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700 sail with Lock, stock and Errol

16 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

these days Flynnmate No. 700 came aboard my FB site www.facebook.com…

All are eager shiphands clicking likes for our Hollywood hero day in day out- on a clear day with interactions of almost a 1000 film fans!

Enjahoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Cuban Trouble Girls

11 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

once before the baron met the Baron in Cuba:  www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

Now Allen “Abbie” Baron makes three.

The writer- director started out as set designer and gives a hilarious account about the makeshift shooting of  “Cuban rebel Girls” in his biography “Blast of Silence”.

Six weeks after Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista, flyer and flynntimo Barry Mahon had gathered a crew of five barflies from Jim Downey`s Bar and Restaurant and a bunch of Playboy bunnies at the Hotel Capri in Havana.

Sandbagging there at the time also was actor Ernie Kovac with cast members of the Carol Reed classic “Our man in Havana”.

Abbie Baron came into play, because he drew storyboards for Barry, who then pitched them as potential moneymakers to studio bosses.

He remembers our man Flynn as every bit the movie star that he was at the roulette tables and on location at the Sugar finca of Quarto Caminos, which was lent to them by a Cuban friend of Errol.

Leading teenie Beverly Aadland had Ol`Errol laughing with that lewd lingo of hers and sweating in fits of jelousy.

When his then time secretary Hillary, a stunning young American with a Southern drawl, who was married to a Cuban officer, made a pass at Abbie, their production tumbled from topsy-turvy into full turmoil.

Mr. Officer held everybody at gunpoint in the hotel`s lobby and demanded to know where his wife was.

Unpaid bills at local groceries did the rest, and the whole cast & crew left Castro´s Island in a hurry.

But not before Mahon, who had aspired to become another DeMille, was able to hide cameras, 35mm raw stock and a Lincoln convertible in a palm tree shaded shag.

Abbie got them out at a later date and started his movie career mostly on his experiences during those turbulent days filming CRG.

“Barry never uttered a word about his WWII extraordinary exploits in all the time I spent with him. I regretted judging him for his terrible skills as a filmmaker, but was happy to learn he was a real-life hero. I learned from him that bullshit had great currency and I put the knowledge to good use.”

Enjoy,

 

 

— shangheinz

 

Tiger Lil‘ and Cat Man

23 Sep

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

of all the tin roofs in Beverly Hills, none was hotter than Tiger Lil`s…

Cat Man went by many names- he was called by authorities “The Phantom of Bel Air”, “The Jersey Devil” and Willard Borton by birth certificate. Born and raised in Gloucester City, NJ, he adopted a what-you-see-is-what-you-get philosophy at an early age. TRUE DETECTIVE ran his CV in on of their issues as follows. “If another youngster had a toy he coveted, he appropriated it for his own. Occasionally these tactics got him into difficulty and it was no unusual thing for him to be called on the carpet to explain a black eye or a bloody nose incurred in a fight with some wrathful playmate.”

Various stunts (he once used a swordfish gaff to open a second floor window) led to various stints in reformatories. While in juvenile jail he behaved impeccably. His overall charming behaviour made sure he got released early every time he did time. Maybe it was the breath of fresh air that brought out that feline feeling again.

Arriving in Tinseltown with a wife and stepson in tow in December of 1934, he rented a bungalow under the name of Ralph Graham on formidable Formosa Street and put up a respectable front. At daytime he took the “See the movie stars` homes for 25 cents”- Tour.  “I`ll see them”, said Graham to himself, “and from the inside, too.” At nighttime he was prowling the perimeters of the rich and famous, the bold and the bejeweled. Hiding behind the heavy shrubbery of their vaulted villas, he could go on with his burglaries unnoticed.

