When Errol Went Underground

04 Apr

So they say ……




— Tim


Posted in Main Page


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. rswilltell

    April 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Tim; this sounds like a shaggy dog story to me. First of all, the Warner Hollywood studios back then were actually the famed Samuel Goldwyn Studios and United Artists. After Sam Goldwyn died he left the studio and lot to the Motion Picture Country Home And Hospital. The Home not wishing to run a film studio promptly sold it to Warner Bros but that was decades after Flynn’s death. Warner Bros. need more studio space but since then the studio was sold off and is now called The Lot, for renting out the facility. The Formosa Cafe (now closed) was literally right next to the Goldwyn studio administration building. The Formosa (half of the building is a converted railroad passenger car) had a great deal of business because it was the closest bar just steps away from Goldwyn, and just around the corner from the Charles Chaplin Studios on LaBrea Avenue. An actor could drink his fill, fall off the bar stool, and be right back at work at the Goldwyn lot which is fairly small in size. I doubt the existence of any tunnels and of top of that Errol Flynn never shot any of his films or TV episodes at the Goldwyn studios. I had heard stories of violent fistfights between Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum and Broderick Crawford at the Formosa but never Errol Flynn.

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for the great information, Ralph. I also doubt the existence of the alleged tunnel. My son and I were in the Formosa about a year and a half ago and got a really good history and tour of it. No mention of any tunnel. The “secret” Mickey Cohen safe and John Wayne sleeping over, yes. Tunnel, no.

      I did hear Errol filmed some at that Warner’s location, but I don’t personally know. Maybe WB used some of Fairbanks’ sets for Robin Hood, and/or Errol filmed in one of his earlier endeavors there. It’s a good bet, though, Errol had at least a drink or two there at some time during his visit to Hollywood. Probably came in the front or back door, though, not likely via the basement, or otherwise from below decks.

      BTW, Ralph, do you know if anything of the Nottingham Castle set (from the same site we’re discussing) was used in Errol’s Robin Hood?…

  2. rswilltell

    April 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hey Tim; The Goldwyn Studio is not a very big lot compared to say 20th Century Fox or MGM. The land used for the backlot would have been at a premium, so the beautiful sets Douglas Fairbanks had built for his magnificent productions like Thief Of Bagdad would be torn down unless they could be re-cycled. As you saw there is no backlot at Goldwyn today just a parking lot and the soundstages. I agree the owners would have mentioned a tunnel because it made for a good story if there ever was one. Ralph Schiller

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 8, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Thanks, Ralph. You’re such a terrific source of cinematic knowledge and insight. We’re extremely fortunate to have you here.

  3. shangheinz

    April 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I dig this story, guys. True or false, I nonetheless think that Errol may have gotten the notion somewhere for his Mullholland mirrors and tunnels.