‘Love Is a Crime’ Podcast: A Hollywood Partnership Built and Destroyed by Art, Money, Sex, and Celebrity

Two’s firm, however three’s a crowd when femme fatale Joan Bennett and her husband, producer Walter Wanger, be a part of forces with surly filmmaker Fritz Lang. Following the movie noirs The Girl within the Window and Man Hunt, Lang and Bennett capitalize on their profitable collaboration by forming a manufacturing firm alongside Wanger in 1945. Named Diana Productions for Joan’s eldest daughter, the trio would produce solely two movies earlier than notoriously disbanding. 

On this week’s episode, “Scarlet Road,” Love Is a Crime podcast hosts Karina Longworth and Vanessa Hope (Bennett and Wanger’s granddaughter) delve into the peaks and valleys of this contentious association. Bennett (voiced by Zooey Deschanel), Wanger (Jon Hamm), and Lang (Johannes Grenzfurthner) conflict over the very tenets that introduced them collectively: artwork, cash, intercourse, and movie star. That is solely exacerbated when their greatest hit is adopted by their most evident flop. “With the success of Scarlet Road, the desires and objectives of all three members of the Diana workforce had been vindicated,” Longworth says within the episode. “The honeymoon wouldn’t final for lengthy.”

Issues started deteriorating when Wanger was tasked with delivering the ultimate lower of Scarlet Road, following Lang’s shift to a brand new movie. The director noticed Wanger’s cuts, on the studio’s request, as a betrayal of his inventive imaginative and prescient. Nonetheless, Scarlet Road proved to be an unmitigated success for Bennett—the final style of it she would actually have professionally. “I imply, we by no means know we’re at our personal peak, and that’s a horrible thought, which you can simply have one peak,” Hope says. “It’s debatable that 1946 was the height of her profession as an actress and somebody who was figuring out her personal method to her profession.”

Only a 12 months later, 1947’s Secret Past the Door turned Common’s “greatest money-loser of the 12 months,” shuttering Diana Productions and signaling a decline in Bennett’s femme fatale standing. The movie’s manufacturing additionally proved traumatic for Bennett. Lang and his co-screenwriter/offscreen paramour Silvia Richards scripted a scene during which Bennett and her costar, Michael Redgrave must flee from their burning house. Lang’s refusal to let the actors use stunt doubles meant Bennett must transfer by an precise burning set. The scene mirrored a tragic occasion in Bennett’s life from simply 4 years earlier.

Take heed to the episode above, and you’ll want to pay attention subsequent Tuesday, September 7, for the following installment of Bennett and Wanger’s true Hollywood story. Subscribe at listen.vanityfair.com/loveisacrime or wherever you get your podcasts.

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https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/08/love-is-a-crime-hollywood-partnership-destroyed-by-art-money-sex-and-celebrity | ‘Love Is a Crime’ Podcast: A Hollywood Partnership Constructed and Destroyed by Artwork, Cash, Intercourse, and Movie star


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