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Archive for the ‘Shangheinz Shanties’ Category

Ace and a mole

24 Apr

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

here is an aerial overview of the life of Jackson Barrett Mahon, the personal pilot and movie manager of Errol in later years.
Barely twenty years old Barry joined the Royal Air Force in Great Britain as a volunteer before the United States had even entered WWII. He was assigned to the 121 “Eagle” Squadron and flew 98 successful missions downing at least 9 enemy airplanes in the process, before his Spitfire was shot down in the disastrous Dieppe commando raid called “Operation Jublilee”. He vividly remembered the fatal-ful day that cost him his plane, but not his life.

“I lay on my back in the dinghy and watched the tremendous air battle, probably the greatest air show the world had yet seen. There must have been 80 or 90 German planes and an equal number of British aircraft in a five-miles square cube of the sky. The sights that morning and part of the afternoon were unbelievable. There would be a Spit chased by a German being chased by a Spit being chased by a German and the first three would blow up, leaving the remaining one victorious until he turned into the guns of another opponent. As a mater of fact, after the adrenalin level of my blood went down, I found the spectacle fascinating- a giant Forth of July display, only much more omnious. The spent bullets were falling like hailstones, so hot they made sizzling noises as they struck the water.”

The flying ace became a POW in the Stalag Luft III camp situated in Sagan (today Poland) 150 miles from of Berlin, a prison facility riserved for all captured air personal. At barbwire gates he was Gestapo greeted with the proverbial “For you the war is over!”, which instantly instilled the wish to get out to get back in.

After a successful break away attempt he was caught again at the border of Czechoslovakia with worn out shoes but a will intact. That Wanderlust got him an extended stint at the “Cooler”, the so called cell for solitary confinement. So when those in the Steve McQueen movie immortalized 76 allied prisoners staged “The great escape” through the literally dug-with-a-tea spoon- tunnel, trapped mole Mahon could only wish them luck. But once again his “mean” demeanor had saved his life. 50 of the fugitives were executed when caught via direct orders of Hitler to set an example. The deplorable act was in total violation of the international treaty how to treat prisoners of war. Only three men reached British soil, while Barry J. Mahon was liberated by General Patton’s army tanks.

Never the shy guy he called up our Hollywood hero after a stay in Egypt at the court of the last pharaoe King Farouk. Coincidentially Flynn had picked up the phone himself and invited him over to Mulholland Farm for a drink and another. Mahon proposed to film “The Story of Farouk” in Europe and introduced Errol to the new regulation stating that if you spent 19 months abroad you needn`t pay taxes in the US. The legal tax evasion scheme originally meant for oversee oil companies naturally was very much to Errol Flynn`s liking. It landed Barry the job of business manager on the spot and would prove costly in later years, since his former handlers sued Errol for unpaid provisional fees.

Meanwhile however the dive bomber duo released their first European oeuvre “Crossed swords”, a spoof of “The adventures of Don Juan” starring the almost Ben Hur Cesare Danova and new diva Gina Lollobrigida. They already met their match in their second outing on the movie market. What was meant to show Jack Warner how to make movies thenadays turned into a financial fiasco due to shady Italian producers.

Intermission,

— shangheinz

 

In should`ve been Flynn 13

24 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

welcome to a new installement of a Flynn film Errol wasn`t in.

The year of 1959 marked the death of Our Man Flynn, which brought the cloak and dagger genre to a full stop. Just when the Old Swashbuckler hung up his boots, the Caucasian Chin, Kirk Douglas, put on his sandals to plough the field of sword and sand movie extravaganzas. Just like Charlton Heston had done successfully in “Ben Hur” prior that year. Not only did Douglas secure the services of one blacklisted author John Trumbo for “Spartacus”, but also of a young director named Stanley Kubrick, whom he had met while filming “Paths of Glory”.

Originally Kube had planned to do “Lolita”, a film version of the Nabokov novel, deemed untransmittable to the screen due to its paedophilic context. Nevertheless the Bronx born filmmaker was dead set to achieve the impossible. While Hollywood Studios readily declined the offer to finance the precocious project, the film was made three years later in England instead.

Errol Flynn had been approached to play Professor Humbert Humbert and enthusiatically accepted the offer under the condition he was to play opposite of his own nymphette, Beverly Aadland. But the package deal fell flat, mainly because Errol`s last love at 16 (!) already was too old to depict a 12-14 year old teenager. Had it gone through, Flynn would have been reunited with another real life love of old of his, since Shelley Winters had been cast for the female lead.
Other leading actors considered for the main role were Laurence Olivier, David Niven and Peter Ustinov. Ultimately it was James Mason`s turn to portrait Prof. Lovesicko.

