In the Words of Wallis

17 Aug

A Salute to Elvis on the Fortieth Anniversary of His Passing.

Hal Wallis had seen one of Elvis Presley’s appearances on the Dorsey Brothers Show, and before the performance was even over, he was making calls, trying to get Presley to come to Hollywood for a screen test. Wallis remembers his first impressions of Presley in his autobiography Starmaker:

“A test was necessary to determine if Elvis could act. I selected a scene for him to do with that very fine actor Frank Faylen. Elvis would play a young man just starting out in life and Faylen would play his father, holding him back. It was a difficult dramatic scene for an amateur. But I had to be sure. When I ran the test I felt the same thrill I experienced when I first saw Errol Flynn on the screen. Elvis, in a very different, modern way, had exactly the same power, virility, and sex drive. The camera caressed him.”

— Tim


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    August 17, 2017 at 4:17 am

    In my view, Errol was a far, far, far greater cinematic talent than Elvis. As immortally spectacular as Elvis was as a musical performer, I think this link below provides a more accurate description of his acting talents and limitations than Hal Wallis’s quote above:…

    Aside from Hal Wallis, there are a couple other fascinating alleged connections between Errol and Elvis. Anyone know what they are?

  2. Karl

    August 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    GT- If I might offer a quiz within a quiz… since you skillfully used the word “alleged”, there was a REPORTED romantic (read as feminine) connection shared between them… during Errol’s lifetime, and reported by no less a credible source than Dorothy Kilgallen (thanks again Ralph!).

    Hal Wallis was an amazing “suit” btw, and received nothing but PRAISE from the many actors associated with him… who was always THERE with the memos and a keen eye in search of EXCELLENCE… and gracious enough (as HANDS ON PRODUCER) to allow Jack Warner (as the nominal Executive Producer) to stampede past him and accept award for Best Picture in 1942, and the film: CASABLANCA!

    And now, bringing it back to Flynn again, and repeat an old posting of mine:

    “It is also interesting that there are so many variations on this story having to do with the discovery of Flynn. In the Asher interview (in Portrait of a Swashbuckler), Asher, in fact, credits Hal Wallis with acting on his (Asher’s) recommendation; not Warner.

    As the old saying goes … success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.”

    And Wallis was DEFINITELY one of the fathers of not only careers, but succesful films outside of WB as well: The Rose Tatoo, Becket, True Grit…

  3. Karl

    August 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm


    (it’s vacation time I guess)

    Here’s another… one of this person’s initials was the same as the 2 men in discussion’s first.

    • Gentleman Tim

      August 18, 2017 at 1:45 am

      Thank you for this inside Flynnformation and your initial clues, Karl!! Thank you to Ralph, too, for notice of the Dorothy Kilgallen. I don’t believe I’ve yet seen that from the amazing Miss Kilgallen, but I did find and read today for the first time this terrific article and graphic posted by the also amazing Tina – in which I believe one of Errol and Elvis’s allegedly shared romantic interests is mentioned.…

      And here’s a very timely clue to a second purported shared romantic interest, in which she tries to tell all the ex-Union and Ex-Yankee “fools” to stop fighting over their former sides’ songs, flags, and tributes to former soldiers:

      • Karl

        August 18, 2017 at 2:31 am

        That is one HECK of a maddening clue, Tim!

        • Gentleman Tim

          August 18, 2017 at 2:55 am

          Even more intriguing, Karl, is that, though she was a Southerner, and was said to be related to a very famous Civil War general, a general featured in one of Errol’s greatest films – also a Hal Wallis film.

          • Gentleman Tim

            August 18, 2017 at 3:15 am

            Making her perfect for her part in Dodge City (and perhaps Elvis himself), she was said to be the great-grand niece of a Union general (her father shared his first and last name), and she attended a school in the south named after Robert E. Lee.

            Plus, she had a very statuesque figure – Speaking of which, here’s a statue depicting her famous great grand uncle, erected when she was an infant.


            Btw, though Curtiz’s legendary Dodge City brawl scene in the video above linked above is often, or even mostly, comical, Errol’s future former girlfriend and fiance gives perhaps the most intense performance of her career midway or so through it, at about 4:33-4:37. Great Grand Uncle Phil would have been as proud as a Yankee in Gettysburg, even though she did play a Dixie chick.

  4. Karl

    August 18, 2017 at 2:29 am

    This lovely lady appeared in but one film as a cameo of sorts, and in several documentaries.

    • Karl

      August 18, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Sorry folks… if it hasn’t already been made clear, Tim’s lady and mine are 2 ENTIRELY different people so my last clue had to do with MY girl.

      Nothing like an intertwining of twisting clues…

      I’ll say this though… they BOTH had… the SAME hair color!

      • Gentleman Tim

        August 19, 2017 at 4:14 am

        I heard Elvis liked older women, Karl. Is it Maria Doro, star of The Wood Nymph and The Heart of Nora Flynn?



