Archive for April, 2010

What Errol Told Olivia

27 Apr



In the 2005 Turner documentary, The Adventures of Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland recorded a series of reminiscences about Flynn, including the recounting of an episode that took place soon after they first met: “He sat down, and he said to me, 'What do you want out of life? And so I said, 'Well, I want respect for difficult work well done.' And then I said to him, 'What do you want out of life?' And he said, 'I want success.' And by that he meant fame and riches.  And I thought, 'That’s not enough.'”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
In Olivia’s mind, Errol wanted one thing, and she wanted another. By implication his desires were material and hers were artistic; his were wrong, and hers were right. His were “not enough.” What she doesn’t account for is that Errol Flynn had by 1935 at age 26 already graduated from the school of hard knocks, getting by on equal parts charm, looks, and guile. Despite her harsh upbringing in stepfather G.M. Fontaine’s home, she had not spent much time out in the world. As has been well documented, particularly in John Hammond Moore’s excellent The Young Errol, Flynn had kicked around Australia and New Guinea working at various jobs for years—dozens of jobs, in fact. His failure in these jobs might have had less to do with character deficiencies than always assumed by his biographers, and more to do with a condition that might today be diagnosed as ADHD. Sometimes, just maybe, this disability set him up to fail. Flynn was always getting fired, although on one occasion when he managed a copra plantation, it may have been a conspiracy by area farmers against the “new kid in town” that led to his failure. These experiences gave Flynn a hard, cynical veneer that prepared him for what was, in his mind, the inevitability of losing this gig as an actor just like he had lost all the others. Proof of this can be found in his early, constant griping to the press that he might just chuck it all and return to the South Seas. He figured he ought to quit the business before the business quit him. 
Olivia, on the other hand, had survived a militaristic existence at home in Saratoga, California, as described by Olivia's sister Joan Fontaine in the memoir, No Bed of Roses. Olivia, the older sister, had been forced to become the poised, well-read, and well-spoken young lady who hit the screen at age 18. In response to her harsh home environment, she had by necessity become an intense loner and a person who sought the control as an adult that she had been denied as a child and adolescent. But she had not, and would not ever, wait tables like the typical struggling actor and have to cope with a variety of bosses with different work styles and temperaments. In other words, she didn’t know what she didn’t know, and when Flynn made his statement about wanting fame and fortune, it struck de Havilland as capricious when it was in fact the product of many ego blows that accompanied each pronouncement, “Flynn, you’re fired!”
I discovered a thousand and one things about Errol and Olivia that I didn’t know. Learn about all of them in Errol & Olivia: Ego & Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood, coming in October 2010 from GoodKnight Books.

— Robert Matzen


Mystery Question of the Week

26 Apr

One very general question: what happens to all the props that are used in film?

 Most of them are probably kept, others sold or destroyed? So does anybody know what happened to these two pictures that were used in two of Errol's films? The first one is a cartoon from “That Forsyte Woman”, I just copied it from what I saw on the screen, so it is not the original. The second is this beautiful portrait from “Essex” – are they still at the MGM resp. Warner Archives, or has somebody purchased them maybe? Who can solve the mystery?

— Inga


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Happy 111th birthday!

26 Apr

Just a wee note to say Happy Birthday to Cowboy Guinn! He'd be 111 today.



— Inga


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Robin Hood King of Sherwood a review by Thomas McNulty

26 Apr

image A Review By Thomas McNulty

The name Robin Hood immediately brings to mind an image of Errol Flynn swinging on a vine in Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood has long been a captivating, popular folk hero, and many actors besides Flynn have tackled the role, including Russell Crowe whose current take on the legendary bandit of Sherwood is destined to remain popular, if not definitive.


From time to time various writers have put their imaginations to work recreating Robin of Sherwood’s exploits. Recently Stephen R. Lawhead realized great success with his “King Raven Trilogy” comprised of, “Hood,” “Scarlet” and “Tuck.” Perhaps the most unusual Robin Hood story I’ve read was written by Nancy A. Collins and appeared in her collection “Avenue X and Other Dark Streets.” The story is called “The One-Eyed King” and this is truly one strange version of the Robin Hood legend, but not without merit.


Of course the best known book is Howard Pyle’s “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” which remains in print and will undoubtedly find a new audience as interest in the Ridley Scott-Russell Crowe film gathers momentum. But there is another book on the market written by a British author named I. A. Watson that I believe deserves your attention. It’s called “Robin Hood – King of Sherwood” and it’s published by Cornerstone Book Publishers in conjunction with Ron Fortier’s Airship 27 Productions.


The beautiful cover is by Mike Manley with interior illustrations by Rob Davis. In his superb afterword, Watson provides an historical overview of the Robin Hood legend and explains his affection for the pulp magazines of a bygone age: “In writing “King of Sherwood” I was consciously trying to tell the story as if it had been commissioned for such a publication. This is Robin Hood as if he had appeared in Argosy or the Strand Magazine.”


