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Archive for the ‘Flynn as…’ Category

7th Michigan, CHARGE!

01 Oct

Flynn and Custer, a perfect match – brilliant, discipline-proof, dashing, and destined for greatness.

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON
(Benton Harbor News-Palladium, December 29, 1941.)

Monroe- The premier of the motion picture “They Died With Their Boots On” depicting the career of General George Armstrong Custer, was shown here Sunday. Seven members of the Custer family residing here attended the performance. Brigadier-General Custer, slain in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, attended school and married here.

ERROL FLYNN PLAYS GEORGE CUSTER
(Benton Harbor News-Palladium, January 10, 1942)

Custer’s last stand is an epic of the old west, but the rest of Custer’s life is a Michigan story. As shown in They Died With Their Boots On, the new Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland film opening Sunday at the Liberty, George Armstrong Custer’s adventures were intimately concerned with his native state.

He made a name for himself in the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg depicted in the film by leading a series of charges by gallant Michigan regiments. Thrown back time and time again, they kept up the fight under his inspirational leadership and finally turned the tide of battle.

After the Civil War ended, Custer like so many brilliant young officers of the Union Army, was retired. A peacetime Army had no use for the vast number of officers developed by the war. Young General Custer settled down with his wife in their native Monroe, Michigan, to live a life of peace.

It was from the same Monroe that Custer had gone before the Civil War to become the most discipline-proof cadet that West Point had seen in years.

According to the film, the most famous song of Custer’s Seventh Regiment, the Gary Owen, was taught to the General in Monroe by an English soldier who was a Union veteran. When the regiment rode forth in battle on the Little Big Horn, the song Custer learned in Monroe, sped them on their way.

George Custer was only 37 when he died. Life in Monroe had bored him. In order to get back into active Army service, he accepted colonel’s rank. He was sent to the most dangerous territory in America, Sioux Country. The Indians called him “Long Hair.” The tribute they paid him in his last stand shows the esteem in which he was held, even by his enemies. Every man killed in the battle was scalped – except Custer.

GENERAL CUSTER AFYER 45 YEARS
(Detroit Free Press, June 27, 1921)

It has been remarked that George Armstrong Custer’s chief contribution to the history of his country was his personality. Such a statement looks like a truism, but in his case it was more peculiarly true than in most. An operose, impetuous spirit, his tepidity, his dash, his verve, has passed into legend while there are still people living in these states who thrill to the memory of the day when Custer fell, who remember the clash of opinion that arose before his gallant blood had cooled.

The forty-five years that have passed since June 25, 1876, have not settled the argument. Was Custer’s death with his three brothers, his nephew, and all of the old fighting Seventh Michigan Cavalry , due to mis-wisdom, an untutored impetuosity, or were the trap and the barbarous slaying inevitable? How much of the mistake can be placed on the two commanders under him, Benteen and Reno, and was the natural indignation of the country justified? The exact facts are obscure, for we are unwilling to accept the only evidence which came from an Indian.

The significant thing now is that Custer’s story is not allowed to die – it is too romantic, too fraught with the perilous spirit of the frontier days which have rapidly dimmed and receded. The story has been woven into pageants, it has been vividly acted before the camera in its own historic setting. Today, out in Hardin, Montana, it is being commemorated again, re-enacted with Indians, some of whom are from the fierce tribe of Sitting Bull. Tamed now and submissive, forgetting the hot rage of the warrior, they are acting for the pleasure of the conqueror and perhaps for the lost glory of their tribe, scenes which were part of the destructive tide that swept them from their last entrenchments in the badlands of the prairie.

What history will do with Custer a hundred years, hence it is impossible to judge; it is probably that no matter what the historian of the future makes of his case he will be handed along in the legends which gave the thrill to cold facts as the perfect cavalry type, the temerarious General of Horse. The nation will remember him as Edward Clark Potter has pictured him when in that significant moment during a lull in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, he spurred forward from the line, and hat in hand, his golden curls flowing from a head thrown back, he stood for a moment surveying enemy lines. His striking uniform, his youth, his daring, combined to make him a glorious, a charmed figure.

