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Archive for January, 2021

Not Guilty

21 Jan

GREAT AMERICAN TRIALS

The Trial of Errol Flynn
January 11-February 6, 1943

Defendant: Errol Flynn

Crime Charged: Statutory Rape

Chief Defense Lawyers: Jerry Geisler and Robert Neeb

Chief Prosecutors: Thomas W. Cochran and John Hopkins

Judge: Leslie E. Still

Place: Los Angeles, California

Verdict: NOT GUILTY

Significance:

Despite the outcome, the Errol Flynn trial focused national attention on Hollywood’s sexual mores, which both titillated and shocked many Americans. The trial also put the phrase “In like Flynn” into the American language.

In 1942, Errol Flynn was at the height of his swashbuckling Hollywood career. In 10 years, the handsome native of Australia had made 26 movies—among them such overnight classics as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk. Flynn lived a boisterous, daring life that was also devil-may-care. He worked hard, drank hard, loved hard. Women everywhere had fallen for his splendid physique, his cleft chin, and his enticing dimples, and women everywhere were available to him.

At a party in September 1942, Flynn met 17-year-old Betty Hansen, who arrived with a studio messenger and who dreamed of moviedom fame and fortune. By dinnertime, Hansen had thrown up from too much drinking.

The next day, Hansen told her sister that Flynn had taken her upstairs to clean up, then seduced her in a bedroom. A complaint was filed with District Attorney Thomas W. Cochran, who recalled a similar complaint by one Peggy Satterlee after a voyage aboard Flynn’s yacht. That charge had been dropped.

Flynn’s stand-in stuntman, Buster Wiles, later said Satterlee’s father had earlier approached Flynn with a demand for money, or, said Wiles, “he would lie to the police that his underage daughter had sexual relations with Flynn.”

Flynn was arrested in October. He hired Hollywood’s ace lawyer, Jerry Geisler.

Fans and sensation seekers thronged Flynn’s neighborhood, spying through binoculars, prowling over his 11-acre property, mobbing the courthouse at his preliminary hearing, pulling at his buttons and shoes.

Selecting the jury on January 11, 1943, Geisler purposely took nine women, gambling that the females’ attraction to the movie star would outweigh concern over the seduction of innocence.

Prosecutor Cochran opened with the Betty Hansen charge. Geisler’s cross-examination proved that her testimony was confused and that she was currently awaiting action on a possible felony charge with her boyfriend, the studio messenger.

“J.B.” and “S.Q.Q.”

Now Cochran had Peggy Satterlee describe her voyage to Catalina. She said Flynn called her “J.B.” (short for “jail bait”) and “S.Q.Q.” (short for “San Quentin quail”)—evidence that he knew she was a juvenile. Nevertheless, she testified, he came to her cabin and “got into bed with me and completed an act of sexual intercourse”—an act against which, she admitted, she did not struggle. The next night, she said, he took her to his cabin to look at the moon through the porthole and there repeated the offense. This time, she said, she fought.

In cross-examination, Satterlee admitted to lying frequently about her age, then revealed that she had had extramarital relations with another man before the Flynn episode, and had undergone an abortion.

Taking the stand, Flynn denied the “jail bait” and “San Quentin quail” allegations, as well as entering Satterlee’s cabin or taking her to his cabin or taking Betty Hansen upstairs after she threw up at the party or having sexual intercourse with either girl. As he finished, women were crying hysterically. Men were yelling obscenities. The bailiff had to quell a near riot.

The prosecution introduced an astronomer to back up Peggy Satterlee’s description of the moon through the porthole. Geisler made him admit that, judging by the boat’s course, the moon could not have been seen from Flynn’s cabin.

The jury argued until the next day and found Errol Flynn not guilty. Said foreman Ruby Anderson afterward:

We felt there had been other men in the girls’ lives. Frankly, the cards were on the table and we couldn’t believe the girls’ stories.

Errol Flynn’s career continued, totaling some 60 films before he died in 1959.

—Bernard Ryan, Jr.

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Conrad, Earl. Errol Flynn: A Memoir. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1978.

Flynn, Errol. My Wicked, Wicked Ways. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1959.

Thomas, Tony. Errol Flynn: The Spy Who Never Was. New York: Citadel Press, 1990.

Wiles, Buster with William Donati. My Days with Errol Flynn. Santa Monica, Calif.: Roundtable Publishing, 1988.

— Tim

 

A Nice Photo

20 Jan

January 21, 195O, Nice, France:

“Bearded Flynn, returned from India where he played the lead role in a movie. Above, still wearing the beard he needed for the role, he leaves his car to board his private yacht. Before leaving for India, he announced his engagement to Romanian Princess Irene Gykha.”

— Tim

 

“Flynn’s Look Alike” — Duncan Regehr

19 Jan

My Wicked Wicked Ways
Washington Post Review
January 20, 1985

The story out of Hollywood is that they sorted through more than 400 resumes looking for someone to play Errol Flynn. Some were familiar names, most were not. Which was fine, since the producers wanted a face that was both fresh and familiar — fresh to the American television audience but familiar in its resemblance to Flynn’s.

Out of the stack emerged Duncan Regehr.


TV Preview

Scene by Scene Comparisons

Full Movie

— Tim

 

Flynn, James Flynn — Lookin’ Like Flynn

18 Jan

Was he Errol’s son?

All evidence and opinions welcome….

— Tim

 

Errol’s First Child? …….Who was She?

17 Jan

It’s been reported that Errol had a daughter before he married Tiger Lil’. What was her name, who was her mother, and where was she born????