Indeed, this is adventure writing at its finest, i.e., literate, suspenseful, action-packed and genuine. Nothing further need be said except this – for further information about series editor Ron Fortier and illustrator Rob Davis simply google “Airship 27.”


To purchase the book simply click onto Amazon right now and order a copy. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

— David DeWitt


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Bandwidth Problems Now Permanently Fixed!

26 Apr

The kind folks at… where I host this blog have kindly permanently doubled our bandwidth! We should not have any more issues with running out of bandwidth – not to say we shouldn't all take care with the size of our files, especially photos that can be resized before uploading… so the fun continues!

— David DeWitt


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Stephen Boyd

24 Apr

Hi fellow Bloggers,

have just seen youtube video of Errol Flynn and Stephen Boyd in a scene from Boyd's first film do go watch it page 9 on Errol Flynn section

— daringthorpe


feels like home

23 Apr

A big thank you to all EF blog authors for the warm welcome I have recieved, it feels like I've stepped into a room full of familiar friends that feels like home. It is so gratifying to discuss  all the different aspects of this man's life, and what a life!

                                                                 How could anyone fail to be inspired by a life so full and so varied in such a short timespan,never a moment wasted and as he said himself “I enjoyed every minute of it”.

— daringthorpe


New interest in 7740 Mulholland Drive!

20 Apr

Is seems that we have renewed interest in an
account of what really happened to Mulholland House – Farm of  7740

It looks like that most likely Robert Matzen and
Mazzone could have all the detailed dates to the complete scenario of
WHAT really
happened to the property after Errol lost the property to Lili Damita;
was apparently in 1953 or very near this time?

To whom did she sell the property?  Most
likely to a developer as the property was
already split into two lots or maybe three in 1958?  Errol’s
property was 10.5 acres. The property
was advertises in the Los Angeles Times in 1958 as a five acre land
parcel and
a 2.5 acre lot including the house and tennis courts.  This
adding up to only 7.5 acres!   The third parcel
must have been 3 acres and
what happened to it and who purchased this one? 

Suzy Hamblin wife of Stuart was looking at the 2.5
property in 1958, which was for sale at $160.000, but Stuart, never
seeing the
property found it to expensive.  A year
or so later in 1959 Suzy found the property still for sale and this time
purchased it, but not 2.5 acres, but 7.5 acres for $180,000, these are
out of the book “Errol Flynn Slept Here” 
The Hamblins lived at Mulholland for 21 years to 1980, after
which Rick
Nelson comes in as the new owner.  In
April 1980, the Nelsons bought Errol Flynn's 1941 Mulholland Drive estate for

Next question – when did the property go on the
market again
and who purchased it? Was it Helen Hunt? It is known that she built a
right on the foundation of Errol’s house. 
Was it Helen Hunt who ordered the demolition of Errol’s house?  It is known that she sold the house to Justin
Timberlake who occupies it to this day.

Is there anybody of our EFBlog authors who can fill
in some
or all of the questions and gaps? 

— Tina


A Crazy Idea?

20 Apr

Hello everybody,

first I'd like to thank you all for the warm welcome you gave me. It feels good to be member of such a great community!

Then I would like to make a suggestion. Maybe it's crazy, but this idea has been on my mind for some time and I think it'd be quite unique…Why don't we create an “Errol Flynn Calendar” together? Meaning that we try to make a kind of “list” or overview of what Errol did every day of his life? For example, today is April 20th, and you could go to this site we'd create and have a look: Oh, today 60 years ago, Errol did this and that… He was shooting this or that film, had a party in the evening… What do you think? Possible? Crazy?

My second question for today: I read this wonderful book “Errol Flynn Slept Here” and I was wondering: who was the guy that eventually destroyed Mulholland House? His name is not mentioned, probably because he would have a hard time then? Is the name known at all?

Well, take care everybody and thanks for reading this!

— Inga


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My Thoughts on Errol Flynn

17 Apr

As far back as I can remember Errol Flynn has fascinated me, as a small child he was the

 hero who had me rivetted to the screen.then one day I happened upon a book

called “My Wicked wicked ways” the first time I read it I was thirteen I've read it twice since and each time I take away something different from it .

                   In my humble opinion he was a man whose feelings about things ran a lot deeper than the world at large would suspect, and all his life he only ever wanted to impress and earn the  respect of his father.

                                  I think a lot of the time he was misunderstood which brings me to the question mark symbol he had on suits and a flag on his yacht, may have been saying “why me” Finally the magic that is Flynn stems I think from a persona that didn't take himself to seriously and blessed with a unique talent to make us  believe that heroes really do exist

— daringthorpe