Vladimir Nabokov did write a script for the screen adaptation of his lust story and came up with a 700 page treatment. We can take a peeping tom`s look here: www.openculture.com… and it also sells here: www.amazon.com…

Before Sue Lyon got to wear those heart shaped sunglasses and sucking lollipops, Jill Hayworth, Joey Heatherton, Tuesday Weld and Hayley Mills were considered for the part of little Lolita. The director later said that French teenie star Catherine “Zazie” Demongeot would have been a good choice also.
Tamar Hodel, the daughter of the number one suspect in the Black Dahlia murder, claimed in a Vanity fair article, that singer Michelle Phillips from “The Mamas and the Papas” originally procured young Lyon with the novel and gave her a rubdown what it was all about: www.vanityfair.com…
Sue, who attended the premiere in New York City at age 15, would have been still to young to buy a ticket for the movie legally: www.youtube.com…

Peter Sellars came up with a stellar performance as Clare Quilty. He remembered his Golden Globe awarded role fondly:
“Quilty was a fantastic nightmarish character, part homosexual, part drug addict, part sadist, part masochist, part anything twisted and unhealthy you can think of. He had to be horrifying and at the same time funny. I had never met anyone at all like this so I just had to guess, to construct an imaginative idea for myself of what such a person must be like. When I saw myself on the screen, I thought ‘This time you’ve done it – no one will ever believe this.’ But then in the U.S. I actually ran into a couple of people who might almost have been role models for the character and I began to think, ‘Oh, well, perhaps you weren’t so far out after all.” It is commonly seen as blueprint for his next character in the Kubrick film “Dr. Strangelove.”

Somehow this unmakeable movie material sparked the careers of all involved. One can only wonder if our Hollywood hero had walked away from an Academy Award in order to do “Cuban Rebel Girls”.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

EF TV- Playhouse 90

22 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

here`s a little appeTVizer of Errol`s 1957 television outing “Without incident”, a back to the boots western starring Ann Sheridan, John Ireland and Julie London.

Ann steals the scene chanting the English folksong “Greensleeves”, baiting the about- to- attack- Apaches.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Ousted Oscar nominee

26 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of “The sun also rises”, the Darryl F. Zanuck movie version of Ernest Hemingway`s breakthrough novel “Fiesta”.

Errol, who received fourth billing, gave a fine performance as a world dreary old chap much like the Flynn of later years. This earned him a nomination as best supporting actor at the Academy Awards one year later. Here is what he had to say in an interview with EF biographer Tony Thomas in early 1958.

“Errol, the last picture in which we saw you, “The Sun Also Rises”, and even the critics who had not liked you before said that you were wonderful.”

“Well, if the critics said that, you know, it’s a kind word in a hard cruel world.”

“The news has just come through from Hollywood that you have been nominated for an Academy Award.”

“Yes, isn’t that something? I never thought it would happen to me.”

When however his nomination was mysteriously withdrawn with no official explanation given, it was anyone`s guess who had put a banana skin under the Ol` Swashbuckler`s shoe on that slippery slope towards Oscar called Red Carpet.

The five actors who were nominated were (the winner) Red Buttons in Sayonara, Sessue Hayakawa in Bridge on the River Kwai, Vittorio de Sica in A Farewell to Arms, Arthur Kennedy in Peyton Place and Russ Tamblyn in Peyton Place. The last one can be considered as the most likely substitute for our Hollywood hero.

While daughter Rory Flynn attributed the snub job to her father’s involvement with Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution (www.cinemaretro.com…), the book “Inside Oscar” blames the blunder on Twentieth Century Fox for the studio had listed him in their Oscar Campaign ads as Lead Actor, thus thwarting Errol’s effort to get one of those golden boys. The same mishap happened to Roddy McDowell for his role in the sand and sandal film “Cleopatra”.

Maybe it was then and there when Errol coined the phrase: “Hollywood has the utmost respect for the dead, but none for the living.” For once it was “Out and not in like Flynn”.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Steve McFlynn

19 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I couldn´t help but notice the many parallels between “The King of Cool” and “The Baron of Mull”, while reading the intimate, in-debt biography “Mein McQueen” (“My McQueeen”) written by German journalist Christian Krug. He managed to interview Steve`s last wife, Barbara and came up with some rare footage and little known facts about the superstar actor, who once boldly stated “I live for myself and answer to nobody”. Sounds very much like our Hollywood hero´s “I do as I please.”, doesn`t it?
Now with Errol`s longtime business partner Barry Mahon being an adviser on the set of “The Great Escape”, there is a certain possibility that he and Steve swapped stories about the swashbuckler of old. You see, Mahon was a flying ace from WWII and what yachts did for Flynn, aircrafts did for McQueen. Always on the move, flying his plane from his hangar home to his prefered airport at Indian Dunes just for a cup of coffee, he stated: “When I did “The Great Escape”, I kept thinking, if they did a movie about my life, that`s what they`d call it- the great escape!”
McQueen like Flynn asked for $50.000 for even looking at a film script. Definitely a trend Errol started. Steve McQueen put it that way: “Stardom equals financial success and financial success equals security- I`ve spent too much of my life feeling insecure”. What was meant as a move to scare off imposters worked better for Steve than for Errol. Remember, when phoney producer Fossataro`s cheque bounced, “The Story of William Tell”, which was projected as his career resurrection film, became the botched apple shot of Errol Flynn.
Both movie greats died prematurely at the age of 50. They leave behind a legency for the movies they did, as well as they didn`t get or simply refused to do. Steve for example renounced a role in Ocean`s Eleven (where Mrs. Pat Wymore- Flynn was in!) and George Peppard`s part in “Breakfast at Tiffany`s (regretting only that he didn`t get to bed Audrey Hepburn). He spared himself a heart attack in “Apocalypse Now” (he had taken a year off from filming after the similar straining shooting of “The Sand Pebbles”), could have starred instead of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry (opting for Sam Packinpah`s “The Hunter”) and upon insistence from Paul Newman got replaced with Robert Redford in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, apparently because the Western town wasn`t big enough for the both of blue eyes.
Let me finish this with a quote from McQueen that sounds like vintage Flynn: “I`m not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing”.
Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Swashbucklin` like Flynn