An island named after this island was involved…


Her first name means “Lily” in Hebrew…

(This clue added Sunday morning, 8am, January 17, 2021)


Her mother was from an island named on this map.

(This clue added Sunday morning, 9am, January 17, 2021)


Humming this will help yield her name…

It’s by one of America’s greatest songwriters…

(This clue added Sunday morning, 11:48 am, January 17, 2021)


The mother was from Selapiu Island, near New Hanover Island. (See the map above)

After the birth of the daughter, she went to Ranmalek Mission and disappeared during World War II.

(This above set of clues added Sunday evening, 6:30 pm, January 17, 2021)

A man named Wilkie Wilkin is said to have cared for the mother and daughter at a copra plantation, apparently beginning after Errol left for England. He is thought to have been captured at Albatross Passage by the Japanese following their famous air raids on PNG during January 1942. His name is on the plaque above. …It is not nown to me, nor clear from the accounts I read, that Errol ever knew of the pregnancy, never mind that it allegedly resulted in a daughter.

The daughter, _________, was said to have strikingly stood out in PNG because of her complexion and beauty.

(This above set of set of clues added Sunday evening, 6:45 pm, January 17, 2021)

Years ago, super Flynn-researcher Tina Nyary published the below image, stating “Here is an image of what most likely could have been Tuperselai”. I am not certain, but, if Errol did have a daughter in PNG, there’s a good chance the mother would have been Tuperselai, who he very highly praises in MWWW:

(This above photo was added Tuesday morning, 11am, January 19, 2021)

— Tim

 

A Day at the Derby

16 Jan

January 15, 1937

Harrison Carroll
LA Evening Herald Express

Lili Damita and Errol Flynn dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby together on the day one had them separated.

“The Hollywood Brown Derby opened on Valentine’s Day 1929 at 1628 North Vine Street played a great part in Hollywood history. Due to its proximity to movie studios, it became the place to do deals and be seen. Clark Gable is said to have proposed to Carole Lombard there. Rival gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper are recorded as regular patrons.”

“The rendezvous of the stars, the Brown Derby, Hollywood, California. The famed Brown Derby on Vine Street, Hollywood, with its adjacent distinctive Bamboo Room, is the acknowledged center of the smart social life of the movie colony.”

P.S. Flynn Fans!

“The building’s architect, Carl Jules Weyl, later became a noted art director and went on to win an Academy Award for art direction on the classic 1938 Errol Flynn-Olivia de Havilland film, “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

— Tim

 

Errol Flynn comes to the rescue!

16 Jan

In late 1956 Errol Flynn went to pre-Castro’s Havana, Cuba to film “The Big Boodle” (1957) with Universal studios’ starlet Gia Scala, on loan to United Artists. In the absolutely fascinating but often heart-breaking book “Gia Scala: The First Gia” written by her loving sister Tina Scala, an incident occurred near the end of filming. Gia was a guest on Flynn’s two-mast schooner “The Zaca”, and enjoyed every minute of it. Flynn learned from Gia and Tina that their mother was dying from terminal Cancer. All her life their mother had dreamed of sailing to Hawaii.  When Flynn heard this he said “Say no more.” Errol Flynn then sent Gia and Tina to sail on the Zaca with a full crew to take her mother to Hawaii! Flynn insisted on picking up the entire cost of this journey which was a dream come true for their mother who loved the entire voyage. She later died at peace. Gia Scala and Tina were eternally grateful to Errol Flynn. Tina also writes that it was common knowledge that gorgeous movie stars who took private cruises on the Zaca were seduced by Errol Flynn! Tina said “I never asked Gia, and besides she would never tell me anyway!”

— Ralph Schiller

 
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Where’s Waldo Theater?

14 Jan

The Waldo is in Waldoboro, on Main Street in Maine, of course….

The Waldo Theatre is a historic movie theater and performance venue at 916 Main Street in Waldoboro, Maine. Built in 1936 as a movie theater to a design by New York City architect Benjamin Schlanger, it was hailed at the time as one of the best-designed state-of-the-art small theaters in the country. It is now managed by a non-profit arts organization. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

January 12, 1939 – Movie at the Waldo

Virtual Concert at the Waldo, Tonight at 7, January 14, 2021

— Tim

 

Star-Studded Traffic Trial

13 Jan

January 13, 1939

Star-Studded Traffic Trial in Beverly Hills

LA Evening Herald Examiner

It will look like a roll call of Hollywood male stars in PoliceJudge Charles J. Griffin’s Beverly Hills court late today.

The occasion will be the hit-run driving trial of John W. Myers, former owner of the La Conga, Hollywood night spot.

Among those who have been subpoened as witnesses in behalf of Meyers are Errol Flynn, Bruce Cabot and Walter Pidgeon, all of whom either saw the accident or talked to Myers immediately after it occurred, according to attorney Richard Cantillon, representing Meyers.

Meyers is charged with having fled the scene of an accident involving his automobile and another car driven by George v. Tribe.

Tribe’s wife, Darlene, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Thorpe, all were seriously injured in the accident, it is charged.

— Tim

 

Navy Flyboys Cutting in on Errol’s Girl

12 Jan

January 12, 1939

Evening Herald Examiner

Navy Officers, Stars at Film Preview

Wings of the Navy

Film personages attending include: George Brent, Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis, Paul Muni, Pat O’Brien, Jane Wyman, Ann Sheridan, John Garfield, Errol Flynn. Priscilla Lane, Irene Dunne, Gary Cooper, Mary Pickford, Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy, Francisca Gall, Frank Borzage, Reginald Gardiner, and many Navy Officers.

— Tim

 
 
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