The nation will remember him too, however much they may doubt his judgment, as the general who immensely brave, immensely daring, overpowered twenty to one, stayed with his men and died fighting in place. They will honor him as the Sioux honored him, Sitting Bull’s warriors who killed him but held his body inviolate because he was a warrior of whose prowess they stood in awe.

CUSTER’S LAST GUIDON

— Gentleman Tim

 

All Time No. 1 Swashbuckler

26 May

www-independent-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org…

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

“Has there ever been a movie so perfectly cast and executed with so much conviction, professionalism, and joie de vivre? Shot in ravishing Technicolor, with magnificently authentic sets, The Adventures of Robin Hood encapsulates the magic of cinema, bringing 12th-century England to Hollywood with sunny California glades standing in for Sherwood Forest in a wonderful blend of action, drama, romance and humour that has rarely been bettered.

Errol Flynn is at the peak of his roguish charm as the silver screen’s greatest Robin Hood and is once more paired with Olivia de Havilland as an impossibly beautiful Maid Marian.

Claude Rains purrs insidiously as Prince John, and Basil Rathbone as his sidekick is fated yet again to fall to the hero in the wonderfully choreographed and brilliantly executed swordfight with Flynn on the castle staircase, their shadows dancing on the walls – and yes, that is Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger in an early supporting role as Maid Marian’s mount.

A winner of three Oscars, including one for the majestic score from Erich Wolfgang Korngold, which sets the tone of the film from the rousing opening fanfare and then vividly illustrates every thrust and parry of Flynn’s sword, every arrow thudding into its target, every winsome glance from de Havilland.

The Adventures of Robin Hood at 80 years old, remains the perfect example of Hollywood’s supreme artistry in the days of the much maligned studio system, not just the best of its kind, but one of the greatest films ever made.”

— Gentleman Tim

 

Mail Bag! Crossed Swords Remembered!

14 Dec

Vincenzo Castaldo writes us about his new book on the filming of Errol Flynn’s Crossed Swords circa 1954. You may remember him from a previous post last year. His book is finished and was the center of attention in the village of Lauro at the Lancellotti Castle where the movie was filmed when Vincenzo (who lives in Lauro) held a public showing of the film, and discussion of his book. It was a grand affair attended by all the dignataries of the town. Vincenzo speaks no English but does well with Google Translate:

Crossed Swords – Stories and anecdotes about the Holy Grail by Errol Flynn (Il Papavero).

(Il Papavero is the book’s Italian Publisher. It may also be purchased online, he says.)

The book, the result of a three-year research conducted by the author mainly between Naples and Rome, unveils the gestation and elaboration of “Crossed Swords” (M. Krims, 1954), a compelling and unknown film from ’52 and ’53 made in Cinecittà , at Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples and in the Irpinia villages of Lauro and Marzano with the main interpreters Errol Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida.

The book is divided into four parts. The first offers a historical synthesis of swashbuckling, which found fertile ground first in America and then in Italy since the Thirties, and pays tribute to stars such as Burt Lancaster, Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp who, in the wake of the mythical Errol Flynn, have made the caste of the hood famous. The second focuses exclusively on the cinematographic work of Milton Krims, revealing the artistic and technical cast, the plot, the places and the various assumptions about how the troupe has landed in Lower Irpinia.

The third part includes a series of stories, stories and very funny anecdotes retrieved by the author, who interviewed the exclusive diva Gina Lollobrigida, Prince Pietro Lancellotti with his sisters Ginevra and Maria Cristina, who met the main interpreters during the realization of the film in the family castle, and several citizens of the time of Lauro who have lived the period of filming or have participated in the film with more or less important roles.

The fourth and last part includes news and various curiosities about the vicissitudes of the company during the period of the film, the journalistic reviews of the major newspapers of the time and those “found” by four great critics of Italian cinema, including the late father of David Gian Luigi Rondi.

