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Archive for the ‘Sean Flynn’ Category

Hamilton

05 Dec

A new movie about Sean?

“I want things to give my life gravitas, and that’s the movie about Sean Flynn.”

Errol takes Sean and the Tan Man to ELMO

“We met as teenagers in Palm Beach. One night when we were about 15 and both at boarding school, Errol Flynn showed up in New York and took us to dinner. To El Morocco, which wasn’t even a place to go to dinner, it was a nightclub. Sean and I showed up in our best Brooks Brothers blazers,”

www.townandcountrymag.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Sean’s “unWILLing” Will

08 Nov

“unWILLingly … If me so bad, medivac’acked immediately” and “If cool-aid, celestially unredeemable”.

Edited extracts from the new book,The Bite of the Lotus: An Intimate Memoir of the Vietnam War, by Sean’s friend and photojournalist colleague, Carl Robinson

I’d arrived in South Vietnam in early 1964 as an idealistic 20-year-old who grew up in the Belgian Congo and had spent most of my life as an expat. I’d become enchanted with South Vietnam as a visiting university student from Hong Kong and returned to a job in the US-run pacification program, or winning hearts and minds. Quitting in protest after the Tet ’68 Offensive, I drifted into journalism to stay on with the Mekong Delta maiden who’d captured my heart. I’d seen a lot and my initial idealism was a fast-receding memory.

I’d also met a lot of people. Foreigners and Vietnamese. Military, spooks and aid workers. And now a band of reporters and photographers looking for fame, if not fortune, covering a war that had already turned into a seemingly endless quagmire.

Over at the quieter end of the room, by a large open window, I saw someone about my age sitting quietly and alone in a high-backed rattan chair, observing the scene. Tall and handsome with a thin moustache, he was Sean Flynn, son of the actor Errol Flynn. I wandered over to introduce myself.

We found that we had a lot in common. We were both fluent French-speakers, life-long expatriates and comfortable drifting between different cultures, as well as being constantly curious and well read. Sean had spent time in Africa and wore an elephant hair bracelet.

By April 1969 it seemed like things were starting to unravel. I’d just returned from a memorable motorbike trip with Sean through Laos – in which we’d narrowly avoided the Communists and deepened our friendship in the process – when I rode my bike into a barbed wire barrier strung across a Saigon street.

The incident would mark the start of a string of departures and other mishaps in my circle of friends. Most shockingly, (photojournalist/friend) Tim Page was badly wounded by a booby-trapped US-made 105-mm artillery shell west of Saigon. The right side of his brain was blown away, and he was now at the 24th Evacuation Hospital at the huge US base of Long Binh, north-east of Saigon.

Sean heard the news in Vientiane and rushed back to Saigon. Sitting together in the rumble seat of the yellow Citroen convertible of David Sulzberger, son of New York Times columnist Clive, on our way out to Long Binh, Sean was quieter than usual. But when we got there, he purposefully made light of what happened, saying: “You’re crazy, Page, what’d you do that for?” Touchingly, Sean gave Tim a wooden statue from the Cave of One Thousand Buddhas, just upriver from Luang Prabang in Laos, which he’d visited after I left to come back to Saigon.

Clearly, something had happened to our old gang. Just Sean and I were left. He was clearly shaken, and several days later presented me with a handwritten note beginning with the word “unWILLingly”, and including instructions for if he was wounded or killed: “If me so bad, medivac’acked immediately” and “If cool-aid, celestially unredeemable”.

He also noted addresses and to whom I should send his belongings. Sadly, Sean said nothing about what to do if he just disappeared.

Perhaps thinking of our experience in Vietnam and Laos, Sean rented motorbikes for himself and Dana and, along with other journalists in four-wheeled vehicles, headed south-east of Phnom Penh down Route 1, across the Neak Luong ferry over the Mekong River, and then east into the Parrot’s Beak, where the Cambodian border pokes like an arrow into southern Vietnam.

But the Communists, unsure of what would happen next, quickly sealed off the border region and erected roadblocks to halt normal traffic. Just west of a roadblock only a dozen kilometres into Cambodia, correspondents saw a stopped sedan with its doors open. Only the previous day, two French photographers, including my friend Claude Arpin, had disappeared near here, probably a bit further down the road.

What happened next, on that early April day of 1970, is now the stuff of legend – and personal anguish. Eyewitnesses had seen my two friends arguing in a cafe, with Sean trying to talk a reluctant Dana into pushing further down the road. Finally, they hopped on their bikes and, with only a few words, rode past the other waiting journalists straight towards that roadblock.

They were never seen again. Missing, presumably captured.

As reports of their disappearance came into the AP office the next morning, I couldn’t help smiling as I recalled how often Sean and I had fantasized about slipping over to cover the elusive “other side”. It was the holy grail. We’d be welcomed with open arms, take pictures, do interviews and come out with the scoop of the Vietnam War. Sure, I thought, they’ll make it. Just give ’em a few days.

