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Archive for the ‘Flynn and…’ Category

E and thy shadow

13 Dec

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

we all here agree that there never will be another Errol Flynn. But if there ever was another actor, who could pass for a brother, an evil twin at that, it´d have been John Carradine. They were kindred spirits in many ways, both experiencing heights and letdowns of Olympian proportions and even sharing similar mishaps that come with a hell or highwater attitude.

Born Richmond Reed Carradine in New York on February 5 of 1906, the later day John, set his sight on the stage when seeing “The Merchant of Venice” at age 11. Donning different roles and robes seemed a way out of his drab childhood with a distant mother (one of the first female surgeons) and an abusive stepfather. A harsh education in Catholic schools made him direct his spiritual interest into a different direction. The only mass he would attend thereafter would be a black one.

Starting out as a portrait drawer, he studied sculpturing with no less than Daniel Chester French, the creator of the Abraham Lincoln monument in Washington DC. Inspired by his favorite movie “The Golem” he strived hard to model something out of nothing, to give the breath of life to an inert matter- be it clay or play. Subconsiously this also is the plot of a lot of the horror movies he would star in in the future. In addition to that he tried to make a mark for himself as a set designer in Hollywood. But Jack of all trades wanted more and his dream of reciting Shakespeare became an unbearable urge. Enter John Barrymore.

Carradine seeked out the great profile and thespian sans compare at his Bella Vista villa in 1930. He had been prowling Hollywood Boulevard in cape with cane and Fedora hat already for some time and was seeking advice on how to tackle the famous line of Richard III: “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse..”. Barrymore said “Let`s have a drink!” and let him in. First into his home, then into his circle of carousing comrades. John Carradine became a regular of the Bundy Drive Boys with the likes of John Decker, Gene Fowler, Ben Hecht, W.C. Fields and Errol Flynn. After well received performances at the Pasadena Playhouse, his screen career took off as well, starring in legendary films as Stagecoach, Jesse James and the Grapes of Wrath. He bought a Dusenberg, a yacht “The Bali” and started raising a family with the intent to father a whole baseball lineup of sons. At the same time he deemed acting in movies as beneath him. “I never did like `em. Occasionally I got to play in a good one. But mostly I have been in pictures that never got anywhere and never settled anything; that only caused the patrons to waste an hour and a half of their valuable time. Of course if I don`t succeed in Shakespeare, I`ll come back to make some more pictures. After all I do appreciate all the money ($1750 per week in 1942) Hollywood paid me.” Sounds an awful lot like Ol`Errol to me.

By the true nature of Tinseltown things, the major studio bosses didn´t like being needled, not even by the dagger of a critically acclaimed Hamlet. The hand that fed him became an iron fist and pretty soon Carradine found himself offered only scripts where he either played a Nazi, a mad scientist or other freakish creatures. Yet again he managed to capture their maniacal ways in his own magickal manner. “The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.” (Hamlet, act II, sc 2)

After his first marriage with Ardanelle, who had lost her mind, wandering around as a real life Lady Macbeth in her nightgown talking to ghosts, faltered, he married his Shakespearian protegé Sonia Sorel, some fifteen years his junior. Sued for back alimony, John Carradine had to sell house & yacht and put up tent with his young muse in the Garden of Allah bungalow complex of silent siren, Alla Nazimova. Sharing the same initials with Jesus Christ, JC accepted bets there and then, that he could walk over the waters of the Black Sea- shaped pool. This messianic antics are reminiscent of Casy the preacher from Steinbeck`s “Grapes of Wrath” or his technicolor deathbed scene of “Blood and Sand”, where he is merely an extension of the crucifix hanging over his head.

Forever remembered for spooking audiences as Dracula, Blackbeard, Captain Satan, Voodoo Man and in his last hoorah as Judge of hell, John Carradine died in Milan, Italy, after climbing the 328 steps to the top of its Gothic Dome. He had set out to ascend his own personal Jacob`s ladder. Son David remembered the funeral at St. Thomas, the Episcopal Church on Hollywood Boulevard as a macabre outing, where the undertakers had given the cadaver a demonic, artificial grin. “…like nothing I had never seen him do in real life, except in his horror films.” He was poured a final drink, but the boys had trouble getting the champagne in the bawdy bard`s sewn- together mouth wetting his dark suit in the process. Not that it mattered much, for he was given a sea burial near Catalina Island, where he did patrol as a coast guard during WWII with his Bali. Sonia, his estranged wife no. 2, died a bag lady down and out in LA in 2004.

Good night, sweet Prince of Darkness.

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Who was the Love of Her Life?

13 Dec

“Who was the love of your life?” She answered immediately: “Errol Flynn!”

Olivia De Havilland Was Able To Search For Love ‘Despite Heartbreak’ Because She Was ‘Bold,’ Author Reveals

— Gentleman Tim

 

Clubbing with Cubby and Cousin*

08 Dec

Reported on December 9, 1938
Eighty Years Ago Today
in the LOS ANGELES EXAMINER

HOLLYWOOD PARADE
By Ella Wickersham

After many false alarms, Franchot Tone actually entrained yesterday morning for New York.

Just prior to one of his “departures,” Pat DiCicco tossed a farewell stag party for him that started with cocktails at Pat’s valley home and then carried on to Club 17, where Franchot’s friends, Joe Frisco and Pat Rooney III, put on a special show for him.

