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Errol the Terror versus The Creature from the Hollywood Gossip Lagoon

04 Oct

October 1, 1941

Frederick C. Othman
Oakland Tribune

Having called Jimmy Fidler a “contemptible liar” and “a creature who lives on the film industry’s garbage,” Errol Flynn, the night club terror, gave his word to the judge today that he’d never again slap the movies’ leading radio oracle..

Fidler promised through his lawyer thst he’d not make any dirty cracks about Flynn, so help him, and Judge Cecil D. Holland of Beverly Hills Municipal Court wearily marked the case closed.

Judge Holland, who must render judgment on most of Hollywood’s extra-curricular hi-jinks and who sometimes gets a little tired of it, called Flynn in for a conference, after Fidler demanded his adversary be arrested.

SAYS THEY WORK HARD

“Members of the motion picture industry work hard,” began Flynn, who still had yellow grease paint from the studio on his brow. “The Hollywood press also works hard and with a great deal of integrity. But Fidler dies not print the truth. I have found him to be a contemptible liar. He—–.”

Judge Holland suggested that Movie Hero Flynn stick to what happened in the Mocambo Night Club two Saturday nights ago.

Flynn said he took one look at Fidler. “And everything kind of went black,” he continued. “I think I grabbed him, but I was pulled away. Then I told him I couldn’t hit him. I’d give him the palm of my hand. I did slap him.”

NO UNDIGNIFIED ACTS

“I am not the kind of man who goes in for undignified behavior, but this business in Washington particularly provoked me, when Fidler started telling those senators how the movie should be run. It was a smear on the industry. He is a creature who is allowed to live on the film industry’s garbage and that testimony of his drive me out of my mind.”

The judge wanted to know whether Fidler’s wife, Bobbe, the dress shol operator, had stabbed Flynn in the ear with her meat fork. “I remember,” the judge said, “that Mrs. Fidler reported after the fracas that she had broken three finger nails.”

“Well, I didn’t find any finger nails in my ear,” Flynn retorted. “All I found was a hole.”

Flynn assured Judge Holland that he’d never slap Fidler again.

HAD NO CHANCE

“You had no right to slap him,” the judge emphasized.” And you’re a lot bigger man. And you’ve had boxing experience.” Fidler’d have no chance in a fight with you.”

“Yes, broke in Flynn, “but many others, mostly women, have been at the mercy of Fidler’s innuendo. They have no defense . I—-”

“You have no right to be a champion for these women.” The judge said. “To find you in a barroom brawl takes the heart out of a lot of people. The children who made you a hero have been let down. You have been in other brawls. You owe it to the picture industry and the pulic to live in a glass house. Will you do it?”

Flynn said he would. Thornwell Rogers, Fidler’s attorney, promised for his part that Fidler would never mention Flynn on the air. The chief of the Warner Brothers’ Studio, three press agents, a studio photographer, and Flynn returned to the studio, to resume the fight – make-believe – that the hearing had interrupted.

— Gentleman Tim

 

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The involvement of Thornwell Rogers, Fidler’s attorney, in this case in intriguing. He was Jerry Geisler law partner. Even more notably, he was the son of Earl Rogers, one of the greatest trial attorneys in American history. He was the inspiration for the creation of Perry Mason, as well as the lawyer who inspired Jerry Geisler to follow in his esteemed footsteps. Geisler idolized him. Earl Rogers was so great that, when Clarence Darrow, desperately needed a trial lawyer, he very famously hired Earl Rogers.

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Among many other things he notably was involved in, Judge Holland also married Hedy Lamarr and John Loder, or, as Errol named them, Mr. and Mrs. Lamarr.

This photo is from their wedding, which was held at the Beverly Hills home of Conrad Veidt’s widow, Lily Veidt, on May 27, 1943:

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And here’s Mr. Lamarr with Mrs. Smith and Gentleman Flynn:

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