Flynntimates Miriam Hopkins, Fred MacMurray and Fannie Bryce were amongst the many victims of Will the Cat. From Gary Cooper he took an unregistered colt and further on used it for protection. At Barbara Stanwyck`s place in exchange for furs and pearls he left the cryptic message K.P.G.G.L.X, meaning: Keep plugging good girl. Love & kisses. He snatched a gold cigarette lighter bearing the initials C.L. from Gable`s girl, while Tyrone Power yearned to get back the golden cross of the Order of the Knights of St. Louis, which had been in the Powers family for generations. Feisty swashbucklerette (www.theerrolflynnblog.com…) Maureen O`Sullivan almost caught the cat red handed and alarmed the police about an intruder. When confronted by policemen he was able to talk his alleyway out, swearing he was a privat patrolman and had seen the burgler vanish in the opposite direction!

In July of 1938 he entered the home of renowned film director Frank Capra- ininvited. Unfortunately for him he ended up in the nursery of the family`s newborn baby who immediately turned on the siren. Nevertheless he managed another dashing escape. Afterwards he somehow felt he had overstayed his welcome in this prominent hood of Hollywood. So he relocated and bought a small house on 420 Howland Canal in Venice complete with boat. The furniture came courtesy of laundry magnate George M. Theodore. Never mind that his front door had to be cut out to give way to the grand piano…

Robbing the rich was not his first priority, he also gave back to the not so poor. Always the gentlemanly thief he first took off the engagement ring of another victim, only to give it back to her once he found nothing else to his liking at her home. “Is that really the only diamond you have?” “Truly it is.” “Well, there`s nothing here I want, here`s your ring.”

The then hot silent film diva Lili Damita also fell prey to the Cat. He stole all of her jewelery, escaping unscathed only because the Flynn bride to be hadn`t been at home at the time. Police was at a loss how sixty to seventy burgleries hadn`t delivered the tinniest trace of Jumpy Cat. $32.000 worth of riches were taken from a prominent motion picture executive. A multi millionaire with a household name donated $ 1.800.000 in stocks and bonds (fortunately for that Mr. DeMillions they were non negotiable). At Sonja Heine`s home CM had to contend himself with cans of Norwegian fish.

What California`s cobblestone cops didn`t know, was that, despite the Cat`s prowess, his effort had netted him only a few thousand dollars. A Hollywood Boulevard pawnshop owner named Morris Wasserman flew back and forth to New York with excessive baggage and had the loot remodeled. Mo` dinned on brilliants, but fed the Cat breadcrumbs. Fed up with coming up short time and time again a frustrated Catso confessed everything when questioned for a minor misdemeanor. Wasserman was put on probation, while Willard forever sang the Folsom Prison Blues.

Lili meanwhile adorned herself with Errol.

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Curtiz call

12 Jun

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

the definitive behind- the- scenes book has seen the light.

My dear friend Ilona Ryder, a former teacher at the Grant MacEwan Community College, has made her promise true and wrote an intimate portrait of her grandfather Michael Curtiz.

For the first time using never- before- seen documents she lifts the veil on  this famous director`s family ties, trials and tribulations. Let me tell you this: he was a busy man!

Besides directing up to 175 films on both ends of the pond and speaking several languages simultanously, he constantly kept falling in love all over again. These liasions resulted in various children, who finally have a say in (t)his biography.

He managed to keep in touch with his loved ones, helped where he could during those dire times of war and never forgot his Austro- Hungarian roots.

If you like me are into cinematic anecdotes from an up close and personal view, you are in for a treat.

Mrs. Ryder interviewed many people over the period of 20 years (Lady Livvie being the most prominent of the lot) to add an angle to the film maker and family man who brought us Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

There is some Flynn in, but as far as Lil` Damita is concerned… you have to see for yourself.

Get it here if you can: pagemasterpublishing.ca/shop/heres-looking-at-you-kids-michael-curtiz-and-his-hidden-families/…

Congrats,

— shangheinz

 

500 likes Lock, Stock and Errol

01 Apr

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Errol lives. While all is quiet here on the Western blog, there are 500 more Flynnthusiasts out there on FB: www.facebook.com…

Granted half of em are personal aquaintances quizzing themselves about my inflynntuation with this Hollywood hero and villain long gone but still not forgotten.

