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Archive for the ‘Flynn-related’ Category

Nightcrawler

11 Jun

“The thing with Kurt [Nightcrawler] is, in his heart of hearts, he wants to be Errol Flynn, he wants to be a swashbuckler, he wants to kick the living daylights out of bad guys with a sword.” “Actually with three swords, using his tail as well. And he wants to be a romantic lead, and he wants to save the day, and he wants to be friends with everyone.”

— Gentleman Tim

 

A Memory of D-Day

06 Jun

I’d Like to Volunteer, Sir’

Just before parachuting into Nazi-occupied Europe, Fayette Richardson asked himself an existential question: “My God Most Powerful, what am I doing here?”

The thought had to be on the minds of myriad soldiers on June 6, 1944. It was D-Day, the launch of a long-awaited campaign by the U.S. and British armies to free the nations of Western Europe that Hitler had conquered.

Mounted from airfields and ports in Great Britain, it was the largest amphibious assault in history. Code-named Operation Overlord, it dramatically changed the course of World War II.

Seventy-five years later, the ranks have thinned of those who braved machine gun fire on French beaches that were marked on their maps with American names — Utah and Omaha. Richardson died in 2010. But fortunately for us and for future generations, he and other veterans kept diaries, wrote memoirs or recorded their recollections.

As a boy in Machias, N.Y., Richardson was fascinated by airplanes and war movies. At 17, he enlisted but didn’t qualify for pilot training. Instead, he was asked to join a parachute regiment’s Pathfinder team: those who jump first and guide those who follow. It was strictly voluntary, his commanding officer said.

“I think of Errol Flynn and how he and David Niven volunteered to do things in ‘Dawn Patrol,’ ” Richardson recalled. He told his commanding officer: “I’d like to volunteer, sir.”

www-chicagotribune-com.cdn.ampproject.org…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Errol

03 May

Have you ever noticed how nice members of this blog are? I have noticed over the years that this is almost always the case. This may have something to do with us, but I think a huge part of it has to do with the man we honor. I think there is something about him which invokes certain feelings in those about him. He didn’t try to hit us over the head with this. He made sure that he was ‘ bad boy’ enough to cover this up. I think one reason we honor him was that he was a Very decent human being and quite brave in the world and struggles he faced. I think that is what draws us to him. We get to be brave through him – he inspires us to fight and persevere for what’s right even when we’re paralyzed with fear.

I couldn’t get over how generous and thoughtful Karl was when he acknowledged David DeWitt and Lincoln Hurst. David has been the best managing this site – it would be pitiful without him. I don’t think we can ever thank him enough. The fact that Lincoln Hurst is a fan of Errol’s shows how he must have been a wonderful guy (Flynn, with all his difficulties). If you watch the Lincoln Hurst Family Memorial, it is clear that he was a wonderful, wonderful man. It makes me feel good as a human being to know that I was on the same planet as Lincoln Hurst (actually, I remember disagreeing in writing with something he said!).

Thanks for putting up with long comments, but I think some of these things needed to be said. This is a wonderful blog, and I don’t think this is by accident.

Kevin

 

— kevin kiernan

 

The Secret is Out – Bond 25

30 Apr

www.jamaicaobserver.com…

“Port Antonio has had a long and rich history of being the home of some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities and is always a first-choice destination for movie producers. The great Hollywood legend, Errol Flynn, and his actress wife, Patrice Wymore-Flynn, lived in the resort town for most of their adult lives, bringing along many of their movie star friends for extended visits.”

— Gentleman Tim

 

CHEERIO II SAILS AGAIN

25 Apr

Follow Errol’s 88-years-old wooden yawl race from Newport to Ensenada! yb.tl/N2E2019#…

Racing starts at 11 a.m. Friday (tomorrow) near the Balboa Pier.

Here’s Errol in 1937 at the helm of Cheerio II, which he briefly called The Bachelor.

***

A couple of seasoned sea travelers will slice through the Pacific Ocean from Newport Beach to Baja California on Friday (tomorrow) as the 72nd annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race gets underway.

Not only is Cheerio II, an 88-year-old wooden yawl, the oldest boat in the race, its skipper has been around the water even longer than it has.

Cheerio’s skipper is Dick McNish, a 91-year-old Santa Barbara native who has guided the 46-foot boat in 20 Newport to Ensenada races.

McNish bought Cheerio II in 1980 and extensively restored it in 1994 and ’95. One of its former owners was Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn.

www-latimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org…

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— Gentleman Tim

 

Swashbuckling Before CGI

25 Apr

Extracted and adapted from Swordplay & Swashbucklers: Hollywood Ships & Shores in Miniature

Before the advent of CGI, many swashbuckler films used models of ship and shore, along with full-size ships built on sound stages, to both recreate environments no longer available and also to save money. To some degree the early miniatures may seem quaint today, as compared to CGI, although in my opinion bad CGI is worse–more jarring to the eye–by far than an obvious model.