        • Karl

          August 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

          Sir Tim- I believe that your perplexing and seemingly obfuscating post can be circumnavigated through a series of MD titles so invoked… while you are trying to find Common Ground (1916) and building Castles For Two (1917), you in fact, are putting Sister Against Sister (1923), when you know there can be but a Lost and Won (1917) situation. And further, while you may well have The Stronger Passion (1921) and Hearts Desire (1917) to keep The Mysterious Princess (1920) in the shadows, I will take The Lash (1916) to your efforts and engage in some Diplomacy (1916), and state simply: It AIN’T Woodsie! THEREFORE, that leaves but one other Little Sister (1921) to choose from…

          • Gentleman Tim

            August 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm

            Thank you for that very clever circumnavigation of pre-Flynnematic Hollywood hstory, King Karl! Silents are golden.

            So, we now know it wasn’t Woodsie. That gets us halfway out of the woods and right to the heart of it.

            Guess Bev got more shook up by Groucho more than Elvis.


            • Karl

              August 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm

              Though Bev was, indeed, a fan of The King, she was not so much so for music of her co-contestant (the then popular vocalist) John Charles Thomas!

              I guess now the clues must come at a more fast and furious pace…

              She was once described as “girlishly beautiful”.

              In the spirit of Bess (AORH)- she “had the bans up” not one, nor two but THREE times.

              One a civilian, another a singer, and still another an actor.

              A song writer wrote her one.

              She bore 3 children in all: a son and two daughters.

              Though born in Illinois, she spent the bulk of her life in California, where she did ultimately pass.

              • Karl

                August 19, 2017 at 5:56 pm

                Correction- my Olde English ain’t what it used to be, and upon further investigation, Bess’s (“clearly modeled on the Wife of Bath in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales”) boast of “had the bans up 5 times” is about “engagement” rather than marriage, and so, when she says to Much: “You don’t know what you missed my lad.” … she was speaking from a VAST body of (bans) experience…

                What I THOUGHT it meant was marriage and is what I intended to state in the previous post.

                • Gentleman Tim

                  August 20, 2017 at 3:37 am

                  Very engaging clues, Karl. Not too complex – Nor a giveaway.


                  • Karl

                    August 20, 2017 at 10:45 am

                    And by no means to be acrimonious…an “acronym” for him, I mean HER:


                    • Gentleman Tim

                      August 20, 2017 at 6:44 pm

                      Acrimonious, acronymious, or even just anonymous, this would have been quite a long – but beautiful – monogram, Senor Karl. Perhaps she was Hispanic?

  5. Karl

    August 20, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Si Senor, Tim and.. in fact, spoke that VERY tongue until age 7.

    As to the other half of the equation, her father’s surname was of noble origination via Northern England and Scotland.

    • Gentleman Tim

      August 21, 2017 at 4:39 am

      I si, Senor Karlito. Well, here’s a magnificent NEF from the Victoria and Albert Museum (of Decorative Arts) in Albertopolis, London. No H or B can be seen, but beautiful “ban(ner)s”, three in all, flying proudly atop every mast, with a very talented mermaid keeping things afloat down below, all of which El Capitan Flynn would have certainly enjoyed, whether on the high seas, or up on the farm at Mulholland. All that’s missing is a crowing rooster on her bow, a question mark on her jib, and perhaps a couple of portholes ( for moonlight, and the occasional eclipse.)

      Does this majestic NEF have any connection to the NEF/HB we are searching for, El Kapitan Karl? Did she ever sail on a ship as sensational as this?



    • Gentleman Tim

      August 21, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Not that kind of efn nef? Okay, then, you say she spoke Spanish … By any chance then was she one of the many stunning senoritas in the below-depicted picture? If so, did she ride coach or first class??


      • Karl

        August 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        As yet another opportunity is given to put forth a piece of this now much WORN puzzle, and to answer your latest question… while her language skills would NO DOUBT lend themselves to the photo from the drama SO PICTURED, she alas, was NOT in this particular one…

        However, your choice of phraseology in the latter part of the question, lends itself to the answer of yes and YES much FURTHER along in the tale.

  6. Karl

    August 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    As to her sails-persons’-ship, one could say she did, INDEED, on a an elegantly contemporary version of an even more FAMOUS fish of the sea of its day, and her participation was so chronicled “cinematically”… as previously noted.

    And might I say, Sir, your navigational skills through the morass of a mess of maritimal morsels… almost gives me pause to say… man overboard… ME!

    Seriously though, keep a life preserver at the ready as I am even beginning to forget the name of the person to whom I refer.

    In short: ‘nuf with nef? But will give it one more try in my next post…

    • Gentleman Tim

      August 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Jury’s still out on this one, Karl? Could it be she was one of the teenage girls at the trial in ’43?