The reveling stags were Errol Flynn, Bruce Cabot, Henry Fonda, Johnny Meyers, Mischa Auer, Bud Ernst, George Peabody Jr. and Cubby Broccoli.

laheyday.blogspot.com…

Note the secret passageway.

* DiCicco and Broccoli were cousins, purportedly connected to Lucky Luciano.

— Gentleman Tim

 

North to Unalaska

04 Dec

75 Years Ago Today

December 4, 1943
Dutch Harbor USO Show

vilda.alaska.edu…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Pauper for a Princely Sum

03 Dec

Reported December 3, 1936

HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN NEWS
by ELIZABETH YEAMAN

The highly publicized reunion of Errol Flynn and Lili Damita and their departure for a “second honeymoon” in Europe may all be called off. That is to say, the trip to Europe may be canceled. Warner’s will decide today if they shall summon Flynn back to take the adult male lead in The Prince and the Pauper</em. This picture is growing daily in budget and production plans. Some enormous sets have been built, and the studio expects the film to be one of its most ambitious efforts. Now Bobby and Billy Mauch, the twin child stars, have the leads, but the are little known to the public and can't be regarded as a box office lure. Errol Flynn is well established with the fans, and while the role for him is of far less scope and importance than any he has been given in the past, it could be built up a little and his presence would insure a certain fan following. The point is, a picture which costs a lot of money needs some star with fan appeal to insure return on the money invested.

Ian Hunter was mentioned frequently for the role now pending for Flynn.

Reported December 14, 1936

by SHEILA GRAHAM

Errol Flynn demanded— and received— a $20,000 bonus for cutting short his European reconciliation trip with wife Lili Damita, returning instead to Hollywood for the leading role in the kiddie story, The Prince and the Pauper*

* A “kiddie story” beloved by adults around the globe.

BTW, I wonder if Errol ever read this advice from Mark Twain? I’d bet he did.

— Gentleman Tim

 

“Columbus” Discovers Flynn — Sends Him to America

01 Dec

NOVEMBER 30, 1934

EVENING HERALD EXPRESS
JIMMY STARR

Irving Asher, Warners’ London laddie in charge of the foreign studio, played “Colombus” and discovered a handsome Irish chap by the name of Errol Flynn .  The young newcomer proved himself in Murder at Monte Carlo. 

Asher figured Flynn had a better chance in Hollywood, and sent him to Jack Warner, who took a quick look at the English-made movie, snapped a contract under his nose and gave him one of the featured leads with Kay Francis in A Present from Margate, her next film following the current Living on Velvet. 

Mr. Flynn it seems has made quite an impression— and good leading men are scarse, you know.

Was it Asher? Or Doug Jr.? Or JB?

books.google.com…

Asher and Warner found gold in England when the found Flynn. The public really dug Errol.

— Gentleman Tim

 

First Time in Paris? — L’intrigue se Corse

29 Nov

THIRD WEEK OF NOVEMBER, 1936

EVENING HERALD EXPRESS
HARRISON CARROLL

You Asked Me and I’m Telling You!

[Question from] Ada Hefflin, Chicago:

Errol Flynn first met Lili Damita at a party in Paris and they met again on shipboard coming to this country. But the third time was the charm. Lili was lunching with Dolores Del Rio at the Warners Brothers Studios. Flynn stopped to speak and the romance dated from there.

Here is a famous photo of lightning striking the Eiffel Tower in 1933. Did lightning also strike in 1933 for Errol and Lili in Paris?

Or was it in 1934 aboard the SS Paris?

Or was it later in ’34 at Warner Bros. with these two contintental cinestars ?

— Gentleman Tim

 

GOlivia Go!

27 Nov

deadline-com.cdn.ampproject.org…

In a statement from her home in Paris, Dame Olivia said: “We must persevere and speak truth to power.”

“The fight is itself important to the principle of honesty, so much in need today in the face of deliberate public confusion for selfish agendas.”

The question presented for Supreme Court review is:

“Are reckless or knowing false statements about a living public figure, published in docudrama format, entitled to absolute First Amendment protection from claims based on the victim’s statutory and common law causes of action for defamation and right of publicity, so as to justify dismissal at the pleading stage?”

“Dame Olivia, who won Oscars for 1946’s To Each His Own and 1949’s The Heiress, previously won a landmark victory over Warner Bros in 1943 which effectively ended actors’ contract servitude.”

www.bailiwickexpress.com…

Olivia with her outstanding attorney, Suzelle M. Smith:

— Gentleman Tim

 

Rita on the Zaca

24 Nov

PHOTO FROM “NOVEMBER 23, 1946”

www.gettyimages.com…

P.S. Rita turned 100 this year! Thank you, Rita, for all the beauty, talent, joy and love you brought the world!

— Gentleman Tim

 

Oh, O-Han-Zee!

22 Nov

In Celebration of Thanksgiving and the Native American Annual Harvest

COMFORTING SHADOWS IN CENTRAL PARK, 1941

Indians Adopt Errol Flynn. New York: “Movie actor Errol Flynn has to undergo a ‘tomahawking’ during the ceremony marking his adoption as a member of the United Sioux Tribe at the Indian’s Annual Harvest Festival in Central Park (Hechsher Playground) New York November 24. Named ‘Comforting Shadows’, Flynn is one of two notables ever to be given this particular adoption. It made him blood brother of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York City.”

ERROL GETS SIOUXED AND LOSES HIS SHOES

— Gentleman Tim