Errol Flynn The Big Suprise

14 Oct

Has anyone seen the video of Errol on you tube on a game show called “The Big Suprise” I thought it was brilliant his knowledge of ships and the sea was quite extensive. below is a link to it (I hope,) do take a look and tell me what you think

— daringthorpe


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  1. Anonymous

    October 14, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Does anybody know if this was “real” or well rehearsed before? I know that my question is probably blasphemy to some, but I was always wondering if Errol had so much time to read so much on certain ships and their details… and at this time of his life, his health and memory were not at their best (I get shocked again and again when I think of common it was to smoke on TV!).

  2. Anonymous

    October 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    There was a scandal involving some of these shows in which answers were shown to the guests but I believe it was in the form of what might be asked. If you crammed well enough you had an edge. It may have been the case in some instances that exact answers were given to contestants, as well. Recalling the answers under pressure may not have been an easy task. But Errol, I believe, read a lot about ship's and the sea. He was very well read and so while there is some legitimate question as to his being given a look at the answers, he may well have had the knowledge himself. My feeling is that in those days people had a better general education than we do today!

  3. Anonymous

    October 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I have had this show on VHS tape for a number of years as have several members of this blog – and was never able to find the previous show, or the one that came afterwards! I have a letter of Errol's (an actual letter not a scan) that mentions four kineaoscopes from this show that he ordered. I don't know if he is referring to four separate episodes or four copies of one or two shows – but he seemed genuinely nervous about the outcome of the show. Given the fact that some of these shows staged the drama by coaching contestants it's hard to tell if Errol is genuinely sweating out the questions or if he is just being a good actor!

  4. Anonymous

    October 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Lesley;
    Thank you for posting it – it's a great show! I have the DVD.
    It is always great to hear from you – take care!

  5. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Hi Inga;
    Do you think they show the answers to the contestant when the winning stake is $30.000, which woulds be in our days and in Euro currency approximately EU 400.000. And they will show the answers for that kind of money?
    Are you saying that they have Quiz-Shows in Germany where the answers are shown to the contestant? That's great, I have to come there and get on these Quiz-Shows – hahaha!
    You are saying it is probably blasphemy – no – it is not that – you are doubting that Errol had the knowledge and that is rather an insult than blasphemy – I apologize for saying that, but I have to as you have no proof what Errol knew and what he didn't.
    Being a sailor and please watch it again – I could have answered the four insurance questions to secure his $20.000 winnings. Plus, he maybe won $100.000 we never know as he had to come back. Did he take the $30.000 or did he go on?
    The contest was held on April 7, 1956 in New York and he still looks great! I think he made after this seven more movies!
    As you are the girl who likes everything proven beyond the shadow of a doubt it would therefore interest me where do you have proof that Errol had little time to read and that at this time (April 1956) his memory was not at the best anymore?
    Am I catching you at your own game of being much to often “The Doubting Thomas!” Please start becoming a believer!
    All the very best to you,

  6. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 12:43 am

    This is rather a contentious reply, don't you think? Remember, the way we like to treat each other here is with kindness and respect. We all have days that are better than others, I know. Let's remember to not get too personal in our remarks about other people's comments?

  7. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Tina, I knew I would get this reaction from you, that's why I used the word “blasphemy”, which, according to my knowledge, means “insult to holy persons”, so I think it was the right term. Errol is a holy person to you and others on the blog, isn't he? ;-)
    As David mentioned above, there have been scandals concerning quiz shows:…
    All I asked was if anybody knew. I did not say I had proof. I agree that as a sailor, Errol must have been able to answer the insurance questions and the one about the bell. All I doubted was that he had such extensive knowledge on which missing ship disappeared where! It was no problem to guess their nationality from the names, but what I doubted was that he was able to locate these ships at the time when they went missing – there must have been hundreds which disappeared in the last 80 years – and would he bother to know where each of it disappeared? Hence my doubt. I don't doubt that he was well read and that people and he in particular had a greater general knowledge at that time. But a little doubt may be allowed.
    I did not know exactly when the show was made, I had placed it two years or so later when he began having problems remembering his lines. I apologise.

  8. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

    That's fine, David, I didn't take it personal, I knew that my question would cause a reaction and was prepared for it. Thank you for adding the infos on the scandals and for expressing your opinion!

  9. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

    They mention in wikipedia that this is the only episode of the show which is known to exist – all others have apparently been destroyed. I wonder why exactly this one survived and how.

  10. Anonymous

    October 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Wow, that was a treat. I liked how careful and thoughtful Errol was in formulating his answers. And he was obviously nervous. $30K would have been helpful to him at the time this was taped. $100K even more so.

  11. Anonymous

    October 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Indeed it was a treat! So glad that vid link was posted here…it was the first time I've ever seen that game show and Errol as a contestant on it. Yeah, it seems Errol really knows his stuff when it comes to nautical knowledge (no surprise there). And he was adorable too — was cute how he kissed Mike Wallace on the head at the end. :-)
    Glad Errol won the $30K — Yay Team Flynn! :-)

  12. Anonymous

    October 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Inga;
    Sunday today and I have a little time – no hospital visit. We closed the pool today and that is always a very sad day.
    I just read your comment and I must say you just know me to well and why not, after all we are conversing for a long time. I just thought I give a little back to of your own medicine but in good humor, maybe with a little salt – sorry – but most certainly never meant in a bad way at all – you know that – for that we are much to good friends and as you know I like to make you a little less of the doubting Thomas, we spoke about that. We should trade off on each other, you give me a little of your doubting notions and I give you a little of my gullible ones – it would be a good match for both of us.
    I read today – David gave me a spanking for it – sorry David!
    Always friends,

  13. Anonymous

    October 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    No need to be sorry, Tina, all's well. Actually we are more similar in that respect than you are aware of: Erinnere Dich, als Du all die vielen Fragen zu einem gewissen Doktortitel gestellt hast? ;-) Take care and best wishes always.

  14. Anonymous

    October 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I am so glad you posted that comment. I thought he was fantastic and apart from anything else it must have taken a lot of guts and a certain amount of pride swallowing on his behalf to appear on that show. You just have to be cheering for him.

  15. Anonymous

    October 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Tina
    thanks, good to hear from you too.

  16. Anonymous

    October 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    And who would be foolish enough to buy an upside down photo?…
    You'd think the seller would at least give some kind of discount. I tell ya.

  17. Anonymous

    October 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I did watch this game show episode of The Big Surprise on youtube. And Greedily Enjoyed it. I had hoped to see this for many years since Mike Wallace played an excrept of it while being interviewed in his home. Either on 60 minutes or on a Barbara Walters Special. But I remember that that segment showed Errol kissing Mike on his Mouth and not on the cheek. So perhaps Wallace has a print of another episode and can comment on whether or not Errol won the $100,000.00 I have'nt heard that He has passed away yet but he would be very close to 100 by now