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Archive for February, 2009

We welcome New Author David Boswell…

27 Feb

We are happy to announce New Author David Boswell at the Errol Flynn Blog! Looking forward to hearing from you, David… Welcome aboard!

— David DeWitt

 
 

Review: Errol Flynn Slept Here

23 Feb

“Errol Flynn Slept Here” by Robert Matzen and Michael Mazzone

 

           The critical reassessment and popular rediscovery of Errol Flynn continues with the publication of “Errol Flynn Slept Here” by Robert Matzen and Michael Mazzone. This beautiful hardcover with a full color dust jacket offers 184 pages of text and photos. The book reveals the story behind Errol Flynn’s legendary Mulholland Farm and can serve an as an introduction to Flynn for newcomers while adding immeasurably to the many scholarly reference works already available. The book celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of Flynn’s birthwhile noting the fiftieth anniversary of his death.

           “Errol Flynn Slept Here” was a labor of love for Matzen and Mazzone. These long time collectors pooled their resources and produced a lavish book that is both fascinating and heartbreaking. The text, predominantly by Matzen, is superb. Matzen is also the author of a definitive biography of Carole Lombard and his writing talent and research skills are evident on every page. The dozens of black and white and color photographs, many published here for the first time, offer a window into the past. Preceded by two short reminisces by Matzen and Mazzone recounting their visits to Mulholland shortly before its destruction, the book traces Flynn’s purchase of the property where he would build his pleasure palace just over four miles from the Warner Brothers lot, nestled comfortably on a hilltop. Even today, over twenty years after its destruction, Flynn’s Mulholland Farm is the stuff of legend.

           Interested readers (and there will be many) are encouraged to seek out this book promptly, because I suspect it will become highly prized by bibliophiles. The book speaks for itself. I will mention only that the book also documents the other “Masters of Mulholland” – Stuart Hamblen and Rick Nelson. The stories are fascinating. Along the way you will  encounter Jack Marino, Steve Hayes, Robert Florczak, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, the Hamblen family, and many others. The photographs, many from the private collections of Mike Mazzone and other collectors, are breathtaking.

           In some way this magnificent book is also an elegy for a bygone era. If memories are like ghosts then many of us are haunted by these reflections of the past. One can easily look at the photographs of Mulholland near the end, the halls and rooms empty but for that warm California sunlight pouring through the empty window frames, and we can imagine both the elegant dinner parties and the bawdy roistering, the squeal of a starlet being pursued across the patio steps; or perhaps the tinkle of glasses as fresh champagne is poured on a warm summer night before the onset of the white mice races. Was that a fleeting figure Robert Matzen glimpsed up in the dormer window as he stood near the pool taking photographs in 1987?

           Yes, there are ghosts here, but there’s nothing sensationalistic or campy in the production. This is the work of two researchers who document the facts like good journalists, and I guarantee the journey will take your breath away. As a reviewer I can offer nothing less than unbridled enthusiasm for this haunting but majestic book.           Mulholland Farm is inextricably connected to the lives of the Hamblen family and the Nelson family, but Errol Flynn’s spirit resides larger than life among the manzanita scrub and eucalyptus trees that shelter a sweltering array of today’s stars in the rolling hills surrounding Torreyson Place and Flynn Ranch Road. And none of them, no matter their boasting, can hold a candle to Errol Flynn.

           After finishing the book I set it down and sipped at my coffee and recalled that day I made the trek to the empty lot where Mulholland Farm once stood, and within moments I was compelled to pick up the book again and thumb its pages to peruse those haunting photos. I recalled the intoxicated midnight I pulled myself onto the stone wall (glimpsed in the background of a photo on page 75) and stared in abject dismay at the gravel that occupied the space where the pool had been. Perhaps it was the wind (or the alcohol) but I thought I heard voices in the darkness that led to the tennis court stairway. And I recalled a line from “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe: “O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”

           For those who never made it to Mulholland Farm, this book will take you there in an instant. This is a journey worth making. Fans of Errol Flynn and Rick Nelson will treasure this volume while benefiting from an introduction to Stuart Hamblen. The story of these lives converging in the house that Flynn built is compelling. A novelist couldn’t dream up such a fascinating tale with such remarkable men, and so the accomplishment of Matzen and Mazzone to document the facts is all the more worthwhile. I have no qualms in stating that I love this book. Time caught up with Mulholland Farm, and in its place now stands a new structure currently occupied by Justin Timberlake. But this book restores Flynn’s dream palace from its exile in the past, breathes new life into the rubble, turning it once again into a ceaseless paradise of flamboyance. “Errol Flynn Slept Here” is the perfect volume to celebrate the centenary of Errol Flynn’s birth.

 

— Thomas McNulty

— Shamrock

 
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Errol Flynn Slept Here! A winner!

21 Feb

The new Matzen/Mazzone book Errol Flynn Slept Here is getting wonderful word-of-mouth reviews! Check it out for yourself on Amazon.com…

— David DeWitt

 
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Istanbul Candid?

16 Feb

— David DeWitt

 
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Posted in Photos

 

Errol's 1935 Auburn Speedster! Can you name the dog? Hint: starts with a “G”!

16 Feb

— David DeWitt

 
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Posted in Candids

 

Errol Flynn wounded in Cuba! Really?

16 Feb

— David DeWitt

 
 

Errol Flynn wounded in Cuba! Remind you of Spanish Civil War?

16 Feb

Click to enlarge!

— David DeWitt

 
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Champagne and Ladies… at a film party

16 Feb

— David DeWitt

 
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Posted in Candids

 

16 Feb

Lili Damita to Wed Errol Flynn. A fast plane will carry Lili Damita, well known French star, and Errol Flynn, Irish actor, to Yuma, Arizona, June 19. Miss Damita, according to one of her closest friends, has chosen this Gretna Green, for their marriage. Lili has often been rumored engaged to some rich New Yorker or to some titled Englishman, but for six months, she has been seen in the company of Flynn. They are shown here in a recent photo at Santa Barbara, California.

Original Caption

— David DeWitt

 
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Family reunion in Cuba where Flynn is filming The Big Boodle

16 Feb

Reunion For Errol Flynn in Havana. Havana, Cuba: Actor Errol Flynn hugs his little daughter Arnella, 2 1/2 as his wife, Patrice Wymore watches in a reunion in Havana, Cuba. Mrs. Flynn and Arnella arrived to join the star during the shooting of “The Big Boodle”. Flynn left his family in London when he flew to Cuba for the film several weeks ago. They will visit his parents on his 3600-acre ranch on Jamaica after the picture is completed and then will return to London for several more films in a TV series Flynn is producing.

Original Caption

— David DeWitt

 
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Posted in Candids

 
 
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