Archive for April, 2020

The Sun Also Rises

26 Apr

Released on this date, April 25, in 1957

Here is a first rate review of Errol’s performance:

— Gentleman Tim


Hunting for Devil Fish — Errol Flynn A.W.O.L.

25 Apr

April 25, 1938

Elizabeth Yeaman
Hollywood Citizen News

Although Warners aren’t saying anything about it yet, I understand that beginning this morning Errol Flynn is A.W.O.L Flynn was told to be on the set this morning to start work on Because of a Man, which is the new title for Sister Act, in which the Lane Sisters will be featured. The last I heard of Flynn he was in Florida waters aboard his yacht, and the studio sent out stories that he was shooting devil fish with his Robin Hood’s bow and arrow!

— Gentleman Tim


Fight or Flight?

24 Apr

Which was Safer?

April 25, 1939

Jimmy Starr
Evening Herald Express

It isn’t news that Errol Flynn and wifey, Lili Damtat often engage in what is any married couple’s right -yiu a slight family spat, or mild disagreement. But it is rather important when said argument saves them from possible physical injury.

The other day Errol decided to purchse a low-wing monoplane. He had just given a check for payment when the row started. Errol interrupted the verbal excitement long enough to tell his friend, Bud Ernst, to try out the plane.

While Errol and Lili were settling their differences, Bud was gracefully sailing through the air in the new plane. When he started to land, however, spectators were horrified to see him start the descent minus the landing gear.

Ernst pancaked the plane to the ground but with slight damage. Had Errol and Lili been on the plane, the “belly” landing would have been impossible without a serious crack-up. Ernst explained that the lever operating the retractable gear had jammed.

And that’s the story of a spat that was worth while.

In actuality, Errol may have been safer in the air with his buds than he was on the ground with Lili. Dueling with the Red Baron in the skies above France may have been less challenging than drinking Pink Champagne with Fleen’s Red Hot Dame from France in the hills above Hollywood.

— Gentleman Tim


And now for something completely Batty …

24 Apr

Nora Batty, that is, an extremely batty Errol Flynn fan.

Nora Batty was a fictional character in the world’s longest-running sitcom, BBC1’s Last of the Summer Wine. She became a national icon in Britain, known for her wrinkled stockings, razor-sharp tongue, and wacky hair curlers.

April 25, 1999

“Errol Flynn had a Pair Like That.”

— Gentleman Tim


“Errol and Peggy are a Thing”

23 Apr

So said Sidney Skolsky on this date in 1944

Who was Peggy Maley, you ask?

Here she is, Miss Atlantic City, circa the mid-Forties, the days Errol and her were said to (very briefly) be “a thing”

— Gentleman Tim


Autograph Army on Patrol in Chico

23 Apr


Restaurant Employee Pays For Olivia De Havilland’s Meals For Signature


Player Is Now With Errol Flynn in “Adventures of Robin. Hood”
By FRANK HEACOCK Hollywood,Cal., March 3, 1938

The prophet may be without honor in his own country but the movie star certainly isn’t. One of the demonstrations of the honor in which the screen darlings are held is their pursuit by autograph hunters. And nowhere does the autograph hunter flourish more lustily than in California, country of the movies. And California signature-seekers have several times achieved new highs of ingenuity in devising methods of obtaining the coveted name scrawls of their film favorites. Most unusual of them came to light recently during the filming of “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” when the company was on location near Chico, Calif.

Signs the Checks

When a film troupe is on location, be it explained, the studio takes care of meals and accommodations for its members. And to simplify the business of paying for meals the studio arranges for members of the company to sign their checks; a company auditor paying them later. Members of the “Adventures of Robin Hood” company, in which Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland are co-starred, ran up a healthy accumulation of meal checks to be paid off. But a week after her arrival at Chico it was found no meal check signed by Miss de Havilland had turned up at the hotel where she was staying.

Auditor Stumped

Now Miss de Havilland, by her own admission, is a girl who likes her victuals. She wasn’t on a diet and she certainly wasn’t paying for for own meals. The auditor couldn’t figure it out.

