Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

From Mexico to Calexico — May 9, 1936

09 May

Errol files his Declaration of Intention to become an American Citizen

“A Declaration of Intention is the act of an alien, who goes before a court of record, and in a forma manner declares that it is, bona fide, his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, whereof he may at the time be a citizen or subject. Act of Congress of April 14, 18O2, s. 1.”

Errol became a naturalized American citizen on August 14, 1942.

— Gentleman Tim


Young Errol’s Pleasures in Old Hong Hong

08 May

Happy Valley is where one could find Errol most every day in Hong Kong. “But those horrible little ponies wouldn’t behave,” as he put it in My Wicked, Wicked Ways. Originally opened in 1850 primarily for the British ex patriates, is today one of the premier horse race courses in the world.

When he wasn’t betting the ponies, it was a wicked good bet he was in the Hong Kong’s legendary red light district, where it was he and his companions that likely wouldn’t behave. In 1930, Hong Kong had 200 legal brothels with over 7,000 licensed prostitutes. Prostitution was outlawed, however, shortly after Errol’s visit. (Just a coincidence.) Below are Siu Sheung Fei and Fa Yuk Lan of the Tsui Lok Brothel in Hong Kong.

— Gentleman Tim


Young Flynn in Hong Kong

07 May

On May 7, 1933, , on his meandering, months-long adventure-by-sea west from New Guinea to England, Errol arrived in Hong Kong. This photo shows Victoria how Errol would have seen it.

John Hammond Moore’s superb, pioneering biography of “Young Errol Flynn” states that it was likely the Nankin on which Errol and Erben steamed to Hong Kong (via Manila.) Moore has the date as March 4 – date corrections encouraged.) Below is a photo of the Nankin, which, I’ve read, was captured by the Nazi warship Thor in May of 1942 carrying very highly secret British correspondence and intelligence. It’s a good thing Chuck Pigham did not learn of this major security breach and blame it, too (along with Pearl Harbor … the Holocaust, 9/11, and the Covid-19 corona virus, et al) on Young Herr Flynn.

And this magnificent film depicts and describes what “The Gateway to China” looked like and was like in the 1930s.

— Gentleman Tim


More from Mexico — Errol Helps the Red Cross

05 May

While we’re down Mexico way on Cinco de Mayo, here’s a photo of Hedda Hopper, Errol, and Faye [future daughter-in-law of FDR and “First Lady of television”] Emerson boarding a flight to Mexico City for a Red Cross benefit premier showing of Yankee Doodle Dandy at the Palacio de Bella Artes in May of 1942. The premiere would be broadcast over WMCA Radio, with members of the cast interviewed by “The Perfect Ingenue”, Helen Twelvetrees.

Palacio del Bella Artes

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is known as the “Cathedral of Art in Mexico”. Construction began again in 1932 and was completed in 1934. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklórico de México.

— Gentleman Tim


Cinco por Cinco de Mayo

05 May

Buenos Dias, Amigos.

Errol was a very frequent traveler to Mexico during his heydays in Hollywood. He drove, he flew, and he sailed to South of the Border. In celebration of today’s Cinco de Mayo holiday, here are five chronological photos taken in Mexico City, Acapulco, and Morelia, plus a bonus bow-and-arrow-fishing film with Howard Hill in the famous sportfishing waters off the coast of Old Mexico.

— Gentleman Tim


The Knights and The Baron — A Million Dollar Story

21 Apr


NEW YORK, April 21, 1937

Errol Flynn, film player, denied today in a telegram to the Knights of Columbus that he had engaged In activities in behalf of loyalist Spain. The telegram, addressed to John L. Rossborough, state deputy in Oakland, California, and Thomas B. Flanagan, secretary of the Los Angeles council, was made public here by Warner Brothers.

Catholic Opposition to Communism in Spain

“Catholics believed that communism was the antithesis to Christianity and thus the only way to save the soul of the country was to side with those opposing it. The archbishop of Toledo wrote to the American bishops in 1937 asking for support, stating that “the National army is defending the essential foundation of society.” The final straw that pushed Catholics to side with the Nationalists was the persecution of the Church religious. In total 12 bishops, 4184 priests, 2365 male religious, and 283 female religious were killed by the Republicans during the war.”