14 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

we were fencing back and forth about the paramountal prowess of our Hollywood hero lately.
There were many contenders for the throne of swashbuckler debonair and some very good cloak and dagger films made without Errol. Yet one can envision him guiding in spirit the blades and tongues of the cavaliers that came after him. Flynniards, I summon you to post your favourite films, where Flynn wasn´t in, down below and am looking forward regally to your rapier recommandations.

En garde,

— shangheinz

 

In should`ve been Flynn 12

08 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

now this may seem like stating the obvious. Movie history hush hush has it that Errol turned down the leopard hatband of Allan Quatermain in “King Solomon`s Mines” for Muhbub Ali`s turban in Kipling`s “Kim”. Always the traveller he opted to rub noses with the Maharajahs in India instead of striking poses with the Masai in Kenia. But there’s another side south of this story.

Now director Compton Bennett had wanted Flynn in the main role right from the start. They had done “That Forsyte Woman” together and had gotten along just dandy. But producer Sam Zimbalist overruled Bennett and pitched Britimport Stewart Granger, who had just signed a seven film contract with MGM. Granger got meager $25.000 for his first appearance, but was eager to prove his stock value. He had divorced his first wife Elspeth March, an old EF acquaintance (see:www.theerrolflynnblog.com…) only recently and had to make good and money on his highly hyped star potential.

Even though suffering from draining dysentery, the “new Errol Flynn” went big game hunting shooting amongst others two rhinos.
Co Star Deborah Kerr tended to him once he took one in the ribs, when pumping lead into a charging buffalo didn’t show an immediate effect on the raging animal.

The MGM film was every bit the success that Kim wasn’t and provided the gritty Brit with another Flynntasy film role: Scaramouche!

Here is the originale “Mines”- movie with Flynn buddy John Loder aka Mr. Hedy Lamarr.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Lock, stock and Errol

05 Feb

Errol Flynn as William Tell

Dear fellow Flynn followers, I proudly present to you an ultra rare film clip of Hollywood hero Errol Flynn in his unfinished and long lost movie "The Story of William Tell". Enjoy!

Posted by Lock, stock and Errol on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I want to invite you to join me at my currently created FB site LOCK, STOCK and ERROL.
It shows something aulde, something new and “everything you forever wanted to know about Hollywood`s golden bad boy”.
Basically it is my Flynn home away from home- the blog.

G` Sunday mates,

— shangheinz

 

Arrow Flynn

03 Feb

Green_arrow

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Stan Lee`s adoration of our Hollywood hero has been more than once the topic here on the blog. See: www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

But also Marvel rival DC Comics came up with a character resembling Errol and upped the ante with incorporating some fine Flynn storyline into the birth of superhero The Green Arrow.

Billionaire businessman Oliver “Ollie” Reed fights crime in the streets of his hometown Star City. Dressed like Sir Locksley, he is a marksman with bow and an array of arrows.

Now here Errol Flynn kicks in. The bow is regaled to Reed by none other than Howard Hill, who says it`s the original one he used for the film “The Adventures of Robin Hood”.

When illustrator Neal Adams did a makeover of Green Arrow in the Sixties, the archer looked more errolesque than ever.

IMG_9103

A sure hit- can`t miss concept if you ask me.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Happy Chinese New Year

28 Jan

image

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

according to the Chinese calender today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rooster.

The 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, pig & dog) which payed Buddah a visit got promoted to zodiac status.

Every 12 years each is vying for a place in the sun, rather the moon, since the new year in China starts at the first new moon of january,

In addition each is attributed with one of the five chinese elements: wood, fire, earth, metal & water.

This should make for special traits and talents, as well as your life`s aspirations.

Errol was an earthly rooster, some would say a street smart cock, and I am proud to share the same exact zodiac with him.

If you wanna know your zodiac, simply post your birthday in the comment section down below and I will gladly let you know.

Cock-a-doodle-doo,

— shangheinz