Everything is accompanied by scene photos and amateur shots found by the author.

The book uses the preface by Valerio Caprara (well known film historian and journalist) and the afterword by Alessandro Cecchi Paone. A well respected journalist).


Thanks, Vincenzo!

 

— David DeWitt

 

Blood Connection

18 Nov

ERROL, PETER, AND THOMAS

www.newsletter.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/irishman-s-great-crown-robbery-is-top-of-the-list-in-the-annals-of-historic-heists-1-8250389…

www.bbc.com…

“In London, Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer better known as “Captain Blood,” was captured attempting to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

Blood, a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, was deprived of his estate in Ireland with the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660. In 1663, he put himself at the head of a plot to seize Dublin Castle from supporters of King Charles II, but the plot was discovered and his accomplices executed. He escaped capture. In 1671, he hatched a bizarre plan to steal the new Crown Jewels, which had been refashioned by Charles II because most of the original jewels were melted down after Charles I’s execution in 1649.

On May 9, 1671, Blood, disguised as a priest, managed to convince the Jewel House keeper to hand over his pistols. Blood’s three accomplices then emerged from the shadows, and together they forced their way into the Jewel House. However, they were caught in the act when the keeper’s son showed up unexpectedly, and an alarm went out to the Tower guard. One man shoved the Royal Orb down his breeches while Blood flattened the Crown with a mallet and tried to run off with it. The Tower guards apprehended and arrested all four of the perpetrators, and Blood was brought before the king. Charles was so impressed with Blood’s audacity that, far from punishing him, he restored his estates in Ireland and made him a member of his court with an annual pension.

Captain Blood became a colorful celebrity all across the kingdom, and when he died in 1680 his body had to be exhumed in order to persuade the public that he was actually dead.”

A Traditional History of Thomas Blood:

A Comical UK Documentary

Part One

Part Two

— Gentleman Tim

 

Mail Bag! Thomas McNulty: Remembrance of Heroes Errol Flynn

07 Oct

 

Hello David,
Here is some off-track trivia and random thoughts. All of these years later and Errol Flynn comes back to me in bits and pieces; rising from the depths of our cultural swamp with startling clarity. All of sudden there he is staring back at me from a stack of old Life magazines in some faraway antique shop; or grinning mischievously from some faded old movie magazine along with Roy Rogers and Trigger. I believe I own at least four copies of the famous Life magazine issue, last purchased at a flea market in June for five dollars and in perfect condition. I think of these images as “Lost America” which I’ve written about celebrating our remembrance of heroes and icons from yesteryear. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, although I am. A thousand years from now this image of Errol Flynn on horseback from Rocky Mountainwill no doubt find itself under scrutiny in some digital time-stream, lost in the nebulas of a galaxy swallowed by a black hole, perused by alien eyes, celebrated in song by the civilizations of our intergalactic future. This image has come to represent the iconic personification of the ideal Western hero. Of these images, my personal favorite is the Norman A. Fox paperback reprint by Dell in 1973, a fine novel that Fox reportedly wrote after meeting Audie Murphy on the set of Night Passage with James Stewart, based on Fox’s novel. Fox dedicated Rope the Wind to Audie Murphy who had encouraged Fox to write a novel that involved horses. Rope the Wind is a pretty damn good Western, too. They Called Him Calhoonis from the catalogue of Cleveland Westerns out of Australia, which strikes me as appropriate. Cleveland Westerns are the last pulp fiction Western digest magazines worldwide. The author, Brett McKinley, is a pseudonym for Paul Wheelahan, a prolific Australian author credited for writing hundreds of westerns for both Cleveland Publishing and Hale’s Black Horse Western imprint. There are more, but the Rocky Mountain image shows up constantly. I recently showed this still from Rocky Mountain to a young lass who shall remain nameless, and I asked her if she knew who this was and what did she think of the image? She squinted and pursed her lips, and finally said, “I don’t know who he is, but I wish there were men like him around today.” Need we say more?
Best wishes,
Tom

