Incident between Errol and Johnny Weissmuller?

26 Sep

In addition to being a big Flynn fan, I'm also a fan of Johnny Weissmuller. Now I know Errol and Johnny were, at the very least, “friendly acquaintances”…they were sometimes in the same social circles in Hollywood. Also, I know Johnny participated in the press junket for “Santa Fe Trail” with Errol.

So, has anyone here read the book “Tarzan, My Father” by Johnny Weissmuller, Jr.? In the book, there's an incident mentioned of a yacht race between Errol and Johnny Sr. in which Errol lost, and in his drunken state almost blew a hole in Johnny's yacht with a cannon ball!

Now I have not come across any mention of this incident anywhere else except in Weissmuller Jr.'s book, so I'm curious to know if anyone else here has heard of or come across a mention of that incident elsewhere.

— Rachel


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  1. Anonymous

    September 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    that is very interesting. I have heard of that before. this is the first I have heard of this.

  2. Anonymous

    September 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Does the passage explain how or what was Errol doing with a cannon ball onboard his yacht? Does it also explain how Errol managed to shoot a cannon ball from his yacht near enough to almost put a hole in someone else's yacht? You see I'm just curious!–A.R.

  3. Anonymous

    September 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Here's the passage in its entirety (P.75 – 76 in the book):
    “Almost every weekend, he [Johnny] raced his Allure to Catalina Island against Humphrey Bogart in his Santana and Errol Flynn in his Sirocco. All three would bet on the outcome. On one of these excursions, after they had anchored at Catalina, Dad went aboard the Sirocco to collect money from Flynn, who had lost the race. Errol was drunk and belligerent. The Sirocco had a small, old-fashioned cannon mounted on her bow — the kind that had a fuse at the touchhole — and Flynn pointed this cannon at Johnny's boat, took the cigar from his mouth, and lit the fuse, muttering, 'I'll sink you, you sumbitch!' Johnny ran over and kicked the muzzle upwards (it was actually a tiny thing, mounted on a swivel, so he's lucky he didn't break his foot), and the two men stood there in awe as the cannonball shot straight up in the air and then descended vertically. It missed them by a scant few feet and dropped cleanly through the upper deck of the Sirocco. After a few seconds, Flynn burst into uproarious laughter. The cannonball was not the explosive kind, and the boat was rafted up, so there was no danger of her sinking, but even so it could have been a disaster.”