But as days turned to weeks with no news, I was filled with foreboding and despair. And guilt, too. What if I hadn’t been caught and expelled trying to sneak into Cambodia only three weeks before?

It’s certain I would’ve been there too on that fateful day on my own rented motorbike. Would I have backed Dana and refused to go any further? Or would I have followed Sean? I have lived with that torment ever since.

Sean had given me that handwritten will in case he was killed or wounded, but he’d said nothing about what to do if he just disappeared. I was stunned and felt helpless.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Sean on the Island of the Coconut Monk

10 Sep

Per’The World According to Roger Steffens’:

Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?

“The Island of the Coconut Monk. I went there for the first time in January of 1969 with John Steinbeck IV and Sean Flynn, Errol Flynn’s son. It was basically a mile-long sand bar in the middle of the Mekong River inhabited by thousands of drop outs from the war, led by a 4 and a half-foot hunchback monk who hadn’t lain down in the previous 20 years. Anyone who came to his island without a weapon was welcomed, no questions asked. They had deserters from the North Vietnamese communist forces, the South Vietnamese army, and daoists. They prayed to Christ, Buddha, Mohammad, Lao Tze, Confucius, Sun Yat-sen, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill. The North bank of the river was controlled by the Americans and the South bank by the communists, and they’d fire rockets and mortars over the island, but never touch the island. It’s the only place in Vietnam that I saw happy people. It was there that I met my first wife.”

Per “The Coconut Monk” by John Steinbeck IV:

“I was happy here. Perhaps happier than I had ever been in my life. The island became my refuge for the next five years.”

——————– Roger Steffens, John Steinbeck IV, Crystal Eastin and Sean Flynn

— Gentleman Tim

 

About that flute … Sean Flynn!

12 Jul

— David DeWitt

 

Baby Talk

24 Jun

June 24, 1935

Film Flam with Sidney Skolsky
Hollywood Citizen News

Lily Damita has told intimates that the reason she got married is that she wants a baby (Flynn).

*******

June 30, 1935

Louella Parsons
Movie-Go-Round
Los Angeles Examiner

The real story behind the marriage of Lily Damita to handsome Errol Flynn is that the gay Damita has a yen to go domestic in a big way. She confided to a close friend months ago that she was tired of gadding about.

“The next time I meet a man I really like,” she said. “I am going to marry him, settle down and have babies. I believe I want a child more than anything else in the world.”

*******
She lived a gay life in Europe and Hollywood before semi-settling down with Flynn …

She seems to be showing in this photo … just about everything but a baby bump!

Press speculation on how their baby would look …

It took guile and a while …

— Gentleman Tim

 

Sean Flynn in FIVE ASHORE IN SINGAPORE

18 Aug

In the Mail Bag we receive this nice inquiry from French film director Raphael Millet. Unfortunately, I do not have any hi res scans or photos of this poster and am wondering if any of you can help him out?  He writes:

Bonjour,

I found your contact on the Errol Flynn blog.

I am a French film director, producer and critic.

I love Errol Flynn’s movies.

I also have a passion for Sean Flynn, and great interest in the later part of his life (from 1965 onwards).

I am currently writing a long article about the movie FIVE ASHORE IN SINGAPORE for a magazine published in Singapore.

I have many images of it, including French lobby cards, posters in various languages. But I have no poster of the film in English, and I think this would be most relevant for a publication in English.

I noticed that you have a very nice poster in your collection (see image here attached).

Would it be possible to ask you for a very good high res copy or photo of it, if you have any, in order to have it reproduced in the magazine, together with my article?

It would be a nice way to celebrate Sean Flynn and to pay tribute to his Singaporean adventure.

In exchange, I’d be very happy to have a copy of the magazine being mailed to you, upon publication (around October).

Looking forward to your kind reply.

Raphael Millet

— David DeWitt

 

Tina’s Love of a Father

17 Jun

Beautiful, Tina. Thank You and God Bless.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Sean

31 Mar

www.atimes.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Amazing Story of Sean’s Leica M2

31 Jan

“Sean Flynn’s Leica M2, with a Steel Rim Leica 35mm Summilux
and a strap that was hand fashioned from a parachute cord and a hand grenade pin.”

The Story of Sean Flynn’s Leica M2

— Gentleman Tim

 

Looking for Lakshmi

23 Dec

What became of Lakshmi?

She was a wealthy, upper-class,
Balinese beauty, with brown skin and enormous mocha eyes. Her mother was a princess from Sumatra. Sean wanted to marry her, but her parents wouldn’t allow it.

If Sean had married Lakshmi, he would have likely lived much longer.

So, whatever happened to Lakshmi?

books.google.com…

She was named after the elegantly-gorgeous Hindu Mother-Goddess, Lakshmi, bestower of fortune, beauty, and fertility.

— Gentleman Tim