More Detail along the Tell trail

30 Dec

Dear Fellow Flynn Fans,

the picture above was taken on location while Errol Flynn and Waltraut Haas went through a text passage of the ill fated William Tell film. As I wrote before Mrs. Haas was cast for the role of Mary, a young swiss landlady secretly in love with the hero, ending up being raped and murdered by Austrian villain Jost, the henchman of the occupying army played by Bruce Cabot. Asked if there were any tensions to be felt between Flynn and Cabot during the filming, Mrs. Haas denied and stated that she was present at a formidable film fighting scene between the two. Pat, wife of Dave Crowley, assisted Mrs. Haas with her English pronounciation and they became friendly during their stay in Courmayeur. Then more real life drama occured. When filming was already at a halt due to labour unions oders from Rome, a young italian girl was murdered in the woods nearby! A curfew was suggested to the cast and crew. The culprit was arrested by the Italian police a week later, when they found the victims watch in his possession. He claimed to have been without a job and on his way to the French legion. Errol was enjoying himself going fishing, playing with his dog Coldnose and eating sardines out of cans. On the set of his own production no more (Vodka-) juiced oranges were necessary, he according to Mrs. Haas sipped rum and Coca Cola. Unrelated to “The story of William Tell” , but quite related to Errols lives and times, Mrs. Haas told me that she met Tyrone Power in Vienna when present at the film premiere of “Witness for the prosecution” directed by Austrian filmmaker Billy Wilder. Power was quite interested in the arts and so Mrs. Haas showed him the sights such as the Sobieski chapel overseeing the Austrian capital. He took a liking in Egon Schiele and bought one of his paintings, a two meter high canvas of a female nude. Parallels of Errols love for collecting paintings come to mind. I am determined to uncover more on “The greatest film never seen- Errol Flynn`s swashbuckling swansong William Tell” next year in Rome.

Until then all the best to all you good sports,


— shangheinz


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  1. Inga

    December 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Best of luck for your hunt, Heinz, it sounds as if your plan is all made up?

    • shangheinz

      December 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Inga, it`s my mind that is made up, the plan is the tricky part. To gather information is one thing, to deliver a plausible reason why this one great picture was not to be and now lies dormant in a vault of an American university is another. Ruststreet Ralph gave me a few hints, I still don`t get why filming wasn´t resumed in spring after the erstwhile stoppage due to snow and no mo´dough…

      • Inga

        December 31, 2012 at 6:55 am

        Well, what other reasons do you need? No money-no film. :-)

        • rswilltell

          December 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm

          Your book on the making and un-making of Errol Flynn’s “William Tell” gets more and more interesting with every nugget of information you uncover.

          Keep going and follow the trail wherever it leads you.
          Best of luck.

          • shangheinz

            December 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm

            Thanks Ralph, I appreciate your anticipation. By the way, do you have any info on Al Blum`s depleting of Errol`s funds? It plays a big part in the stoppage of the Tell film, since about only $ 500.000.- were missing to finish the picture. Have a prosperous 2013, Heinz

        • shangheinz

          December 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm

          Dear Ginger Inga,

          if the truth was that plain and simple, also “no woman-no cry” would apply for a happy life. Or “drink milk” for that matter…

          Have fun, Heinz

          • Maria

            August 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

            Hi- I found the following. Has this already been posted? I have not listened to it yet so I hope it works!


            Thanks Maria

            • David DeWitt

              August 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

              Maria, I’ve heard this recording but don’t know if it has been posted before here on the blog. It’s a rare one!

  2. David DeWitt

    August 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Heinz! Great posting! Thanks!

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