Archive for October, 2008

the rat race

31 Oct

Linc and David, this one's especially for you.– but for you other guys too.

When I was writing Googie's I left out a few things re my time at EF's house.  Mainly because they weren't that exciting, I felt, or particulary savory or enhancing of EF's image — which I refuse to soil.  Also, the book was growing longer and longer…

But for a reason I will explain later, here is a piece I will now describe.  One Sunday afternoon at the house some people we know were drinking around the pool.  Flynn, Cabot, me, my then-wife Gloria, Hedda Hopper, Bob Stack, Steve Cochran (Barbara Payton may have been there, can't remember), Raoul Walsh, I want to say that Grougho  Marks was there but I'm not certain, some starlets from Warners and UI, and others.  We were playing a game of: Why is it called the X.  One example: The Rat Race.  Errol, in his cups, said because human beings were always running around crazy, biting each other, humping (my word) each other, stealing from each other, back-biting, etc, etc.  Nothing else did it like rats so that's why life was called the Rat Race.  Stack disagreed.  Said cockroaches were far worse at it, and what's more had been around millions of years longer than rats.  He, who was pretty sauced by then, said from now on he was calling life the Roach Race.  That became a challenge for EF who promptly said let's  prove it.  Let's get some rats and cockroaches and race 'em and see who's right.  So, off we went down to the stables to find rats and roaches.  Couldn't find any of the latter but there were plenty of field rats (smaller than those huge barge rats from the Continent that came over on theMayflower!!).  Errol and Cabot set up a track on the floor of the stable where they held  cockfights.  Marked lanes (think they used boards at first which didn't work and ended up using string to keep rats in line).  Well, people started betting on the races and because of drinking things weren't as controlled as they should be.  Suddenly Hedda screamed and said she'd been bitten.  She ran out screaming and everyone waited until she was out of earshot (then howled).  They were afraid of her, and Louella, as you know,because of their columns and power to hurt careers.  Gloria finally ran after her and drove her to the emergency hospital.  After that, rat racing lost its luster, EF got bored (I swear he had attention deficit problems, not called that then). and took one or two of the starlets into the house — ho ho ho — and most of us returned to the pool.  (Another problem at end, one of the dogs got loose from  Marge at the house and came down and chased the rats — which now really went fast).  That was that.

Now, why am I shedding light on this?  Because the other day I picked up a book called Hollywood Revisited by Sheilah Graham, the other gossip columnist who lived with Scott Fitzgerald.  I disliked her, she was just as vicious as Hedda and Lolly Parsons but pretend to be peaches and cream — but as I thumbed thru the book I saw some Flynn stuff.  None of it new, but to her credit some bad, some  good, pretty fair assessments — and then lo and behold, she described “my” afternoon at the rat races!  It was then I had a flashback and realized it hadn't been Hedda Hopper but Sheilah at the house that day.  My memory had failed me.  So, since the book had been marked down to nine bucks I bought it.  The few lines are on P. 258.  (There is also that photo of EF boxing with Mushy Callahan) So I got to thinking, maybe I should share it with you guys and anyone else interested in EF.  So, there you are.  Not a Day At the Races by any means, but certainly an example of The Rat Race.  Maybe it was not Groucho but Mickey Rooney.  Who was no stranger. 

I wrote this yestrday but forgot to save it and it didn't post.  So here it is again.  Sir Ivanhoe.

— ivan6gold


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Interview: Cecil B DeMille, Errol and Olivia on Lux Radio Theatre

31 Oct

Again, thanks to Bob!

— David DeWitt


Captain Blood~Then & Now

30 Oct

Here are some rough T&N shots from today's visit to Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach, California. The visit came up by accident so I didn't have my stills and screen grabs as guides. Fortunately, having seen the film 6,973 times, I was able to line up a number of shots from memory! I plan to go back and reshoot as well as add shots. Will keep you all posted!

