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Archive for the ‘Shangheinz Shanties’ 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

 

Silver telephoon fed

06 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Jack Warner for sure wasn`t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Matter of fact he had to toughen himself up as a street kid. These street smarts helped tremendously later on when he made Warner Bros. Studios a major force in film. Once at top of Tinseltown, he never looked back. His stick was that of a penny pinching, horny- corney jokes telling and lavishly living movie mogul.
He had a silver telephone in his office and a hand written register to go with it. Many flynntimos are on the pages shown.
Both items are on display at the American History Museum in Washington, D.C.

“If these torn pages could talk…!”

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Lock, stock and Errol tunes 300

21 Sep

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I just want to let you know that we are not alone in this Flynniverse.

There are 300 more Flynnthusiasts out there at my FB site LOCK, STOCK & ERROL.

As usual I salute another Double0 with an ultrare video glimpse at Errol in Europe.

Here it is: www.facebook.com…

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Lock, stock & Errol tows in 200

19 Jun

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I had the great pleasure of welcoming the 200th Flynnthusiast on my FB homagepage LOCK, STOCK & ERROL this week.

As promised here`s a rarity to celebrate that Errol Flynn will always be in and never out of time.

Witness the perennial Robin Hood high on horse and accompanied by his German shepard dog Coldnose in Courmayeur, Italy of 1953 scouting locations for his missing master shot movie about William Tell:

Enjoy!

— shangheinz

 

In Flynn`s handstand

05 Jun

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

if you want to dispose of 10 grands without having to sell your granny I have a proposition for you.

After auctioning off the golden bad boy of Hollywood`s head (www.theerrolflynnblog.com…) INVALUABLE has a new offer in store:

An absolutely one of a kind cinema treasure. Errol Flynn’s handprints, footprints and signature in concrete. Originally in the lobby floor of the Rhodes Theater in Chicago. This is one of 30 movie stars from the original 1937 theater opening and were salvaged prior to theater demolition. In overall fair condition. Has been cracked. One crack affects signature of Flynn. Concrete slab measures 18″x18″x2.5″. Rhodes Theater was located in Chicago at the corner of 79th and Rhodes on the south side. It opened Nov 19th, 1937 and was operated by Warner Bros. It was dubbed the “Theatre of the Stars”. One of it’s draws were 30 sets of hand and foot prints of Hollywood stars in the lobby floor ala Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The theater itself was done in Art Moderne Style. It was a single screen 1432 seat auditorium. It was demolished in the 1980’s. Prior to demolition, the foot and hand print sets were salvaged.

How I´d love to high five Errol through space, time and cement, if I could only foot the bill!

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

80th anniversary TAORH

14 May

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the general release in the USA of the greenest adventure movie ever. Feel free to post away your favourite shot or memory of Robin Hood & his merry men and maids.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

They live

02 May

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

A healthy group of Tasmanian devils has been discovered in Australia, giving new hope for the survival of the endangered species.

They were found by scientists on a conservation expedition in south-west Tasmania.

The marsupials’ numbers have been slashed because of the spread of an infectious facial cancer.

More than 80% of devils across Tasmania have been lost to the disease, according to local media.

It is passed between them when they fight or mate.

The search expedition was funded by a crowdfunding campaign, and is a collaboration between the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, the University of Sydney Faculty of Science, University of Sydney and Toledo Zoo from Ohio in the US.

Their scientists spent eight days exploring the wilderness across Wreck Bay and Nye Bay, looking for devils to trap so they could run tests.

After taking tissue samples, they will now study the genetics of the healthy devils to compare them to the infected populations.

“The 14 individual devils trapped were in good condition,” said Dr Sam Fox, the team’s leader and the adjunct biologist to Toledo Zoo.

“And more importantly, there were no signs of disease. Overall the results show that the population in this area of the south-west coast is small and healthy.”

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program manager Dr David Pemberton told Australia’s ABC news network that the find was “very significant”.

“Finding devils with fresh genetic diversity gives us opportunities,” he said.

The Tasmanian Devil is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, native only to the island state of Tasmania, 240km (150 miles) south of the mainland. The growl-like scream made by the animals helped them
earn them their devil nickname and subsequently Errol his mockname.

Since hope is eternal like spring, somewhere the declared extinct Tasmanian Tiger may lie waiting to be discovered.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Signature of the times

07 Apr

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

we often wondered aloud on the blog, which of the many signed cheques, autographs and contracts bore the real signature of Errol.

If we assume that at different times his business procurator Al Blum, third wife Pat Wymore and young assistent Ronnie Shedlo took over the duties of signing off for Flynn, there are plenty of documents for sale that make you question its origin.

Furthermore it is safe to say that everybody’s handwriting varies under the influence over the years.

Now this is meant to be a forum to compare memorabilia with our Hollywood hero’s lettering and to assign a certificate of Flynnticity.

Back to you.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

Happy Easterrol!

01 Apr

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I raise my grail and wish you and your loved ones a Happy Easter holiday with a sip of rhum, which must have been conceived by a thirsty Flynnthusiast somewhere in Holland.

The label is named after Errol’s original hideaway in Jamaica and even depicts his beloved Zaca. Its scent and taste is ripe with plumes, almonds and coffee beans. You can mix it with Coke, inject it in oranges and it’s said to cure everything from scurvy to a clear head.

Cheers mates,

— shangheinz

 

Niven talks Flynn (fluently)

28 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Niv the Shiv remembers fighting Flynn fondly.

Enjoy,

— shangheinz