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Archive for August, 2020

Barrymore’s Last Party

21 Aug

August 20, 2020

— Gentleman Tim

 

‘The Loved One’

18 Aug


August 17, 2019 – Posted by Paula for TCM’s Summer Under the Stars

Errol Reading ‘The Loved One’

First there was the book, based on Evelyn Waugh’s tour of Forest Lawn, where Errol was buried against his will! Here’s a plot summary:

“When Evelyn Waugh came to Hollywood in 1947 to discuss the film rights for Brideshead Revisited, he visited a graveyard: Forest Lawn Memorial Park. He had heard it praised as a place unsurpassed in beauty, taste, and sensitivity; a place where “faith and consolation, religion and art had been brought to their highest possible association.” But Mr. Waugh found the cemetery dripping with saccharine sentimentality, edged with macabre memorials, and repellent with cuteness. (Walt Disney’s remains, along with those of myriad other celebrities, are enshrined there.) Mr. Waugh found in that “theme-park necropolis” a grotesque denial of the reality of death, the opposite extreme of Donne’s holy sonnet. He found vulgar euphemisms marketed and crafted by entrepreneurial racketeers. He found, in the end, wonderful material for a story to satirize the bizarre American funeral-home industry.”

“… The Loved One, is a pitiless satire on the shallowness and pretensions of British expatriates and Americans in post-World War II Los Angeles. The action is set principally in two funeral parlors, one for humans and the other for pets. Most of the characters either work in one of the funeral homes or are employed by a Hollywood film studio. Waugh portrays the Los Angeles denizens as part of a culture that fosters and encourages the selfish pursuit of petty goals. In the book, almost everyone is striving to gain or maintain a place in society that they seem to believe is important because other people might envy them for it. The principal character, a young Englishman named Dennis Barlow, is a poet-cum-screenwriter who leaves his job at the studio, which he hates for its bureaucracy and lack of imagination. He takes a job at a pet cemetery, scandalizing his fellow Englishmen in Hollywood, particularly an actor named Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, who believes the expatriate British have a reputation and an image to uphold. When an old screenwriter and fellow Brit named Sir Francis Hinsley is fired from the film studio and commits suicide, Sir Ambrose enlists Dennis to take care of funeral arrangements. At a well-known funeral home called Whispering Glades (Forest Lawn) Dennis meets a young woman named Aimée Thanatogenos, who is a cosmetician in the embalming rooms. Aimée, a thoroughgoing product of Los Angeles, is empty-headed yet yearns for higher things, although she cannot really say what this means to her. Dennis becomes enamored of her. A rival for Aimée’s affections is Mr. Joyboy, the chief embalmer at Whispering Glades, who is widely considered to be a stylish and cultivated man, although he actually is a rather perverse momma’s boy.”

Then there was the movie in ’65, even more out there than the book I’d say:

The book also inspired Tom Paxton to sing the satirical Sixties song “Forest Lawn”:

— Gentleman Tim

 

Island Cruise Quiz

16 Aug

Circa August 16, 1946, the Zaca was in the waters surrounding this island. What island is it?

Two new names came into the world and history of Errol because of Zaca’s trip to this island. What were those two names??

10PM EST – Clue No. 2 – A VERY BIG CLUE:

A Half Hour Past Midnight EST or so:

Monday, August 17, ~ 6PM EST:

Here’s a couple more Cruise Clues. Though physically very small, they are very big quiz clues – even bigger quiz-wise than the elephant seal and fur sea lion above:

Tuesday, August 18 – 10:30AM:

Wednesday – August 19 – ~ 3:10 AM:

The island is infamous for its huge and destructive goats. Here is an old photo of a couple:

— Gentleman Tim

 

Citizen Flynn

16 Aug

August 15, 1942

Errol becomes an American

— Gentleman Tim

 

“When you go home tell them of us and say,

15 Aug

for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

Today is the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day and I’m watching it’s remembrance on the BBC.

These moving words were quoted in connection with the Burma Campaign (“a forgotten Army in a forgotten war”).

Well worth a visit to the Burma Star site (www.burmastar.org…) and finding out a bit more of the larger story behind a certain cinematic effort and of which “Errol Flynn described … as one of the roles that he was most proud of.”

