did it produce many of the greatest films of the American cinema, but it was then that Hollywood itself became firmly established as the nation's ultimate symbol of glamour and style, its stars almost godlike figures whose dazzling lives were chronicled in countless features in magzazines like "Photoplay "and "Modern Screen."
While these features were a standard part of the work of studio publicity departments, they told eager readers little about what life was really like for these celebrities once they stepped out of the public eye. No one is better qualified to tell that story than Robert Wagner, whose own career has spanned more than five decades and whose "New York Times" bestseller, "Pieces of My Heart," was one of the most successful Hollywood memoirs in recent years. "You Must Remember This" is Wagner's intimate ode to a bygone time, one of magnificent homes, luxurious hotels, opulent night-clubs and restaurants, and unforgettable parties that were all part of the Hollywood social scene at its peak.
From a dinner party at Clifton Webb's at which Judy Garland sang Gershwin at the piano to golf games with Fred Astaire, from Jimmy Cagney's humble farmhouse in Coldwater Canyon to the magnificent beach mansion built by William Randolph Hearst for Marion Davies, from famous restaurants like the Brown Derby and Romanoff's to nightspots like the Trocadero and the Mocambo, Wagner shares his affectionate memories and anecdotes about the places and personalities that have all become part of Hollywood legend.
As poignant as it is revealing, "You Must Remember This" is Wagner's account of Hollywood as he saw it, far from the lights and cameras and gossip columns--and a tender farewell to the people of a mythical place long since transformed, and to a golden age long since passed.
Scott Eyman is the books editor for the Palm Beach Post. His other books include The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926-1930 and Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford, both available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.
"In terms of grace and style, you couldn't ask for a better tour director than actor Robert Wagner."
~Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press
" [A] charming tribute to off-screen lives during a period many may regard as Hollywood's finest."
"[You Must Remember This] takes you into the palatial mansions, castles and luxurious houses of the stars in great detail. It will become a great reference book for all lovers of silent and talkie movies and the actors and the actresses who peopled those homes. Fairbanks, Pickford and Chaplin, they are all here amongst many others."
~Ann McDonald, RedCarpetCrash.com
"With great affection and a twinkle in his eye, veteran actor Wagner recalls Hollywood's glory days of the 1940s and early 1950s, when class, manners, friendship, and a code of values ruled the city of stars."