    • Gentleman Tim

      August 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Before you jump ship, Kaptain Karl! I wandered around and finally found – Helen Forrest! It Had to Be Her! Was it the wonderful Helen Forrest?!…


      • rswilltell

        August 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

        Tim and Karl; I’ll take a wild guess on one of the women in question. I’ll say Barbara Bates. The other I am stumped. I wish you Bowery Boys would solve the puzzles for us! Thanks Tim and Karl, Ralph Schiller

        • Gentleman Tim

          August 22, 2017 at 3:00 am

          Hi Ralph! How appropriate you wrote in, as I just had my first “Vienna Beef Maxwell Street Polish” today, and most delicioso it was! General Phil’s Great Grand Niece was none other than the one and only O. Girl – who, like the beauty Karl has been hinting at, she also spoke Spanish and spent a great deal of time in Mexico.

          Here she is! (Along with Dorothy Kigallen!)

  7. Karl

    August 21, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Getting so I can see the Forrest for the crosstrees and rigging, and no your Gentlemanliness, there is no “arborial” connection here either. So now, to make way for the re-emerging sun… I offer up a link and photo and trust it will at least partly satiate Ralph awaiting with BATE-d breath.


    • rswilltell

      August 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Karl and Tim; Thanks for the reminder on the wonderful Ann Sheridan. The photo above looks like a young Nora Eddington? Is that her? Next time you guys leave the Bowery and come to the Windy City, Vienna Hot Dogs with all the trimmings and French fries are on me! Ralph Schiller

      • shangheinz

        August 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm


        King Karl and Nobleman Tim, I agree with Rushstreet Ralph- you guys should take this riddleculous routine on the road. A Wiener Schnitzel is on me if you ever put up your trivia tent in my hometown of Vienna. By the way the Wiener (=Vienna) dog was named after the sausage, not the other way round…

        • Gentleman Tim

          August 23, 2017 at 7:04 pm

          Thank you, thank you very much, hounddogheinz. If our trivia(l) tour is ever televised, we’ll be sure it’s only from the waist up. (No weiner jokes, please.)

          Btw, King Karl and I were only nobly trying to keep the blog afloat during these hot dog days of August. Frank-ly, it wasn’t easy, for neither for us, nora for the week long suffering, weiner size, Errol-Elvis quiz readership. For those who did relish this quiz, you have been inducted into the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. To those who did not, we have no beef with you. That’s how we roll.


          • Gentleman Tim

            August 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm

            My complement to your photo above – with this outstanding image from the Jack Marino Collection::


            • shangheinz

              August 24, 2017 at 11:43 am


              Very welcome, Sailorman Tim. Thanks for keeping the blog afloat with rocking the boat. I bet Errol would have approved avidly to your dog in cheek remarks. Row on!

  8. Karl

    August 29, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Excuse my absence from all the free flowing complements and stampede of “little doggies” offers if we ever “get along” over to the locales of these “local” delicacies…

    I have just returned from the far away land of Homarus americanus… whose equivalent for Heinz would be Homarus gammarus… for Ralph, Orconectes virilis, and finally for Tim: Panulirus argus.

    (We’re talking various sizes and variations on the “bodily themes” of a particular crustacean shellfish- better known as lobster.)

    I do thank our 2 would be hosts RSR (a “one way” kind of thinker, just like the street that he’s named after…ha!) & HDH (there are actually 31 different (hd) breeds and would be nice to know which one the Nobleman had in mind?)

    I love no man better than this fellow Bowery man Tim… he is indeed a man who can “best” anyone and it was a near impossible just to keep up- whether returning serve, chasing after skillfully placed shots or, even keeping a rally going… I was no match, nor was it one… but it was FUN!

    So… Ralph and Heinz… thank you both for your kind words and future intended sustenances!

    And finally, for my part of the “program” I offer a follow up and through of an an earlier reference :

    Daytona Beach Morning Journal, September 6, 1956 , The Voice of Broadway, Dorothy Kilgallen reports that “Elvis Presley is wooing Nora Eddington”.

    • rswilltell

      August 29, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Karl! Great find that the ‘King’ was pursuing Nora Eddington which proves that Elvis Presley had good taste and an eye for flawless beauty! Thanks Ralph Schiller

      • Gentleman Tim

        August 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm

        Kudos, El Kapitan Karl, King of the Krustaceons. I am deeply honored just to be sailing in the same Krewe and Sea of Flynn as you, Ralph, Heinz and King David . I had to take a long and well-earned siesta after sparring and spanishing with you! I am but a mere Merry Man, humbled to hang with you Herr Holmberg.

        Thanks for keeping an all-seeing eye out for the argus panulilus, Sir Karlus Panoptes!

        T.R., P.A.

        P.S. Here’s Annie S. on six-string before she joined Elvis’s Hummingbirds – allegedly, that is …


        btw, we really milked this post, didn’t we, Karl?!?…

  9. Karl

    August 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    What more could possibly be said within this thread, given the parameters of this one last theme (other than borrowing a book title “Change Lobsters and Dance”)…

    so, with musical accompaniment I declare the subject in the………