Tis A Ship Mystery!

16 Aug

I keep looking at this ship in Flynn’s den at Mulholland and wondering what ship is this? Is it a replica of the BOUNTY? It is British? Is it some other ship Errol was interested in? Does anybody know?

Mystery Ship?

Mystery Ship?

— David DeWitt


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  1. Tim

    August 16, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Great question, David! Flynn had so many cool things in his life, and so often symbolic of what was in his soul.

    I think this may be the majestic San Felipe, the pride of the Spanish Armada, though there can be so many subtle differences among the old galleons (especially to my untrained eye!), as can be seen in the painting below, featuring the “Invincible Armada”, which was famously led by the San Felipe. This link shows various models of the San Felipe, though I’m not certain if every detail of the original ship is actually known. There may be room for interpretations with models. But, to me, these resemble Errol’s. We can probably safely say that’s Errol’s mantelpiece masterpiece is a galleon from the late 1600s or early 1700s.…

    Flynn almost certainly knew the history of the San Felipe – believed to be the greatest fighting ship of its time, the era of which Errol personified so wonderfully on screen. But even the invincible, majestic San Felipe ultimately took on too many and too much – the last battle famously being against the British and French armadas together. Perhaps Errol sympathised and/or identified with the magnificent ship?


    • Tim

      August 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      I looked further, David, into where details for the San Felipe have been obtained by model makers through the years. The answer is fascinating: ‘Tis a Ship Mystery indeed!…

      I don’t know how much of this authenticity issue was known in Flynn’s day.


      For further comparative purposes, here’s a link to a slide show of a large scale model of one San Felipe, followed by an early sketch of a circa 1700 two-decker:…


      • David DeWitt

        August 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        What is confusing to me is that there is a mast sticking out from the cabin at the end on the right hand side of the pic on the blog. This mast, I can’t find on any of the other suggested ships. It would make sense to me if this was the Bounty but I can’t verify that, either … model designs may have changed over time. I don’t see modern models with two anchors as shown in Flynn’s ship, either …

        • Tim

          August 18, 2013 at 12:56 am

          I agree, David. The Bounty would be my first guess for a ship model on Errol’s mantle, too. This one looks more Spanish to me, though. Very much like other ones of the San Felipe in the link above, I thought.

          Just read the Bounty had five or more anchors, but left two in Pitcairn. I imagine these big ships all had a similar number of anchors, but I see the Bounty and other English ships of the same era as different and less ornate than their Spanish counterparts, much like the people themselves perhaps.

          When I was in college (and many times since) I used to the H.M.S. Bounty quite a bit, docked at the famous St. Pete pier in Florida. I believe it was supposed to be a replica of the original, though I think is was enlarged for Marlo Brando – Greatest Actor Ever I’ve recently read!- for his Mutiny On the Bounty – “Greatest Adventure Ever Filmed” says the trailer! In the trailer (linked below) you can see quite a good deal of the ship, on its way to Pitcairn and on its way out perhaps- though, like many before him, I’m not sure Brando ever really left after seeing all those wondrous Tahitians.

          And now, the Greatest Actor ever and the Greatest Movie Ever Filmed:


          Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy sent it down to Davy Jones’ Locker, off of Hatteras:


          • David DeWitt

            August 18, 2013 at 2:07 am

            I was unaware of the fate of the Bounty replica, how sad … but of course, it still lives in the film! How fortunate we are to have Flynn’s Zaca restored and the Sirocco, now renamed the Karenita, once again …

          • Robzak

            August 18, 2013 at 6:24 am

            Brando the greatest actor and his “Bounty” the greatest movie? Those are blasphemous claims!! You do know what blog you’re on here, don’t you sir?!

            • David DeWitt

              August 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

              Ha! This was something Tim was quoting from another source, but very clever, Robert! ;)

  2. Tina

    August 18, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Hello David and Tim:
    Maybe this helps – this is a replica of the Bounty!
    Looks quite similar!?!


