Niven talks Flynn (fluently)

28 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Niv the Shiv remembers fighting Flynn fondly.


— shangheinz


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. Karl

    March 29, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    You do make the MOST excellent finds, HEINZ!

    Truth be told, some stories of Niv’s (and don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the man)… were “borrowed” (as in other people’s), but NOT this one.

    There even exists footage of the “tail end” of the “falling off” of the tail end (of a horse) in what is clearly “Charge” garb.

    I have it on VHS tape and it was a part of some bloopers collection… but could NOT find it on the internet when I went a looking… so, as the saying goes, be on…

    As I say, it was “buried” in a collection of “snippets” with no fan fare attached as to its “significance”, and had the story not been reported in one of the SUBLIME Niven books…

    So, always quite the delight to find something new- as happens here on a REGULAR basis!

    • shangheinz

      March 30, 2018 at 10:13 am


      Karl, I appreciate your kind words very much. This blog is the place to go for Errol news on the hour every hour. Seems you guys (David too- he promised to post the EF Pirate sketch here once he cleared his garage…) have a lot of film footage that needs revisting. Could you all film it with your mobile phones and post it here!?
      The intriguing thing about that Charge material is, that maybe they filmed that boxing brawl also. So much is yet to be discovered!…

      • David DeWitt

        April 2, 2018 at 11:23 pm

        My garage is not mine, anymore, and the Martha Raye skit with Errol is on a vhs tape given to me by Linc hurst copied from the original tape from Bev Aaudland’s personal collection. Professor Hurst was close to Woodsie and her husband Ron Fisher. Methinks this show is the original inspiration for My Favorite Year. This is now stored on the West Coast in family hands amongst 34 large lidded plastic bins in a basement.

  2. Karl

    March 30, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Didn’t know you were so MUSE-ical Heinz… in getting me off of the proverbial posterior and back on the trail.

    Probably the best I can do as filming VHS would be none too good!

    See the link below in the time slot from 0:45 -0:52

    And you’re SO RIGHT as to so much yet to be discovered… and you NEVER know what it could be or what direction from which it will come… paging the Eastman House… COME ON GUYS, hurry up with the restoration (and release) of Hello God!

    As to the “Pirate Sketch”, is this what you mean?

    “Martha Raye Show Synopsis:

    On the Martha Raye Show of 06/7/55, Martha (Raye, obviously) and Artie (a girl shy grocer played by Errol Flynn), are sitting on a park bench. Martha wants to be kissed but Artie is slow to catch on. She suggests that he act, like in a movie, where she’s been away for a long time and he’s missed her. This instruction arouses the inner (acting only) man. She stops the progression.

    She now suggests a goodbye scene and he cooperates by “acting” even more passionately. Afterwards, Artie is still un-phased by it all (because to him it was ALL acting) while Martha, overcome by all this concentrated kissing, stretches out on a park bench, and says: ” I don’t want to remember as you are, I want to remember as you were: my movie hero.” And abruptly passes out.

    As the camera goes out of focus and then back in again, a movie begins. The titles say “Captain Flood on the Spanish Main” and “Starring My Movie Hero”. A narration picks up explaining: ”Early in the 18th century, the waters between Europe and the New World were plagued by bands of marauding pirates …” As the narration continues, a line of “live” pirates are shown, one by one, moving off screen until … “but the most terrible of them all was the infamous Captain Flood.” A life size cardboard cut out picture of Captain Flood (Errol Flynn) is shown.

    The visual story is done as a silent film, with appropriate music, broad gestures, accompanying voice narration and occasional dialogue. It opens with Spanish Lords and Ladies (the good guys), dancing on the deck of the Spanish ship, Santa Ana, when all of a sudden, Pirates (the bad guys) come aboard. A fight ensues and both Lords and Ladies go over the side. Flood appears near the end of the skirmish, off to one side (and his costume is in the manner of the classic buccaneer). The pirates are victorious.

    Flood speaks: “Show them no mercy men- this is Captain Flood.” He swaggers, in an exaggerated manner, moving about the deck., and then speaks again: “To your feet lubbers.” The Lords now beg aloud for mercy, but Flood declares: “To the sharks with them!” One by one they are thrown over as a back spray follows each of them. As the pirates and Flood look over the side, as the last one goes in, there’s at first the expected spray, but then Flood is hit in the face with an errant, delayed splash.

    Suddenly two screaming women, in petticoats, followed by a screaming pirate, emerge from behind a door. Then, an elegantly dressed lady appears announcing: “That will teach you to trifle with Dona Martha (Raye, again), the Queen of Castile.”

    Back now to “silent mode” as Dona Martha moves about the deck, walks among the pirates, pausing in front of each, and each in turn, faints- either from her (implied) stunning beauty or debilitating ugliness? She comes to Captain Flood, and she faints, then recovers , and faints again! She comes to but is still weak, and has to be held up by two pirates, as Flood woos her. She’s then carried off, with Flood leading, to another part of the ship for a dalliance.

    As Flood is dallying, “Rocky” (Marciano, former Middleweight Boxing Champion, and show regular), the hook-handed first mate, plots a mutiny, still “silently”, with his fellow pirates against Flood. The pirates then respond to the plan with various pirate-like “grunts” of agreement that can now be heard and, when Rocky scratches his throat with his hook , he says so out loud in a child-like manner. Then they all break into a jazzy chorus of “Fifteen Men ”.

    Fade out and back in to the final stretch and “unspoken” silence again, where Flood and Dona Martha, gesture at talking among themselves and relaxing against the mast as the mutineers surround them. (Flood now becomes the sole “good guy” to the pirate’s continued “bad guys” role). Flood springs into action, moving Dona Martha to various points of safety as he, single handedly, fights off the crew. It is a well choreographed, slapstick style of confusion and acrobatics, including Flynn dropping his sword and catching it on a bounce (and similar to the My Favorite Year fight scene). At one point, Flood even seems to have stabbed Dona Martha, only she continues moving about. Finally, it comes down to Rocky and his hook against Flood and his sword. As the brief fight unfolds, Dona Martha weaves in and out of the engagement. At one point, Martha even causes them all to link arms and turn about in circular fashion. They all finally break from this entanglement, Flood prevails, and as Rocky staggers, Dona Martha finally HELPS- shouldering him over the side.

    Flood and Dona Martha embrace. End of story. (Flynn is clearly tired and winded by skit’s end).”

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 3, 2018 at 3:32 am

      Thank you so, Karl, for that superb description of the show that inspired that “King Kaiser” Show of Shows-type show in My Favorite Year! I sure never knew all that! .. It wasn’t too long after Rocky G’s appearance with Errol that Paul Newman started making Somebody Up There Likes Me.

      “Ladies and Gentlemen, Alan Swan”…

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 4, 2018 at 2:02 am

      Thank you so, Karl, for that keen description of the show that inspired that “King Kaiser” Show of Shows-type show in My Favorite Year! I sure never knew all that! .. I suspect it wasn’t too long after Rocky G’s appearance with Errol that Paul Newman started making Somebody Up There Likes Me.

      “Ladies and Gentlemen, Errol Flynn … I mean, Alan Swan”

      • Gentleman Tim

        April 4, 2018 at 2:09 am

        Ladies and Gentlemen, Alan Swan … I mean, Errol Flynn”…

      • Karl

        April 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

        IMhO, the PENTULTIMATE moment of the film as captured in a word: “PORTHOLE”…

        It’s the re-embracing of a LEGACY where ART (My Favorite Year) vanquishes artifice (Errol Flynn: The Untold Story) and what remains for posterity is the image of Allan Swan in a final celebratory salute, brandishing his sword, once again, ALOFT.

        So, PROUDLY, we hail (still hale and hearty) MEL BROOKS!

    • shangheinz

      April 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Much obliged King Karl for the blow by blow account of Flynn vs. Rocky (Graziano!). As far as the garage of Sir David of Blogsley goes- it‘a a treasure chest!

Follow by Email