Sold Autographs

Investigation disclosed that a kitchen employee had been removing her “autographed” meal checKs from the daily collection and dropping into the cash register an amount equivalent to the price of her meals. The hotel employee then proceeded to sell the “autographs” to a Hollywood autograph broker of whom there are dozens. The broker, according in the avid autograph collector, was paying him fifty cents more for each signature than the check bearing it cost him. Considering that there was nothing intrinsically dishonest in his actions, the hotel contented itself with a reprimand and a proposal that he denote his profits to a local charity. But by that time eighteen Olivia de Havilland autographs had found their ‘way to market’.

Tribute to California’s ingenious autograph hunters. Tribute, too, to the healthy appetite Miss de Havilland worked up during the making of “The Adventures of Robin Hood” in Chico’s bracing atmosphere.

— Gentleman Tim


A Mom and Pop Story — Starring Olivia de Havilland

22 Apr

April 22, 1938

Harrison Carroll

In Belfast, Olivia de Havilland spent a day with Errol Flynn’s parents. His father, a professor of biology at Queen’s University, still isn’t sold on Flynn’s acting career. He told Olivia he wishes that Errol would give up the cinema, return to Ireland, and take up a more serious profession.

Warners would be satisfied if he would even get off his yacht and return to Hollywood.

What was Professor Flynn thinking? Did the distinguished zoologist not study the biology of homo sapiens in addition to marsupials? What red-blooded Aussie human male in his right mind could ever quit this? Certainly not Virile Errol Flynn!

Making movies with Olivia was a very gracious thing.

And a very passionate thing.

Errol was right, and right on time, not to miss that train!

— Gentleman Tim


The Knights and The Baron — A Million Dollar Story

21 Apr


NEW YORK, April 21, 1937

Errol Flynn, film player, denied today in a telegram to the Knights of Columbus that he had engaged In activities in behalf of loyalist Spain. The telegram, addressed to John L. Rossborough, state deputy in Oakland, California, and Thomas B. Flanagan, secretary of the Los Angeles council, was made public here by Warner Brothers.

Catholic Opposition to Communism in Spain

“Catholics believed that communism was the antithesis to Christianity and thus the only way to save the soul of the country was to side with those opposing it. The archbishop of Toledo wrote to the American bishops in 1937 asking for support, stating that “the National army is defending the essential foundation of society.” The final straw that pushed Catholics to side with the Nationalists was the persecution of the Church religious. In total 12 bishops, 4184 priests, 2365 male religious, and 283 female religious were killed by the Republicans during the war.”


Report That $1,500,000 Given By Certain Film Players to Loyalists Claimed False

By United Press
HOLLYWOOD, April 21, 1937

An Interview with Errol Flynn In Barcelona Spain, in which the film actor and soldier of fortune purportedly told of helping raise a $1,500,000 fund in the Hollywood film colony to aid the loyalist forces, came under the scrutiny of the Knight of Columbus today. Thomas B. Flanagan, secretary of the Los Angeles council of the Knights of Columbus, said he was sending a report on Flynn to John J. Rossborough, state deputy of the order at Oakland, California, and to the national headquarters of the organization’s newly launched “antiradical” campaign at New Haven, Conn.

The purported interview was published in the Hollywood Reporter, a film trade paper. The Reporter stated the interview was filed to them by “our regular Barcelona correspondent.” The part to which the Knights of Columbus reportedly found most objection to follows:


“Is it true that money has been collected in Hollywood to help the Spanish government?’ asked the Reporter. “‘Yes,’ said the actor, ‘Fredrick March, James Cagney and I were the initiators and $1,500,000 has been raised so far”.” Flynn, husky film leading man and husband of Lili Damita, French actress, has been in Spain as a roving correspondent He was reported wounded by a machine gun bullet in dispatches from Madrid which later developed to be erroneous.