— Robert


Sadikichi Hartmann

30 Oct
Found this, thought you might find it interesting, he is buried in Royal Palm South cemetery in St. Petersburg, Florida. He wasn't exactly a friend of Errol's, but an acquaintence, and merited mention in MWWW.

— David DeWitt


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Cuba Story Insert… say what?

27 Oct

The insert in the Cuban Story DVD is, to say the least… horribly incorrect! Read the insert here

Beverly Aadland gambling with Flynn in Cuba during the shooting of Cuban Story and CRG's, no doubt… This is a scene included in Cuban Story… proving how wrong the writer's of the insert were!

— David DeWitt


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Cuba Story Cover

27 Oct

— David DeWitt


Cuban Story – 1958, the Intro and Outro with Errol.

26 Oct

Just prepared and uploaded a video which is the clipped intro and outro of Cuban Story.

It's in the Blog Videos, here.


— Russ McClay


Steve Hayes – Googies Coffee Shop to the Stars Review!

25 Oct

Canyon News

Life & Style : Books
By Tommy Garrett on Oct 26, 2008 – 6:32:57 PM

Googie’s was a Hollywood hotspot that seemed to disappear, but for film fans and movie buffs, don’t despair. There is an excellent, well written and researched couple of books about the famed locale that leaves nothing to the imagination. The author is Steve Hayes. For those of you who don’t know him, but should, the British-born man explains that he first arrived in Hollywood in 1949 and moved there permanently in 1950. He was an actor for a decade or so, and he helped support himself by parking cars at Hollywood’s glamorous Sunset Strip nightspots as well as managing Googie’s, a coffee shop next to Schwab’s.

During which time, the author befriended stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Robert Middleton. He says that they all influenced his life and gave him material for his autobiography. The author has also written movies and television.

Volume One starts out with the foreword by the legendary John Saxon, who was as famous for his looks as his acting skills. Chapters one and two are lead ups to some of the most fascinating stories of any book I have read in months. I thoroughly enjoyed his first meeting with the horror icon Bela Lugosi. Mr. Lugosi by this time was becoming an older man and had been typecast as a scary character in his movies. But it was also the author’s opinion of Jayne Mansfield that impressed me most about his knowledge. Jayne has been a bombshell, a sex symbol, but few people, other than those close around her, realized that she was actually very smart and a very loyal person. She did, however, as the author points out, never met a camera she didn’t like. I like his quote from Jayne, in which she uttered, “I wish I had been born thirty years earlier, because the movie stars of the twenties and thirties wore exotic costumes like Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri. They lived in luxurious mansions, walked around with leopards on leashes, threw wild extravagant parties that lasted for days and were treated like Cleopatra. Oh my God, Steve, how incredible that must have been!”

Both volumes are filled with incredible stories by the author explaining his incredible interactions with some of Hollywood’s '50s and '60s royalty. That although the stars of that era thought the previous era icons were elegant and beautiful and fun. Today we long for the era that Hayes describes in such organic and yet exciting details. The author’s book is planned out in small chapters, each filling your mind and your heart with the love and admiration of yesteryear.

Though this author speaks wildly and with admiration of Hemingway, I find myself feeling the same way reading his books. Hayes is extremely talented and like Hemingway, he has a style that is forthright and yet leaves a lot to your own imagination. Though this book is thoroughly researched, it isn’t opinionated and the author had no axe to grind with any of the subjects. This is rare in today’s writing.

“Googies, Coffeeshop to the Stars” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered what movie stars and icons are like when they don’t think anyone is around to tell on them. Yet Steve Hayes does so with respect.

Googie’s is a Bear Manor Media publication.

— David DeWitt


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David Niven on Merv Griffin – Higham Reference

24 Oct

David Niven on Merv Griffin circ 1981 with a Charles Higham reference… Robert Blake is a pain without knowing that Niv is terminally ill…

Niven on Merv Griffin

Check out Related Videos for Orson Welles and others…

Tip of the hat to our Author Bob Peckinpaugh…

— David DeWitt


Don't Bet on Blondes – Warren William

22 Oct

— David DeWitt