— David DeWitt

 

Introducing Errol Flynn

24 May

    Hollywood Citizen News – Behold Them Minus Hokum by Peter Pry – December 1, 1934

    Errol Flynn, newly arrived Irish actor, will have to call out the police reserves for protection
    when the local gals discover that he is independently wealthy and doesn’t need to act for a living.
    Flynn has lots of that appeal too, and is a husky specimen. He hewed a fortune out of a gold mine in
    New Guinea, he represented Ireland as a boxer in the Olympic games of 1928, he has braved cannibals,
    is 25, and has never been married! He has only been acting for two years. And he refused the role
    of Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night Dream because he didn’t want to start his film career by
    playing the king of the fairies.

    Los Angeles Evening Express – Harrison Carroll – December 3, 1934

    Actors making their debut in Hollywood usually proceed cautiously. Not so, Errol Flynn,
    the 25-year-old Irishman signed by Warner Brothers. In his biography charge, which all
    newcomers are asked to fill out, Flynn gave some answers that made the boys eyes pop out.
    For one thing, he listed actors as his pet aversion. And there were some hotter ones but
    we can’t go into them.

    Flynn is 6 feet 2, weighs 180 pounds and his hands are calloused. He is a descendant of
    Fletcher Christian , of the crew of the famous British ship, the Bounty. He was once a
    pearl fisherman and he made a good stake for himself prospecting for gold in the heart of
    New Guinea. In 1928, he represented Ireland in the boxing events of the Olympic Games.

    And his description of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. will get a chuckle out of Hollywood. Young Doug,
    he says, has dveloped an Oxford accent so thick that it is hard for even English people to
    understand him.

    Los Angeles Examiner – Lloyd Pantages – January 29, 1935

    Errol Flynn is not only a good looker, but a swell actor, so keep your eyes open for this gentleman.

    Los Angeles Evening Herald Express – Elizabeth Yeaman – February 5, 1935

    Despite the fact that Errol Flynn is an extremely handsome young Irishman and fairly bursting with
    personality, Warners have cast him as a murderer for his film debut here. He will be the villain in
    The Case of the Curious Bride, in which Warren Williams has the lead of the sleuthing attorney.

    Hollywood Citizen News – Elizabeth Yeaman – March 26, 1935

    Errol Flynn, the husky Irish actor at Warners, gets his second film assignment. He will be seen as a
    pirate with Robert Donat in Captain Blood. Now it is uncertain if Jean Muir will have the
    feminine lead.

    Tanikiu Tumas to King Karl Holmberg for the articles and Flynnspiration!

    — Gentleman Tim

     

Luke is In > In Like Flynn

20 May

In Luke Flynn:

Luke is in In Like Flynn, playing his “later-in-life” Grandfather Flynn.

www.timescolonist.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Errol’s Adventures of Robin Hood — 80th Anniversary —— May Day, 1937 —— The Stories Begin

03 May

An EFB Four Score Anniversary Production

The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Stories Begin

Published on May 1, 1937 – Perfect because of the May Day connections to the legend of Robin Hood.
Movie Released in May of 1938.

LOUELLA PARSONS – LOS ANGELES EXAMINER

How do you like the idea of the dashing young Errol Flynn as the adventurous Robin Hood?
We hope you do because you’re going to see him in one of his next pictures in the role,
of the legendary hero who stole from the rich that the poor might live. Interesting that
young Flynn, who has so often been called Douglas Fairbanks’ successor, should inherit one
of the most popular of the Fairbanks’ roles.

According to Jack Warner, who definitely settled on the Robin Hood idea just before he left
for New York, this will be an outdoor Technicolor special with an effective background for
Robin Hood’s romantic adventures. Since it is not a musical Reginald de Koven’s tuneful
operetta will not be included although Warners own the libretto by Harry Smith. Olivia
de Havilland, who has made her most successful pictures with Flynn, will be his starring
partner with Patric Knowles in a featured role.

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Gamblers!