The Hollywood Reporter’s dispatch upon his arrival at Barcelona, strong loyalist headquarters, further stated: “When Errol Flynn arrived in Barcelona he was greeted by the “commissioner of public spectacles, J. Carner Rlbalta, who introduced him to the “commissioner of propaganda” of the Catalonian government, Jaime Miravitles, and the heart of the cinema section the same department, Juan Castanyer.

While in Barcelona, Flynn was considered a guest of honor of the Catalonian government and all facilities were accorded him. “In an interview with the press, Flynn said his visit to Spain was prompted by a desire to ascertain the truth regarding conditions here. “Asked by the press boys what was the general impression in the United States about the war, he replied: “That’s it, the confusing news and the fact that all the American press is in the hands of powerful trusts made me decide to take this trip to see with my own eves what is really happening and write a series of articles for publication.”

The dispatch ended:

“Flynn was accompanied by his old friend, Dr. Hermann F. Erben, a well known member of the American Communist party.”

Per the San Bernadino Daily Sun, April 22, 1937

— Gentleman Tim


A Kiwi in Hollywood Hog Heaven

20 Apr

April 20, 1936

Harrison Carroll

Evening Herald Express

Errol Flynn and Lili Damita don’t intend to live all the time on the ranch where he expects to raise hogs. They are building a house -n the Laurel Canyon district. One of the most unusual houses in Hollywood, too, for it will be modeled after Flynn’s ancestral home in Belfast. Incidentally, did you know that Errol was not born in Ireland? It was New Zealand while his father and mother were on a scientific expedition.

— Gentleman Tim


Insouciant Like Flynn

18 Apr

April 18, 1938

Sidney Skolsky Presents

Hollywood Citizen News

Errol Flynn and Warner Brothers are feuding, with Mr. Flynn having told the studio that he will return from his vacation when he feels like it.


April 18, 2005


No film star ever bettered Errol Flynn in tights, but he was the soul of insouciance even when he wore a cavalry uniform or bluejeans. That’s the revelation of “Errol Flynn: The Signature Collection” (Warner Home Video), which features the athletic, rakish star not just as an inspired Sir Francis Drake take-off in the vivid “The Sea Hawk” (1940) and as an uncharacteristically stiff Earl of Essex in “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” (1939) but also as a gallant General George A. Custer in “They Died with Their Boots On” (1941) and as a gritty frontier sheriff in the colorful Western potboiler “Dodge City” (1939). The set includes a surprisingly frank biographical portrait, “The Adventures of Errol Flynn.”

But the key film in the set is the sweeping, ebullient swashbuckler “Captain Blood” (1935). Three years before he became the most dashing Robin Hood yet (in “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” available on a separate Warner DVD), the young Australian actor, in his Hollywood breakthrough, proved his panache at righting wrongs. In this film, based on Rafael Sabatini’s 1922 novel about seventeenth-century pirates of the Caribbean and directed by Michael Curtiz, Flynn is Peter Blood, a peaceful doctor who makes the mistake of treating a rebel during the tumultuous reign of King James II and ends up a slave in Jamaica. The ravishing Olivia de Havilland (Flynn’s frequent co-star) plays the feisty, sympathetic niece of the tyrannical British slave owner; Blood and a barracks full of enslaved rebels (good men all) make their escape by stealing a Spanish ship and becoming buccaneers.

Flynn combined aristocratic dash with rebel flair—in “Captain Blood,” he defies the ruling order with absolute confidence. At one point, de Havilland says, “I believe you’re talking treason.” Flynn replies, “I hope I’m not obscure.” (This exchange has a close echo in “Robin Hood,” when de Havilland exclaims, “You speak treason!” and Flynn responds, “Fluently.”) In his autobiography, “My Wicked, Wicked Ways,” Flynn wrote that “youthful and virile roles” like cowboys and swordsmen “require gusto and genuine interest—such as I had felt at the time I was making ‘Captain Blood’ and ‘Robin Hood.’ ” He’s right: in these movies, his exuberance irradiates the screen.

Published in April 18, 2005, print edition of The New Yorker.

— Gentleman Tim