Report That $1,500,000 Given By Certain Film Players to Loyalists Claimed False

By United Press
HOLLYWOOD, April 21, 1937

An Interview with Errol Flynn In Barcelona Spain, in which the film actor and soldier of fortune purportedly told of helping raise a $1,500,000 fund in the Hollywood film colony to aid the loyalist forces, came under the scrutiny of the Knight of Columbus today. Thomas B. Flanagan, secretary of the Los Angeles council of the Knights of Columbus, said he was sending a report on Flynn to John J. Rossborough, state deputy of the order at Oakland, California, and to the national headquarters of the organization’s newly launched “antiradical” campaign at New Haven, Conn.

The purported interview was published in the Hollywood Reporter, a film trade paper. The Reporter stated the interview was filed to them by “our regular Barcelona correspondent.” The part to which the Knights of Columbus reportedly found most objection to follows:


“Is it true that money has been collected in Hollywood to help the Spanish government?’ asked the Reporter. “‘Yes,’ said the actor, ‘Fredrick March, James Cagney and I were the initiators and $1,500,000 has been raised so far”.” Flynn, husky film leading man and husband of Lili Damita, French actress, has been in Spain as a roving correspondent He was reported wounded by a machine gun bullet in dispatches from Madrid which later developed to be erroneous.

The Hollywood Reporter’s dispatch upon his arrival at Barcelona, strong loyalist headquarters, further stated: “When Errol Flynn arrived in Barcelona he was greeted by the “commissioner of public spectacles, J. Carner Rlbalta, who introduced him to the “commissioner of propaganda” of the Catalonian government, Jaime Miravitles, and the heart of the cinema section the same department, Juan Castanyer.

While in Barcelona, Flynn was considered a guest of honor of the Catalonian government and all facilities were accorded him. “In an interview with the press, Flynn said his visit to Spain was prompted by a desire to ascertain the truth regarding conditions here. “Asked by the press boys what was the general impression in the United States about the war, he replied: “That’s it, the confusing news and the fact that all the American press is in the hands of powerful trusts made me decide to take this trip to see with my own eves what is really happening and write a series of articles for publication.”

The dispatch ended:

“Flynn was accompanied by his old friend, Dr. Hermann F. Erben, a well known member of the American Communist party.”

Per the San Bernadino Daily Sun, April 22, 1937

— Gentleman Tim


That’s LIFE

15 Apr

Drunk or Not So Drunk – That was the Question

LIFE Magazine – April 1, 1939

“Last fortnight [Virginia City’s] population totaled 500, most of whom got so drunk that Warner Bros. curtailed its visit and hustled its valuable stars back to Reno’s safer streets.”

Famed Ghost Town of the Comstock Lode Awakens for the Premier of “Virginia City” – See page 32


LIFE Magazine – April 15, 1939

No Black Eye for Errol

Drunks in Virginia City





Editor’s Response: Thousands of visitors poured into Virginia City that day. Probably they were the ones that raised most of the commotion. The fact remains that what made the movie stars hustle back was the conduct of the patrons of the Virginia Theater where the stars were scheduled to make personal appearances. Said a U.P. dispatch to the New York Times: “So gala was the occasion that Manager Hart installed a bar in his lobby and served free whiskey and champagne to all ticket holders…. Manager Hart rushed new relays of case goods from the Bucket of Blood across the street.” When the Warner Bros. executives reached the theater, they decided the patrons were drunk, that the situation was too dangerous for them to risk their valuable stars. If Errol Flynn, for instance, had received a black eye from a flying bottle, it would have cost them $20,000 a day. So they took everybody back to Reno.


LIFE Magazine – May 6, 1940

“Champagne in the Streets”

I read your issue of April 15 that Warner Bros.could not risk taking Errol Flynn et al into the Virginia City Theater because they decided “the patrons were drunk” and there was some danger Mr. Flynn’s being hit by a flying bottle.

I do not know who your informant is, but he or she s – to put it mildly – a liar. I was in that theater. My family was there. great many people I know were also there. There was no drunkenness and no disorderly conduct. Mr. Flynn would have been very much safer than he was in Reno.

True, Mr. Hart did dispense free champagne, but those who drank it were on the streets and not in the theater.


