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Archive for the ‘Blog Authors’ Category

The Errol of the 18th Century

29 Jan

John Wilkes (1725 to 1797). Born in London to a middle class family, he was a journalist, writer, libertine, poet, adventurer, wit, radical MP, womaniser, duellist, fighter against oppression, and one of the first media celebrities.

Wilkes was also the most successful womaniser we English ever produced (at any rate, he was the most famous). He even managed to pinch Casanova’s favourite mistress, which the Italian moaned about in his memoirs. It must have been very galling as Wilkes wasn’t much to look at, having a crooked jaw and a squint, but as one smitten female put it, ‘he doesn’t squint more than a gentleman should!’

He began life as an adventurer, gaining access to aristocratic society by virtue of his wit and erudition. He soon found a patron in the Earl of Granville, a prominent Whig politician. Granville secured for Wilkes a safe seat and he entered the House of Commons. Wilkes then founded the North Briton, a newspaper which focused its acerbic satire on the incompetent ministry of Lord Bute. Issue No45 caused uproar in its unprecedented attack on the Government and by implication, the King. Wilkes became an instant celebrity in an era that had just embraced newspapers, with shops ‘cashing in’ in the form of figurines, pictures, cockades, pins and even parrots that repeated ’45 & Liberty.’ Wilkes literally caused riots, and people would tear off pieces of his clothes.

John Wilkes, drawn by his enemy William Hogarth

Even the Tory Dr Johnson was eventually won over by his charm and intelligence. Interestingly, he was referring to Wilkes when he famously said, ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’

Another reason Wilkes became infamous was his Flynning ways. A libertine who had lost his virginity aged 12, he liked to try everything and, in particular, every woman. He was elected a member of a secret society called the Monks of Medmenham, which later became known as the Hell Fire Club.

The men dressed as monks, and prostitutes were hired to dress as nuns. They were ferried by boat, at night, to the grounds of a ruined abbey on the banks of the Thames. Wilkes was known as ‘Brother John of Aylesbury’ and kept the cellar books. The quantities of claret and port consumed were quite extraordinary, even by the standards of the day.

Medmenham Abbey

Wilkes loved to play practical jokes. In fact, it was said of him; ‘Jack Wilkes will sacrifice his best friend for a scurvy jest.’ Remind you of anyone? He once dressed an ape as the Devil, hid it in a chest and then unleashed it on an unsuspecting Lord Sandwich, who was then First Lord of the Admiralty.

After a few years, the ‘brotherhood’ disbanded. According to some, the orgies were relocated to the subterranean caves at West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire. West Wycombe, which is one of the first Palladian houses in Britain, belonged to fellow ‘monk,’ Sir Francis Dashwood, who had the grounds laid out to mimic the shape of a woman’s naked body.

Sir Francis Dashwood, painted as a monk

Having been in the caves myself, however, I can say that they are cramped, freezing and very damp! Hardly conducive to nights of passion.

Entrance to the caves at West Wycombe Park

Inside the caves at West Wycombe

West Wycombe House

The house and, above, its private church with a hollow golden ball that could seat six men, and was used for drinking rum punches!

The Temple of Music

Wilkes had married young, to an older, wealthier woman. The marriage was not a success and he left, taking their daughter Polly, who was devoted to him and never married. When Wilkes had to escape to the Continent after the Parliament convicted him of ‘obscene libel’, Polly accompanied him.

After a sojourn in Italy, where Wilkes took up with a 15 year old countess who stole all his money, he returned to England, was imprisoned, re-elected to the House of Commons and went on to become Mayor of London and a supporter of American independence. He also established three vital English liberties; freedom of the press to report the proceedings of Parliament, freedom from arrest without charge, and the right to take your seat in Parliament if you have been democratically elected.

Errol would definitely have approved.

Wilkes died aged 72 at his home in Grosvenor Square and is buried in the Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, London.

Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair.

— PW

 

Just A Nice Photo

05 Jan

— twinarchers

 

Captain Blood

28 Oct

Much harder to find photos for this film that are not already common. I try to put only good quality photos here.

This is a great shot.

I wonder what they were thinking with this one?

Between takes

All extras for this photo while the stars are getting a massage.

— twinarchers

 

Kiddin´kiddos of Hollywood heroes

12 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

memories are made of this, when the children of LOU COSTELLO, ERROL FLYNN, CLARK GABLE,TYRONE POWER,CHICO MARX & JOHNNY WEISSMULLER reminisce.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

A Premier Date! The Sea Hawk!

04 Oct

I am sure many of us use several sources to confirm the movie premiere dates for Flynn’s films. One of the largest, and generally reliable, is is IMDb. But it is always good to double check.

As an example I checked the date for The Sea Hawk with IMDb and it is listed as July 1, 1940 with a second listing of August 10 in New York City. Wellll, that’s not quite right.

