Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"You Must Remember This"

With a career spanning more than five decades, few actors are more qualified to recount the glamorous Hollywood era of the late 1940s and early 1950s than Robert Wagner. You Must Remember This is Wagner’s ode to a bygone age, to its incomparable style and how it was displayed, and to its legendary stars.

Wagner revisits the houses, restaurants, and other haunts of Hollywood’s elite, offering an intimate view of their lives on and off screen. He fondly recounts mythic figures simply entertaining at home among friends, away from the publicity machine and public eye that morphed into today’s paparazzi culture. 

Wagner also discusses the business of Hollywood and its evolution from an industry once dominated by moguls to one run by agents, and examines the career arcs of his peers, carefully considering why some survived and others faded.

Engaging and entertaining, You Must Remember This is a window into the splendors of an erstwhile era and an opportunity for readers to live vicariously through one its most beloved leading men.

My Thoughts...

I'm not sure I would call this a 'memoir' in the true sense of the word. I found it more like a guided tour of vintage Hollywood during its golden age, from the 1930s through the 1950s. Studio publicity departments made sure that fans knew little about celebrity life outside the public eye. (So different from what we have to endure of so-called celebrities in this day and age.)

The book is filled with memories of famous people, hot spots like the Brown Derby, Ciros, and other famous nightclubs of that era. There are anecdotes including Judy Garland singing Gershwin at a dinner party thrown by Clifton Webb and golf games with Fred Astaire. 

You Must RememberThis is Wagner's tender farewell to a legendary era. It was a charming tribute to Hollywood's glory days. If you are looking for a tell-all book about the stars of yesteryear you will have to look elsewhere, R. J. has to much class to write a tell-all book.

I enjoyed the book, I'm not sure it's for all people but if you enjoy reading history about old Hollywood stars etc. you will enjoy this book. I enjoyed it enough to award it 4 "Golden Age" stars.

I own this book and it is a part of my personal library.


  1. Lovely review, Gigi Ann! This sounds like a book I'd also enjoy.

  2. I love the sound of this one...I can almost hear the tune of that song, too. Thanks!

  3. That sounds a lovely book. I love to see him in NCIS occasionally as Anthony DiNozzo's dad, what a character.
    I remember reading both David Niven's books which apart from his own lifestyle showed his take on Hollywood including the less salubrious characters. I've never laughed so much at a book apart from Bill Bryson's Neither Here Nor There!

  4. I never liked him after her death------

    1. I wasn't there, so who am I to judge. I think personally, it was an accident, and a very sad tragedy.

  5. This sounds like an interesting book about vintage Hollywood. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Thanks for telling us about this book, Gigi Ann. I'm sure I would love it. I've always loved RJ, as he's called sometimes. Even in his "older" years, he's so handsome and seems truly classy. Looks like another book on my TBR pile! :)