Missed Casting – “China Seas” (1935)

27 May

china seas

“China Seas” was the original “Die Hard”, a true classic adventure film from the Golden Age of movies. Adapted from a 300 page novel by Crosbie Garstin, it’s a story of modern day Pirates that attack a cruise ship in search of a hidden treasure being guarded by the tough as nails English Captain Alan Gaskell, wonderfully played by Clark Gable.

…Wait, what? The all-American Clark Gable as an English ship Captain?(Oh, I know, he played Fletcher Christian but STILL…) Don’t misunderstand me, “China Seas” is one of my favorite Clark Gable films. An all-star cast that sees him at his peak while playing opposite the likes of Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, C. Aubrey Smith and Hattie McDaniel. It’s just that this adventure film easily could have been (Nay, SHOULD have been!) a movie that starred Errol Flynn. Imagine Errol Flynn as a modern-day hard drinking, womanizing, heroic Captain of a ship who romances two leading ladies while also fighting Pirates with a machine gun and you start to see my point.

It’s a wonderfully entertaining film and incredibly influential if you factor in the numerous parallels with the later “Die Hard” blockbuster. (Like Bruce Willis, Gable’s Captain Alan Gaskell has to fight Pirates while also dealing with a horrific foot injury.) But it also highlights the fact that Clark Gable and Errol Flynn often seemed to play roles that could have been written for one another.(Robin Hood being a notable exception.) And certainly, Errol was part of the Rhett Butler casting triangle that pitted him against Gary Cooper and Clark Gable for the lead role in “Gone With The Wind”, a part Flynn had campaigned for and Gable had shunned. The truth is Rhett Butler was Gable’s best-suited role as much as Robin Hood had been Flynn’s.

But despite Gable’s masterful movie star turn as Captain Alan Gaskell, there’s no escaping that the role was clearly written for an Englishman, with numerous references that scream for an English accent to back up the character’s yearning to return there. Throw in a modern day pirate story and it all adds up to Clark Gable playing the Errol Flynn role. This is a role that Flynn might have elevated if Warner’s had purchased the book instead of MGM. Of course, Gable and Jean Harlow were a tremendous screen team and this is one of their best. But Errol Flynn as the cultured Englishman being pursued and fought over by the equally cultured Rosalind Russell and the crass but feisty Jean Harlow? To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, that’s the stuff that movie dreams are made of.


— zacal


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What’s the Story on Lorraine Dora?

27 May

Prompted by Delvan’s recent comment/correction, who is Lorraine Dora?

P.S. Anyone see a resemblance to Lili?

Errol at the Races w Lorraine Dora

Errol with Lorraine Dora

— Gentleman Tim


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Cookin’ Like Flynn

27 May

From “Silver Screen Suppers”:

Errol’s Leg of Lamb, Baked Fish Habanaise & Deviled Tomatoes




— Gentleman Tim


Errol, Rory & Dierdre at The Nautilus!?!

26 May

This wonderful photo is thought to be Errol, Rory & Dierdre at the glorious Nautilus Resort in Miami Beach, but I’m not certain. Errol used to sail up to and stay at the Nautilus, repeatedly in the Zaca, and possibly once in the Sirocco, too, on its maiden voyage from Boston to LA. I believe this may have been taken by the wall to the side of the resort’s famous pool, with Nora nearby. I visited this location yesterday, on the site of what is now Miami’s Mt. Sinai Hospital. The setting is magnificent. Anyone know for sure if this is or is not “Errol Flynn and his daughters” at the Nautilus.




— Gentleman Tim


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Cuba Libre, Baby

24 May

(Almost) Time to drink where Errol drank! I’ll have an Errol Flynn at Sloppy Joe’s and a Cuba Libre at Bodequita del Medio’s. I think someone down there should mix up an El Capitan Bloody Maria, too!–finance.html



— Gentleman Tim

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Stuntmen, stand-ins and stooges

22 May


Dear fellow Flynn fans,

picking up Steadyman Tim`s thread:

I want to wave it into a (safety) net citing all death defying daredevils that stood in for Flynn.

Let`s beginn with Jack Ingram, who broke his arm, his wrist, and several ribs making this spectacular leap doubling for Errol Flynn in “The Charge of the Light Brigade”.

Luckily he didn`t hurt his head, and so after several weeks of thinking in hospital, he decided to switch to acting in B- Western movies.



— shangheinz


A Pioneer and Controversial 20th Century Man

22 May

Errol once played a character said to be based on a man with strong connections to the following images.

Who was he?!








— Gentleman Tim


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21 May

Here is a snippit of an email from pal Karl Holmberg. Notice the similarities in the two photos.




— David DeWitt

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Unreleased Nicole Kidman Film ‘Princess Grace’ will air on LIFETIME Channel

21 May

We had spoken here at the blog about the big-budget film production ‘Princess Grace’ starring Nicole Kidman in the title role. It was shot at least two years ago but the producers decided against releasing it to theatres. It is scheduled to be telecast May 25, 2015 on the LIFETIME Channel, with many repeats. The rumors in Hollywood were that this extremely lavish film was a beautiful-looking bore. Now we may jusge for ourselves! See you at the movies Ralph Schiller

— rswilltell


Thank Your Blu-Ray Stars

21 May

“Errol Flynn Dances
… And He’s Terrific”

With a Voice Divine, He Won the War – and He Won the One Before:
(with Mack the Knave at the bar)

Errol Flynn, the Sailor Man:

— Gentleman Tim

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