After filming was completed on April 19, 1940 there was no release date set. On July 4th there was a special sneak preview of the film in Pomona, Cal. and still no release date set. On July 17 there is an all day preview of the film at Warner’s Hollywood theatre with guests anD reporters and a tentative premiere date was announced to be the Labor day wekend, but not printed. Read the rest of this entry »

— Ada Klock

 

Ride To The Sound Of The Guns

22 Sep

Wanted to know a bit more on this guy and found that they used an existing painting instead of having the art department make one up. At least I think so.
Link:
Ride to the Sound of the Guns

— twinarchers

 

Making In the Wake

28 May

A Superb Site on “In the Wake of the Bounty”:
www.ozmovies.com…

thumb_3357_photo_big

297dafef1cc420a25b6feb4b31a9d999ade67990

— Gentleman Tim

 

Ghostship Zaca IV

09 May

shearwater

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Whenever Errol was Catalina dreaming he naturally went there with his Zaca.
And just when I thought I was in clear waters, the swashbuckler`s schooner turned out to be the “Shearwater”.
Here though is the real deal on reel: www.budgetfilms.com…

Zacahoy,

— shangheinz

 

Olivia de Havilland Film Festival

04 May

Celebrating Olivia’s 100th Year (Congratulations Livvie!)

At the Historic Stanford Theater, Palo Alto, California

ERROLIVIA FILMS & DATES

The Adventure of Robin Hood: May 6-8

Captain Blood: May 13-15

Charge of the Light Brigade: May 20-22

They Died with Their Boots On: June 3-5

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex: June 10-12

Four’s a Crowd: June 17-19

www.metroactive.com…

stanfordtheatre.org…

Errolivia Kissing

Stanford Theater

— Gentleman Tim

 

Master Flynn

29 Apr

Just watched this again a few days ago and was very happy with the real locations used rather than the back lot. Makes me wish Against All Flags was filmed in Europe too.
I think that many reviews in the book The Films Of Errol Flynn are a bit too critical and was happy to find this one.

MOVIE REVIEW
Master of Ballantrae’ at Paramount
H. H. T.
Published: August 6, 1953
With plenty of good, old-fashioned muscularity crowding a highly pictorial Technicolor frame, at least three-fourths of “The Master of Ballantrae” makes a rousing, spectacular outlet for a pair of estimable adventurers, Errol Flynn and the master himself, Robert Louis Stevenson. In the new Warner Brothers arrival at the Paramount yesterday, Mr. Flynn is leading a fine, predominantly British cast through one of the liveliest, handsomest and most absurd screen free-foralls ever to leave the Victorian talespinner’s pen.

If the excessive length and staggeringly heroic exploits can be pinned on Warners and Mr. Stevenson, respectively, no one, assuredly, should question the lavish elasticity of the proceedings. It is played well by the entire cast, and seasoned throughout with some brazen drollery. The film was gleamingly authenticized in such locales as Scotland, England and Sicily.

Herb Meadow’s adaptation fittingly charts a cluttered, tumultuous odyssey for the indefatigable protagonist, leader of the fiery Durisdeer clan and fugitive champion of the Stuart Restoration, as he engineers a magnificent career in high-seas piracy and returns home, a wiser, if no less boisterous, rebel. The direction of William Keighley is equally alert and scenic, whether scouring the craggy, heather-strewn battlegrounds of the clansmen or capturing the lusty barbarism of the pirates’ island sanctuary. And since the dialogue is more often pungent than standard, the motivations and characterizations retain a surprising air of conviction, for all the flying kilts, sabers and sails.

Mr. Flynn is, in turn, bold, roguish and forgiveably self-satisfied in his best swashbuckler since “The Sea Hawk,” thirteen long years ago. The featured players, a spanking round-up, are crisp, restrained and forceful, one and all, particularly Roger Livesey and and Anthony Steel, and the ladies in the case, Beatrice Campbell and Yvonne Furneaux.

Last but not least, the truly stunning color photography of that British ace, Jack Cardiff, provides a canvas that stands as a model of its kind and fully rates the classic archive reserved for Mr. Stevenson, long, perhaps, after Mr. Flynn and company are forgotten. Meanwhile, Mr. Flynn is having himself, as well he might, a field day.

THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE, screen play by Herb Meadow, based upon the Robert Louis Stevenson story directed by William Keighley and presented by Warner Brothers.
Jamie Durisdeer . . . . . Errol Flynn
Col. Francis Burke . . . . . Roger Livesey
Henry Durisdeer . . . . . Anthony Steel
Lady Alison . . . . . Beatrice Campbell
Jessie Brown . . . . . Yvonne Furneaux
Lord Durisdeer . . . . . Felix Aylmer
MacKellar . . . . . Mervyn Johns
Arnaud . . . . . Jack Berthier
Mendoza . . . . . Charles Goldner
Maj. Clarendon . . . . . Ralph Truman

— twinarchers