Well, that‘s what happens when you see “The Adventures of Robin Hood“ at age 8, are winning a carnival costume competition in high school soon thereafter, dressed up as RH with green hood, yellow thighs and a bow without arrows, because they were sacked by the teacher before they could be put to good use.

Young laddie sees all the pirate movies, watches as Flynney swopps dagger for swagger in Gentleman Jim and decides forever to root for the underdog, side with the outsider and bully the bullies.

Growing up though one outgrows talking trash’n’treason all the time, learns to reason and forgets about it all. You are not in Sherwood any more….

Come young adulthood by chance you stumble across that tell all tall tale of “My wicked, wicked ways“ and realize that Flynn also was a flawed human being with a vita vastly surpassing any script.

Before you know it the life of your childhood idol leads straight up to your doorstep. One aspect being Dr. Erben having lived just around the corner, the other being an unfinished film with a prominent Austrian actress, who‘s willing to share the anecdotes of William Tell with you.

You even discover that a crew member on the yacht of Errol Flynn‘s best man was a local and that while hunted by Interpol for murder, he inexplicitly escaped shipwreck and death of its captain one fateful night in a storm off the coast of Morocco. Can I get a witness!?

There you have it, you caught Flynn fever again. A merry man called Brian Twist sells you his copies of newspaper articles on  the internet, next thing you know you discover there‘s even a site where EF fans like you fence back and forth on a blog, each and everyone calling themselves Anonymous. Some secret society to your very liking.

So here we are today with many more stories to pen.

Join and enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

From Istanbul with love

17 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

today marks the 100th birthday of Nathaniel Adams Coles commonerly known as Nat King Cole. Born in Montgomery Alabama the son of a butcher turned  Baptist pastor had a professional band  at age 16. Having moved to the South Side of Chicago he engaged in a prolific musical battle with his piano idol Earl “Fatha” Hines. “Sweet Lorraine” was his first hit with many more to come like “Mona Lisa” and “Straighten up and fly right”, once he was signed by Capitol Records, then a young label.

The King of Jazz was nominated four times for a Grammy and finally received his first in 1959, playing at the Sands Casino of Las Vegas for many years. The broad smilin’ entertainer with the honey covered vocal cords found himself opposed to very similar obstacles in later life like our man Flynn, who he met in Istanbul on the backlot of Universal Studios. In order to pay back back taxes caused by incompetent management he was forced to constantly touring and n’erending TV appearances. That a a whole lotta chain smoking lead to his untimely death at 45.

27 years after he posthumely would receive seven more Grammys for the duet across time and space with his daughter Natalie.

Much obliged for any post of all you knowledgeable Flynnions here if King Nat commented on his working with Errol.

Unforgettable,

— shangheinz

 

Gone without the Flynn

16 Mar

Der fellow Flynn fans,

I share with you a rare document, which shows the Hollywood studio executives ways of thinking when it comes to casting and cashing in on a movie in the making. It further shines a light on why Flynn wasn’t in in GONE WITH THE WIND. While the frantic search for the leading lady is common knowledge, it was new to me, that Gary Cooper was also considered for the lead role. Either way the film would have turned out ok. Let’s post your favourite photo of an iconic scene of GWTW and let our imaginary eye insert Errol into the picture. But keep in mind that Gable brought a lot to the table…

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

One punch wonder

24 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

our Hollywood hero had more than one way to connect with people.

There was his charm and then there was his left jab. Funny enough this fisticuffs were meant in an almost friendly way. He picked well documented fights with John Huston, Dan Topping, Duncan Martin, Jack Easton and Olympian tough man & native Indian Jim Thorpe. During filming “They died with their boots on” Errol poked the former football player and all star athlete in the back at the Brown Derby bar and challenged him to hit him with his best shot. Thorpe, who supposedly was able to lift up & bring down a sledge hammer with on hand, did just that. He ducked a right and put his polar bear paw to Flynn`s chin. General Custer was down, but not out and ordered a round. Another friendship had just been sealed with a fist.

Here`s the blow by blow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te8U2K70qYs

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Are you ready for Suicide Freddie?

03 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I went on a book binge this weekend.