    • Tim

      August 18, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Thanks, Tina! Unfortunately I can’t see it or open the file. Does it have the same type of angled bowsprit, which, to me, is a differentiation? Sure would be great if it is the Bounty!

      Since yours may not be available to me, I’m gonna go look for a model now. I only have a few more minutes on this computer, then to my cell, from which I haven’t been able to sign in to the EFB for the last month or so, as I used to do.

      • Tina

        August 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        Hi Tim;
        There are hundreds of different models of the HMS Bounty on the Internet – who knows which one is a correct replica to compare with Errol’s model?
        That is – if it is!?! It’s rather looking like for a needle in the proverbial hey stack.
        Maybe it is not the Bounty, just maybe it could be a model of the “Captain Blood” ship of which I read that Warner had models.
        For Errol to have a souvenir of “Captain Blood” makes a lot of sense, but then so would have the HMS Bounty to remind him of the start of it all!
        As usual there are questions which produce more questions and on and on it goes – isn’t it fun.
        Most certainly the everlasting MYSTIC of Errol Flynn!

        • David DeWitt

          August 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

          Yes! It could be a Captain Blood model – or some other he read about and was fascinated with; always, with Flynn, one question spawns five more! How true!

          • Tina

            August 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

            Talking about Captain Blood I have these rare scene shots to offer – enjoy!


            Fred Jackman supervised these shots from the classic Warner Bros adventure CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935)

            • Tim

              August 19, 2013 at 10:55 pm

              Very cool, Tina. By any chance, do you know where these shots were filmed?

              • Tina

                August 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

                Hi Tim’
                Sorry, that is all the info I have about these shots. I am sure Robert would know!

                Hi Robert ;
                Do you have any info regarding the location of these pictures? Would be greatly appreciated!

              • Tim

                August 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

                Thanks for searching, Tina! I’m thinking somehere in the Laguna Beach area. I hope to head up there soon and would love to scope it out from the perspective of Peter Blood!!


  3. Tim

    August 18, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Errol might love that we’re doing this! Too bad Francis Monroe Warren the 3rd is not here to help us.

    Here for comparison are one of each:



    San Felipe:…


  4. Tina

    August 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Here is another interesting news also verifying that studios made ship models I know that there was one from “Captain Blood” and here is “The Sea Hawk”

    The article says as follows:
    Movie Properties; The Sea Hawk, Ship Model.
    Item D9910762

    Category: movies, stage, radio & tv
    Type: movie & tv properties
    Origin: America

    A special effects ship model from The Sea Hawk. Five years after Captain Blood made him a swashbuckling star, Errol Flynn returned to the high seas as a privateer in The Sea Hawk (1940), also directed by the great Michael Curtiz.
    Neither movie used actual ships in the filming of their epic sea battles, relying instead on process shots and miniatures such as this one. This highly detailed model features tiny cannons, rigging, and other elements.


  5. Tim

    August 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Stellar! Stellar!! reply, Kind Sir Robert. Very clever, indeed!

    Please forgive me wayward, wayward ways. You are correct. I was far too bountiful in my praise of MGM’s Master Mate. Not only blasphemous, but mutinous. I’m prepared to forget it if you are. – Besides it’s not what I say about the ever-greater Brando that matters, it’s what I whisper – or, in this case, leave between the lines and mumble under my breath.

    Having said all that, it’s damn Mr. Christian of Brando to offer the following evidence on David’s mystery-ship-mystery, side-by-side with a Christian relative:


    • Tim

      August 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      AND we must be forever grateful to ‘Johnny’ Brando (and Beatle Lee Marvin) for providing “The Beatles” their name. – So, there definitely was a method to their madness … and acting.

      … Looks like he may have taught Ringo a thing or two, too!! Can’t beat that.


      • Tim

        August 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        And while we’re on a musical note: an all time favorite.

