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Archive for the ‘Ships & the Sea’ Category

A Really Big Show

02 Jun

Errol Shows in Hollywood – Featuring Errol, Lili, Ed & Louella

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May 30, 1938

Ed Sullivan
Hollywood Citizens News

Errol Flynn gets in June 4.

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June 2, 1938

Louela O. Parsons
Los Angeles Examiner

Lili and Errol Flynn, no longer “among the missing,” planed on yesterday morning from Chicago.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Lost Again – The Mark of Zorro

27 May

May 26, 1938

Louella Parsons
Los Angeles Examiner

Errol Flynn is lost again between Havana and Hollywood.

May 28, 1938

Erskine Johnson
Los Angeles Examiner

Fox turned down Warners’ offer of $150,000 for film rights to Douglas Fairbanks’ old picture,
The Mark of Zorro. They wanted it for Errol Flynn.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Quite a Turn of Fortune

29 Apr

April 27, 1938

Harrison Carroll
Evening Herald Express

As this is written Flynn is still a holdout on returning to the studio. Warners wanted him badly for Sister Act, but Errol was delayed two and a half weeks in getting away from Miami and, so far, he is refusing to give up his vacation. Quite a turn of fortume for the Irish actor who, two short years ago, was glad to play a corpse in the Case of the Curious Bride.

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— 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.

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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.

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

— Gentleman Tim

 

In Like Lynn — In for Flynn

24 Apr

April 26, 1938

Elizabeth Yeaman
Hollywood Citizen News

Warners are remaining absolutely mum on the subject of Errol Flynn, whose picture, Robin Hood, was enthusiastically greeted at a preview last night. Flynn, so far as known, is still aboard his yacht in waters off the Bahama Islands. Frank Heacock, a member of the publicity department who is with Flynn, has communicated several times with the studio, but apparently Heacock cannot get Flynn to say yes or no about returning for Sister Act.

It may be that Flynn thinks his absence speaks for itself. However, with the picture ready to start and the rest of the cast all lined up, a delay in production will be an expensive matter. If Flynn should return promptly, he probably would be forgiven and put right into the picture. But in view of the silence and his absence, naturally the studio is moving to protect itself against delay.

As a result, Jeffrey Lynn has been given extensive tests for the past few days, for the role that Flynn was set to play in Sister Act. Lynn is 27, and those who saw him on the local road show of “Brother Rat” will remember him as a member of that company. Warners were immediately interested in him and sought his release from George Abbott. He was brought into the studio last January, and has been going through a grooming process. His first movie role of any size was When Were You Born?, which has not been released. And he had the role of romantic interest opposite Kay Francis in In Every Woman’s Life.

If Lynn suddenly steps into the lead opposite the Lane sisters in Sister Act, it will be a very sudden leap up the ladder of opportunity.

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The Jeffrey Lynn story:
www.outofthepastblog.com…

In Lynn, each girl sees the attainment of her desires… See, beginning at 1:01 in the official trailer below:

Haven’t seen it anywhere, but methinketh the name “Jeffrey Lynn” was likely created to sound like “Errol Flynn”. His real name was Ragnar Godfrey Lind.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Not Just Any Port — “Dodge City of the Caribbean”

24 Apr

April 12, 1938

Jimmy Starr
Evening Herald Express

In the year of 1692 the quiet little village of Port Royal, Jamaica, was startled by a loud rumble, followed by a violent earthquake that slid the entire town into the ocean. On days when the water is clear, sightseerers hire a small boat to visit the site of the tragedy and to view the remains of a city underwater.

There are superstitious natives in that region who claim they can still hear the bells ringing in the sunken church. Intriqued by the fame of the bells, adventure-some Errol Flynn, Warner star, who is cruising with his new yacht in that section, informs me that he is going to make a deep-sea dive in an effort to recover the bells. If successful, the ancient chimes will be brought to Hollywood for exhibition.

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www.atlasobscura.com…

Captain Blood’s Port Royal, Warner Bros. Publicity Still 1935

— 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

 

The Fix was In Like Flynn

09 Mar

Or was it?

— Gentleman Tim

 

Now Playing On Google Play

15 Feb

“In the age of tent pole cinema and big-budget blockbusters, it’s not as easy to access mid-tier action movies as it used to be. Thankfully that’s an abandoned market that home entertainment and digital platforms have been able to exploit with services like Google Play bridging the gap.”

IN LIKE FLYNN

“An action movie only in the sense that the subject of this biopic’s life was full of action, but those elements make In Like Flynn much more than your standard ‘here’s a retrospective on a Hollywood icon’. If you happened to see this in Australian theatres, you might be a wizard because it unfortunately barely breathed for a moment before hitting home entertainment. It follows the wild early days of Hollywood star Errol Flynn before he blew up on the international stage.”

m.flicks.com…

— Gentleman Tim