The account of Errol`s look and live- a like Aussie friend Frederick Joseph McEvoy is a page burner. Very little is know about the Olympic medal winner, world class race car driver and wizardry whirlwind womanizer. Dubbed the International man of mystery, he is finally revealed by Australian author Frank Walker. A foreign correspondent in Germany and the United States for 40 years he penned two bestselling books “The Tiger Man of Vietnam and Ghost Platoon” and “Maralinga”. Now “The Scandalous Freddie McEvoy” makes three.

Many blind spots about Freddie Mac are blotted out with amusing anecdotes starting with his education at the Jesuit school of Stonyhurst, giving Hitler the stare carrying the British flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympian Winter Games of 1936 in Garmisch- Partenkirchen and filling in as Flynn’s wingman both at the rape trial as well as his best man at the wedding with Pat Wymore in Nice and Monaco.

Having the FBI at his frock’s tail didn’t bother him one bit. He set out marrying dollar spouting and dried up oil heiresses, gambling fastearned fortunes away at the Riviera and when asked what his profession was, cooly countered: “Pleasure is my business“. No wonder he became part of the Flynntorage in no time.

Walker managed to uncover previous classified archive files, which shed further light on how McEvoy steered clear of military service and may have served his own cause in the process. The infamous highpriest of mayhem Charles Higham is cited and again put into the right perspective.

“Higham described his book on Errol a ‘deductive biography‘ and often added up one and one and got three or four…there was no need for him to exaggerate- the story of Errol and Freddies’ lives was already larger than life.”

I can`t wait to compare notes with Frank on the still murky death of the perennial playboy when his ship sank off the coast of Morocco in 1951. Only three man survived the shipwreck of Freddie’s lavish Kangaroa yacht in a torrid storm on their way to the Bahamas, where he was supposed to meet Flynn. The dashing sportsman and deepwater diver that was called Suicide Freddie did not.

His right hand man Manfred Lentner, an Austrian ex commando wanted by Interpol for murder of a prostitute in Berlin of 1945, escaped unscathed. When I interviewed his wife, sister, nephew and brother in law the picture became a little clearer, but still simmers like an impressionist painting of Monet.

Anybody on the blog who’s up for real life intrigue, mystique and the usual flynnanigans will be a delighted customer.

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Flynn along song Vol. 1

10 Jan

 

Dear follow Flynn fans,

Errol appeared in many a song, not only in this one: www.theerrolflynnblog.com/2019/01/07/oklahoma/

Here’s a first of many more to come, written by Cole Porter featuring Flynnmates Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney.

Cherry pies ought to be you

Oh, by Jove and by Jehovah, you have set my heart a flame
And to you, you Casanova, my reactions are the same
I would sing thee tender verses but the flair, alas, I lack
Oh go on, try to versify and I'll versify back

Well, let me see now, cherry pies ought to be you
Autumn skies ought to be you
Mr. Pulitzer's prize ought to be you
Romeo in disguise ought to be you

Columbine ought to be you
Sparkling wine ought to be you
All of Beethoven's nine ought to be you
Every Will Shakespeare line ought to be you

You are so enticing, I'm starting to shake
You are just the icing to put on my cake

You mean I'm yummy
Heaven's blue ought to be you
Heaven too ought to be you
Everything super-do ought to be you

Asphodels ought to be you
Orson Wells ought to be you
Uncles like Kip Cornell's ought to be you
Towels from Ritz hotel's ought to be you

Sweet Snow White ought to be you
Ambrose' light ought to be you
(Hey hey, that's good)
Eleanor wrong or right ought to be you
Errol Flynn loose or tight, watch it, ought to be you

You are so exciting,
I can't even laugh, wanna top that one
If you're fond of biting, I'll bite you in half

To continue
Whistler's ma ought to be you
Elliot's pa ought to be you
Everything hip-hurrah ought to be you

Ought to be you, ought to be you, ought to be you
Ought to be you, ought to be you, ought to be you
Ought to be you, ought to be you

 

 

Enjoy,

— shangheinz