        With a few lyrical tweaks this could be Errol’s song:

        “Ride Captain Blood Ride”…

      • Robzak

        August 20, 2013 at 1:49 am

        In actuality, the film had nothing to do with The Beatles naming themselves thus. It was pure coincidence.

        • Tim

          August 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm

          A post somewhat off course, of course, but hopefully David will allow us to discuss the group that brought life and excitement to the music scene in a way comparable to how Errol brought life & excitement to the movie screen. Ladies & Gentlemen, The Beatles:

          You may have more information and better insight than I do, Robert, but I believe the best evidence publicly available is that the name did derive from Lee Marvin’s biker gang, The Beetles, in “The Wild One”. Paul has said so. George has said so. The Beatles Official Anthologies (book and video) emphatically say so. The earlier – also officially authorized – biography by Hunter Davies strongly alluded so. Stu Sutcliffe’s sister Pauline (who was there in the relevant days it happened) said so. Beatle insider and publicist Derek Taylor said so. Moreover, John never denied the accuracy of this history – even though he would often (word)playfully say the name came to him from a man in a flying flaming pie at age twelve. Nor has Ringo ever denied it, who wasn’t there but surely must have asked and/or heard sometime in the last 50-something years.

          True, Yoko promotes that the flying pie dream, or some other such nonsensical dream, was real -much to the chagrin of Paul – but it is not. And Bill Harry, one of the Liverpool self-described Dissenters, is very recently promoting that none of the Beatles could have seen the movie, because it was banned in England. But, he’s trying to prove a negative and his memory has been faulty in the past. (Indeed, Cilla White – someone he knew well and promoted – got her name Cilla Black, because he always got her name exactly backwards.) It could be viewed that Harry (a reportedly life-long contrarian/self-admitted professional “Dissenter”) is just putting out self-serving pulp to now place himself so prominently in the story of how the Beatles were named – especially with all he’s trying to sell. And then there’s Yoko – who may soon tell us that she was the man in the flaming pie.

          It’s notable also that Bill Harry fails to mention that The Wild One WAS legallly seen in England at film societies and art schools during the 50s & early 60s – years he says it wasn’t, as well as in local council’s which voted to approve its viewing for their communities. Would John have missed those opportunities – especially as he, Stu, and Paul, were art students!? I don’t think so. Lennon especially would have ran to see it. The movie could have easily come to the Liverpool black market ports, along with drugs, pornography, and “hard core” rock and roll music – all also banned – and things Lennon especially did not miss out on. Further, Lennon devoured this kind of stateside and teenage information. At the very least, he could have heard about The Beetles in the movie, and did his wonderful wordplay. Finally, there was the rest of Europe, including Germany, where it was easily seen, I believe.

          Hard for me to imagine John Lennon – who so deliberately dressed and behaved much like a defiantly, delinquent (Teddy Boy) biker in those days – not going to see the ultimate teenage delinquent movie of his time. He would have been drawn like a magnet.

          All that said, Robert, I don’t personally know. However it happened is great by me – even the extremely far-fetched flaming pie story – though I doubt that one will ever fly. (No matter what, though, I refuse to except Yoko in the flying pie! A man must draw the proverbial line somewhere!!)

          Anyhow, what’s in a name? The Beatles, by any other name, would have been just as sweet.

          As with many things Errol, there’s a lot of mystery in The Beatles past. Perhaps there should be an album of their “mystery songs” – with an Errol-like pennant flying on it’s cover.

          • Tim

            August 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

            Please see the relevant clip from “The Wild One” and the Beatle Anthology clip below (at 3:16/17). Eslewhere in the Anthology it is even more emphatically featured, but I don’t have the time or opportunity to search it out at this moment.



            • Tim

              August 21, 2013 at 3:15 am

              Confirmation while all four Beatles were alive. For example, please see George’s comments a few paragraphs in:


  6. Tim

    August 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Here’s The Inferno from the Goonies, reportedly modeled after the Sea Hawk from Errol’s movie: