The Feminine Touch

19 Mar

March 19, 1936

Louella O. Parsons
Los Angeles Examiner

The blonde, harp-playing Anita Louise, who seems to have more admirers than any other girl of her age in Hollywood, is being given the biggest chance of her career by Warner Brothers. She will furnish the feminine touch in The Charge of the Light Brigade, which again brings us Errol Flynn, Warner’s newest star. One picture, Captain Blood, put Flynn in the success class.

— Tim


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  1. shangheinz

    March 24, 2020 at 1:12 pm…

    Here´s a better look at Anita and Errol, sans sinusitis I`d like to add, Gentletouch Tim. We were pondering and wondering back and forth if that indeed was our Hollywood hero in the picture before:…
    Hadn`t he had a nose correction at one time? Up above this simply doesn`t look like him like Flynn…

    • Gentleman Tim

      March 25, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Excellent point, sinuisitisheinz. Right on the nose. Fortunately for Flynn he was covered by Warnercare and thus received very close medical monitoring and care.…

      Not necessarily so for others at the studio. Indeed, one of his costars with Anita Louise had an even more prominent proboscis.…

  2. Karl

    March 24, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Cary Grant: 6′ 1 1/2″
    Errol Flynn: 6′ 2″
    Brian Aherne: 6′ 3 1/2″

    Aherne remarked in his autobio how Warner had (almost?) wished he’d developed him instead of Errol Flynn… something like that.

    PS In case someone couldn’t see it- Phototastic/Poster Prolificous Heinz provided a photograph of Archibald Leach and someone who looked an AWFUL LOT like Errol flynn, only… upon further inspection and with the numbers above provided, the fellow pictured TOWERED over Cary and thus, it could but ONLY be one other… Randolph Scott also being a close second only he, too, was 6′ 2…

    • shangheinz

      March 25, 2020 at 9:11 am…

      That is an intriguing aspect you are bringing up, King Karl. If Errol‘s I-don’t-give-a-fog Aussie attitude hadn‘t resonated with the ham inside the man Jack Warner, film history as we know it may well have to be rewritten. Ahern and his wife and sister of Lady Livvie would have been more than a suffice substitute for Sherwood Forest.

  3. Gentleman Tim

    March 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Perhaps Aherne and Hepburn generated too much heartburn in gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett? Flynn’s immortal place in history would very likely have been much diminished had George Cukor not rejected Errol (or was it versa vice?) as the mustachioed Katy’s dupe. Thanks to the cinematic gods for putting the nix on that.

    [img] Scarlett (3).jpg[/img]

  4. Karl

    March 26, 2020 at 12:53 am

    I found the passage…

    “Looking back, it seems to me that I usually turned down the important offers. A Hollywood writer once asked me to explain something to him. At a Warner Brother’s Studio conference, he said, they were discussing the behavior of Errol Flynn, which was raising Jack Warner’s blood pressure. Suddenly Jack pounds the table in a rage and cried. ‘Errol Flynn! Errol Flynn! There never would have been an Errol Flynn if it hadn’t been for Brian Aherne, damn him!’ What on earth did he mean, asked my writer friend? It was true, I told him. I had repeatedly turned down Captain Blood, until at last they took the unknown Flynn, who was made a star overnight by it.”

    ~A PROPER JOB, The Autobiography of An Actor’s Actor, by BRIAN AHERNE

    • shangheinz

      March 26, 2020 at 8:05 am…

      Slowly but surely Captain Blood‘s closet gets as crowded as the Marx Brother‘s cabin in „ A night at the opera“. Seems like every leading male from that time turned down that role. As we read here not too long ago Flynn was announced to play even when Donat still was in the top spot. As for Ahern, he must have been immensely successful nonetheless. The pic above shows plans from an architect called William F. Cody for the Fontaine- Ahern Estate. Quite a project.

      • Gentleman Tim

        March 26, 2020 at 10:05 am

        That’s no horsefeathers, operaheinz. I believe Warner Brothers wanted Cary Grant in that Captain Blood-Marx Brothers closet, too.


    • Gentleman Tim

      March 26, 2020 at 10:15 am

      GREAT find, Karl! Appears that B.A. was A-Team quality, but relegated to the B-Team by WB. IMO Errol was born to star in Blood. He fought for it, played it passionately, and parlayed it into immortality. Aherne, on the other hand, had All Star talent, but, IMO, was never a Hall of Famer. Flynn was and still is exciting, far ahead of his time. Aherne was debonair but nothing really to write home about, except perhaps, for Joan Fontaine, for the dragon lady purpose of tormenting Olivia. It was Errol & Olivia, Bruce & Joan. That contrast sums up it up.

      …As was often the case, Jack Warner was just being a Jack Ass.

      Errol defied the normal and fired the imagination like no one else before or since.


    • Gentleman Tim

      March 26, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      No doubt he was a Gentleman’s Gentleman, with lot of refined talent, and even raw(hide) talent. Extraordinary as a humorously elegant Englishman even in the era of Eastwood, holding his own (and his masters’) exceptionally well even into the Sixties, a gentleman among bison, Wishbone and his awful rawchow, Tonto, and all the usual saddle-sored settlors and rugged-rustler types of the old TV westerns.…

  5. Karl

    March 28, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Ahoy GT!

    Glad to see you appreciate the underrated career of a HARDWORKING professional on both stage and in film… he gave a number of SIGNATURE performances and yet, throughout, was a steady workman at his craft- regardless the assignment.

    As Rotten Tomatoes noted:

    Active in amateur theatricals from age three, Briton Brian Aherne studied for his craft at the Italia Conti School, making his professional bow when he was eight. Aherne would later claim that he remained an actor into adulthood (after a tentative stab at becoming an architect) mainly because he liked to sleep until ten in the morning.

    Successful on stage and screen in England, Aherne came to America in 1931 to appear in the first Broadway production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street. His first Hollywood film was 1933’s Song of Songs, in which he appeared with Marlene Dietrich. Free-lancing throughout the 1930s, Aherne established himself as a gentlemanly Britisher who was willing to defend his honor (or someone else’s) with his fists if needs be. Many of his roles were secondary, though he played the title role in 1937’s The Great Garrick and was starred in a brace of Hal Roach productions in 1938 and 1939 (the actor wasn’t crazy about the improvisational attitude at Roach, but he enjoyed the roles).

    He was Oscar-nominated for his sensitive performance of the doomed Emperor Maximillian in Juarez (1939). In the late 1950s, he put film and TV work aside for a theatrical tour as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Off-camera, Aherne was a licensed pilot and an aspiring writer: he penned a 1969 autobiography, A Proper Job, as well as a biography of his close friend George Sanders, A Dreadful Man. *

    At one point in his life, Aherne was married to Joan Fontaine, but he knew the honeymoon was over when, out of pique, she ripped up a collection of his best reviews. Brian Aherne was the brother of Patrick Ahearne, a character player who showed up in such films as Titanic (1953), The Court Jester (1955) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956).

    * “… he takes us into the private life of an amazingly talented star whose unpredictable behavior and brash temperament often led the author to joke that he was “a dreadful man,” but who was nonetheless capable of genuine kindness and compassion.”

  6. Joanna

    February 19, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Anita Louise was a pretty girl. I saw her in two pictures with Errol Flynn. They made a very nice couple on screen. My question, since he was always acused of flirting with his co-stars, did he have a relationship with Anita Louise? Joanne