30 Apr

An EFB Four Score News Report:

Wouldn’t this have been wunderbar!

Dostoyevsky: Directed by Max Reinhardt! Starring Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson and Basil Rathbone!!!!

A LITTLE FROM LOTS
Film Daily – Ralph Wilk – April 30, 1947

Feodor Dostoievsky’s celebrated novel, The Gamblers will be directed for Warners by Max Reinhardt with a stellar cast including Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Basil Rathbone.

Louella O. Parsons
Los Angeles Examiner – May 3, 1937

You can’t blame Warners for becoming enthused over Edward G. Robinson all over again since the previews of Kid Gallahad, for Eddie is really swell! There’s not going to be any letdown either, for now he is scheduled for Max Reinhart’s The Gamblers, and what a cast they are recruiting for Dostoievsky’s famous novel, with Eddie, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Basil Rathbone heading the list! Milton Krims, who scripted Green Light, and Harold Heinz arecollaborating on the screen play that unites almost every big star on the Warner lot. It goes into production in a few weeks and precede’s Flynn’s
Robin Hood.

Here’s a lushly produced version from 1977:
What roles do you think Errol, Bette, Edward G., and Dear Baz would have played in the Max Reinhart version?

And here’s a loose adaptation of the novel(la) from MGM, titled “The Great Sinner”, with Gregory Peck and a stunningly gorgeous Ava Gardner, leading a cast of acting legends, including Ethel Barrymore, Melvin Douglas, Walter Huston, Agnes Moorehead, and Frank Morgan.

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Buccaneer?

01 Mar

We here all know Flynn was by far the best buccaneer in cinematic history. But he was always a Brit in one form or another, right? Here in New Orleans, however, the most “heroic” or at least heralded real-life buccaneer of all was the anti-Brit Jean LaFitte. How do you think Flynn would have fit and fared in the role of The Buccaneer, Jean LaFitte?

“The Buccaneer [was] a 1938 American adventure film made by Paramount Pictures based on Jean Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille.”

“The film stars Fredric March as Lafitte, Franciska Gaal and Akim Tamiroff with Margot Grahame, Walter Brennan, Ian Keith, Spring Byington, Douglass Dumbrille, Beulah Bondi and Anthony Quinn in supporting roles.” This, therefore, would have “reunited” Errol with “I Adore You” Margot Grahame, paired him with Hungarian star Francisca Gaal (fresh off her noted role as “Lilli”, and had his radio producer, silver screen great, Cecil B. DeMille, producing him for the first and only time on film.

“Cecil B. DeMille remade the film in 1958 in Technicolor and VistaVision with the same title, but because of ill health, he allowed Henry Wilcoxon, his longtime friend and associate, to produce it, and the film was directed by Anthony Quinn, who was his son-in-law at the time. DeMille received no screen credit, but did make a personal appearance in the prologue to the film, much as he did in The Ten Commandments. The 1958 version of The Buccaneer stars Yul Brynner, Charles Boyer and Claire Bloom, with Charlton Heston as Andrew Jackson. Douglass Dumbrille appeared in both versions and Quinn acted in the earlier version.”

I have not found clips from the 1938 version with the always excellent Fredric Marsh, but here’s a photo, followed by a terrific trailer, in ’58, featuring Ceci B. DeMille and Yul. Yul agree, I believe, that Flynn would have been better than Brynner.

**********

In the French Quarter footsteps of Flynn, can be found the following relevant sites, all along Bourbon Street:

“Jean LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop”, a front for his piratical activities.

savingplaces.org…

And here, upstairs, is where LaFitte is said to have planned the Battle of New Orleans, in 1812 (and where, during WWII, Errol was also in a bit of a battle himself, when this building, downstairs, was known as the Old Absinthe House.

Flynn @ the Old Absinthe House

The second and third photos below of a 19th Century painting of the Battle of 1812 in the original planning room upstairs, and a wooden model of LaFitte’s lead ship, carved by one of the pirates from that ship.

— Gentleman Tim