Errol the Auctioneer, on the same stage used by Gentleman Jim Corbett, Mark Twain, Lillie Langtry, John Philip Souza, and Edwin Booth, among many other legendary greats

“Piper’s Opera House is a historic performing arts venue in Virginia City. It served as a training facility in 1897 for heavyweight boxing champion Gentleman Jim Corbett, in preparation for his title bout with Bob Fitzsimmons. The current structure was built by entrepreneur John Piper in 1885 to replace his 1878 opera house that had burned down. The 1878 venue, in turn, had been to replace Piper’s 1863 venue which was destroyed by the 1875 Great Fire in Virginia City. Mark Twain spoke from the original Piper’s stage in 1866, and again a century later in the third venue, as portrayed by Hal Holbrook in his one-man play Mark Twain Tonight! A lynch mob hung a victim from the first venue’s rafters in 1871. American theatrical producer David Belasco was stage manager at the second opera house before moving to New York City. Piper’s opera houses played host to Shakespearean thespians such as Edwin Booth. Musical performers Lilly Langtry, Al Jolson and John Philip Sousa once performed here. In 1940, Errol Flynn auctioned off historic Piper memorabilia from the opera house stage, during a live NBC broadcast that coincided with the premiere of Flynn’s new movie Virginia City.”

— Gentleman Tim


Adventure at Asuncion Bay

13 Apr

April 13, 1939


Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, April 13, 1939

Errol Flynn, the Robin Hood of the movies, shared the glory of a real-life adventure today. He made a mercy flight in an airplane through foggy skies 100 miles don the Mexican coast to bring back a sick sailor from the actor’s yacht.

Ray Hayes, 23, the sailor, was stricken with appendicitis aboard Flynn’s yacht, the Sirocco, disable in Asuncion Bay with a broken propeller. The yacht is headquarters for a tropical seas film Flynn is making on his own hook.

With pilot Hugh Ernst*, Flynn landed in a small cabin plane on a bean field 16 miles from the beach. A launch brought the sick man ashore and he was then carried back to the plane. An ambulance met them at the airport here and Hayes was taken to Santa Monica hospital.

Hayes was still in serious condition today. His appendix was feared ruptured.

* Errol’s First and Long Time Hollywood Buddy, Bud Ernst, with his famous newlywed wife, actress Lyda Roberti:

Errol, Howard Hill and Big Boy Williams off the coast of Mexico on the Sirocco following filming of Dodge City, 1939:

Sirocco South of the Border, circa 1940:

— Gentleman Tim


Spain – April 11,1937

11 Apr

On April 11, 1937, Errol Flynn was pictured in the photograph below accompanying an ABC newspaper article lauding Hollywood actors and cinematographers for collecting money in support of Republican Spain.*

* It wasn’t easy at the ABC during the Spanish Civil War. The Madrid and Seville branches of the paper divided in their allegiances. The Madrid branch was taken by the Populist Republicans, while the Seville branch was controlled by Franco’s Rebels.

On July 25th of 1936, Seville’s edition of the ABC showed its support to Franco supporters, who fought for the “victoria de los que luchan por una España nueva”. [“for the victory of those who fight for a new Spain”]” Just the opposite in Madrid.…

— Gentleman Tim


Errol NOT Killed in Spain — But Wounds to Reputation Near Fatal!

05 Apr

Only “slightly wounded” by falling plaster. However, his heroic reputation suffers severe, long-lasting, near-fatal wounds due to fraudulently-false, self-serving reports of Errol’s death by publicity-seeking, back-stabbing, fascist-colloaborating-pawn and psycho-quack-physician, Hermann Erben. As a publicity Erben was the first to report that Errol was killed, which he knew not to be true.

International Publication of Erben’s Fraudulent Report that Errol was Killed at the University City Front:

Los Angeles Evening Herald Express – April 5, 1937


All Lili Damita is sure of today is that she must get post-haste to the side
of her wounded husband, Errol Flynn — by airplane if possible.

After a night of frantic worry over the fate of the handsome actor-adventurer
as the result of an alarmist telephone call from a London friend saying Flynn
had been killed near Madrid, Miss Damita planned to ask the foreign office for
a special permit to fly to Spain.

The actress poured out her thanks in a torrent of emotional words when she was
informed that latest information said that Flynn had been only slightly wounded
and had left Madrid for Valencia.

(Madrid advisers said Flynn was grazed on the head by a machine gun bullet
when he was visiting the University City front.)

In the meantime Miss Damita made frantic efforts to get in touch with Flynn,
planning to defer her departure until she gets direct word from her husband.

Her only worry as she prepared from Leeds Castle in Kent to the foreign office
here was whether the reported injury to Flynn’s handsome Irish face will mar his
film career.

“Lili Frantically Worried About Errol’s Handsome Irish Face”

— Gentleman Tim