— Karl

 
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“A Tawdry Tale from Tinseltown”

14 Aug

“In the 1950s, Confidential magazine, America’s first celebrity scandal magazine, revealed Hollywood stars’ (alleged) secrets, misdeeds, and transgressions in gritty, unvarnished detail. Deploying a vast network of tipsters to root out scandalous facts about the stars, including sexual affairs, drug use, and sexual orientation, publisher Robert Harrison destroyed celebrities’ carefully constructed images and built a media empire. Confidential became the bestselling magazine on American newsstands in the 1950s, surpassing Time, Life, and the Saturday Evening Post. Eventually the stars fought back, filing multimillion-dollar libel suits against the magazine. The state of California, prodded by the film studios, prosecuted Harrison for obscenity and criminal libel, culminating in a famous, star-studded Los Angeles trial.” Errol was one of those stars. He and others, including Maureen O’Hara, won via settlement, helping to eventually financially bankrupt the morally bankrupt gossip rag, which was said to be the largest read magazine in America (mostly read in grocery store lines, I suppose.)

“Actor Errol Flynn puts his fingers to his nose as he passes opinion on “Confidential Magazine” on arrival in New York City from Paris on Aug. 14, 1957. Flynn is scheduled to testify as a witness in the criminal libel trial of the magazine in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)”

And here are a couple of photos of Francesca de Scaffa and her ex-husband Bruce Cabot – who she divorced the day before! – out on the town with Errol and Pat in 1951. De Scaffa was secretly paid by Confidential for providing information about Errol. Some friends those Cabots.

De Scaffa Dining with/Spying on Flynn

— Gentleman Tim

 

Zaca Cruises into San Diego

14 Aug

August 13, 1946

After Setting Sail Out of Balboa:

The Zaca cruised into San Diego to load dredges, seines, dipnets, lobster traps, gill nets, microscope, aquariums, sorting trays, jars, preservatives, and smaller paraphenalia, collected by prominent Scripps Institute Professor Carl Hubbs for the scientific explorations and studies on what later became known as “Cruise of the Zaca” Errol’s arrival was met with “a flurry of reporters” and a “feminine hubbub on the dock as girls from nearby Navy offices came to beg autographs from their hero.” The athletic actor was limping that day, having somehow sprained his ankle aboard ship on the way down from Long Beach. Errol signed autographs with a flourish while Nora watched with amusement and Professor Flynn remarked on “the depths to which humanity will fall.”

The reporters had already had a field day, by discovering from Nora that she was expecting a child and so would require a doctor on the voyage.

Zaca was manned by a crew of ten and also carried an artist (John Decker), three above-and below-water photographers, Flynn’s manager, Errol and Nora, and Flynn’s father.

Thanks to Betty Shor for her superb account of the Zaca’s scientific expedition from which the above info has been extracted!

These are the downton docks in San Diego, the foot of Broadway, circa the time of Zaca’s arrival. Lane Field (Home of the PCL Padres) is on the right and the Pacific Fleet’s Navy Supply Center (where the flock of Navy girls likely came from) is on the left.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Setting Sail Out of SoCal

13 Aug

August 12, 1946 – Errol’s Cruise of the Zaca begins in Balboa, via La Jolla to Guadalupe Island, Mexico, then, per the map below, along the Baja to Acapulco, through the Canal and the Caribbean to Flynnland in Port Antonio, Jamaica.

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Most Thrilled Girl in Hollywood

11 Aug

August 11, 1936

Louela O. Parsons
Los Angeles Times

Sally Eilers is the most thrilled girl in Hollywood over winning the women’s doubles title with Josephine Cruikshank in the West Side Tennis Club’s first annual tournament; club members, headed by Errol Flynn, Frank Shields and Michael Bartlett, campaigning for less eccentric court attire. We’re with them 100 percent as long as they don’t bar Nigel “Willie” Bruce’s battered felt hat and John Cromwell’s pipe.

Here’s sexy silent and early talkies star, Sally Eilers. Her first husband was Hoot Gibson , who can be seen having a hoot in this Dodge City Premier photo featuring Errol. Her second husband was Harry Joe Brown, who produced both Captain Blood and Son of Captain Blood. In fact, Harry Joe Brown may have been the prime person responsible for Jack Warner’s selection of Errol as Captain Blood.

And here is the 1934 U. S. Tennis Team – Caroline Babcock, Alice Marble, Josephine Cruikshank, and Sarah Palfrey – as they boarded the steamship Bremen to return to the U.S. after defeating the United Kingdom team at Wimbledon. Josephine Cruikshank is third from the left. Alice Marble, another tennis friend of Errol’s (who won 18 Grand Slam Championships!) is second from the left.

Josephine Cruikshank a regular at the Los Angeles Tennis Club where the Pacific Southwest Championships as well as the Motion Picture tournaments were played. Other players at the club included Mickey Rooney, Rudy Vallee, Ozzie Nelson, Sam Yorty and Bing Crosby. Errol asked Josephine to be his partner in the Motion Picture championship final in 1937.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Errol & Patrice — Seventy Years Ago Today

11 Aug

August 10, 1950 – Los Angeles

— Gentleman Tim

 
 
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