These old sets and scenes evoke nostalgia for the entire spectacle of old Hollywood swashbucklers: the cinemas with their great screens and clicking film projectors, the lasting impressions left by thundering broadsides and clashing swords, and above all the image of pirate ships in tropical waters. Here are a few:

Above, the Albatross, commanded by Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) arrives in a secluded cove on the Isthmus of Panama in order to raid the silver trains. The film scenes set in the Old World are in black and white, while those in the Americas are in sepia.

Only the film title is actually based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini, which tells the story of an English gentleman who turns Barbary corsair in an act of revenge. The 1940 film is a not even thinly-veiled wartime propaganda piece, albeit an enjoyable one. English sea dogs are renamed in the script as patriotic sea hawks suppressed by treasonous machinations until the doughty hero (Errol Flynn) reveals the treachery and England arms the sea hawks against Nazi Germany Imperial Spain. For more information try The Sea Hawk, edited by Rudy Behlmer. It’s a fun read for anyone interested in the script and the film’s history.

Next, we have the models of Port Royal and the French flagship used in the finale. This image is not of an actual scene from the 1935 Captain Blood starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Basil Rathbone, but of the set prior to shooting.

Of course, the real Port Royal looked nothing like this. It was actually crammed with English-style brick buildings of two and even three floors, unlike this Southern California Spanish colonial revival-influenced town. But it’s sets like these in Hollywood swashbucklers that have influenced our notions of what the seventeenth century Caribbean looked like. In fact, the region at the time had a wide variety or environments and architecture.

Above we have the battle in Port Royal harbor during the finale of Captain Blood: the Arabella on the left versus the French flagship on the right. N. B. Royal sails (the smallest on the ship on the right, the fourth sail from the bottom) were not used in this era. Their use here is an anachronism. In fact, only exceedingly rarely was the topgallant sail (the third sail from the bottom, used on “tall ships” on the fore and main masts) seen on the mizzenmast or sprit-mast on the bowsprit. I know of only two seventeenth century instances, each noted as being highly unusual. One was Kidd’s Adventure Galley in the very late seventeenth century, the other was a Spanish ship in 1673.

Over-large pirate ship and treasure ship of the “Great Mogul” in Against All Flags. The ships are engaged under full sail, a practice generally not seen in reality except in the case of a running fight, but quite common in Hollywood because it looks good. Here, both ships would have stripped to “fighting sail” for a variety of reasons, including simplified ship-handling in action. The film stars Errol Flynn, as Brian Hawke, in one of his last swashbucklers, followed finally by The Master of Ballantrae in 1953 and Crossed Swords in 1954.

***
Scenes from The Sea Hawk using above-described ship models, miniatures, and techniques:

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Stopwatch has Stopped for Richard Erdman

17 Mar

Fare thee well, Richard. You were a great Flynnmate.

www.hollywoodreporter.com…

cdn.shoppingcartthumbnails.com…

From another interview:

Erdman would go on to work with the best, including Errol Flynn in “Objective, Burma!”

“We drove out to the Warner Ranch in Calabasas for location shooting in the same car every day and he couldn’t have been nicer to me. In some scenes we were waist deep in mud simulating a swamp. It was a very hot summer and tiring, but Errol was great throughout. There were no actresses in the film, but women would just turn up on the set and follow him around. He literally had to fight them off. He was a man’s man, but also had a sensitive side to him. He was just a charming guy.”

— Gentleman Tim

 

Bond, Ward Bond

14 Mar

ricochet.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Mailbag! Zaca Rotting Away in Villefranche circa 1979!

10 Mar

Tip o’ the hat to Karl Holmberg for pointing them out

— David DeWitt

 

It Happened in Little Havana — — Errol Flynn’s Ghost @ The Tower Theater

07 Mar

Saw a premier of ‘Errol Flynn’s Ghost’ tonight at the Tower Theater on Calle Ocho, in Little Havana, Miami. It is a superb documentary, written and directed by an extraordinary talent, Gaspar Gonzalez.

www.documentaries.org…

About

Author and historian Megan Feeny is also sensational in this, drawing on her research from her new book, ‘Hollywood in Havana’.

Making everything about this film even better is the prominent inclusion of magnificent writer and Flynn biographer (and EFB Author) Tom McNulty, which adds very significantly to its caliber, credibility, and importance. Thank you, Tom.

www.illinoisauthors.org…

Every fan of Errol and/or Hollywood’s Golden Age should see this fascinating, first-class documentary.

www.errolflynnsghost.com…

It’s playing one more time in Miami, this Sunday, 1 PM @ The Silverspot Theater.

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— Gentleman Tim