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Archive for June, 2022

Happy Birthday Errol Flynn! June 20, 1909 …

20 Jun

— David DeWitt

 
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“Hello God” is still Errol Flynn’s Ghost Film!

11 Jun

Allegedly a copy of “Hello God”, Errol Flynn’s missing and unseen film from 1951 was found among evidence files and archived records of a New York courtroom.  The reels of film in cans were in bad condition.    Rumor said that this deteriorating film was shipped to the George Eastman House Film Archives and Preservation Center.

     I sent a formal e-mail request to the George Eastman House stating that I wished to see the “Hello God” footage for a book project.  Five days later I received this polite e-mail from an archivist at the George Eastman House:
Thank you for your email and for your interest in our collections. We do have Hello God in our collections, however we do not have a complete version of the film. We only have the first reel of a work print and a reel or so of outtakes and trims. Preservation work did start on these two items, but has been put on hold and I do not know if and when we may resume preservation. It was expressed to me that a more complete version of the film may exist elsewhere; if that is the case then the keeper of those elements would be better suited to pursue more complete preservation. At this time we do not have any access elements for either the outtakes or work print, so we are unable to provide access at this time.
If I may be able to answer any other questions about our collections or research access, please do not hesitate to ask.
My response to the Eastman House archivist was:
   Thank-you so very much for getting back to me on my inquiry.   I regret to say that no other copy or fragments of this film exist anywhere else in the world.   A film storage company in Los Angeles had a complete print and negative of the film but no one had paid the processing and storage fees.    This company did reach out to the film’s director/producer William Marshal who was in financial straits in the mid-1960’s.   Then out of desperation, they even tried Marshal’s estranged wife, film star Ginger Rogers, who wanted nothing to do with the film and her soon to be ex-husband.   I contacted the company and was informed that since the bill was never paid, the film print, and negatives were destroyed, and discarded.
This is the end of the story.  Only a few minutes of “Hello God” have survived with a few other out-takes and film scraps.   The Eastman House is debating whether or not it is even worth the expense to save these fragments.   Errol Flynn screened “Hello God” and was appalled at the poor quality of the film.   He decided for the sake of his Hollywood career that he must destroy “Hello God” so no one will ever see it.    He got his wish.   Pity he didn’t torch “Cuban Rebel Girls”.

— Ralph Schiller

 
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SEAN FLYNN & “THE TEMPLE OF THE WHITE ELEPHANT”

02 Jun

Late in 1963 Sean went on location to film his fifth starring role. A French-Italian co-production set in colonial India, the film was actually filmed in what was then Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka,)  In Italy the film would be released in 1964 under the title, “Sandok, Il Maciste della Jungla” (“Sandok , the Maciste of the Jungle”). In France, it would be released in 1964 under the title, “Le Temple de L’Elephant Blanc” (“Temple of the White Elephant”). It was to be directed by Umberto Lenzi, who would gain a reputation as a cult director after he helmed such films as “Seven Blood-Stained Orchids” and “Cannibal Ferox”. Sean’s co-stars would be: Alessandra Panaro, who was his leading lady in his first starring role in “The Son of Captain Blood”; although his leading lady in this film was to be Marie Versini, who was best known for her portrayal of “Nscho-tschi” in the popular (in Europe) West German “Winnetou” westerns and Mimmo Palmara, who was famous for his strongman roles in several Italian sword and sandal films, where he was usually the villain opposite Steve Reeves. (But here he would be a good guy on Sean’s side.)  Also in the cast is Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (also known as “Jack Stuart”). Rossi-Stuart is also known for his roles in such films as: “Caltiki, the Immortal Monster”(1959), “Sodom and Gomorrah”(1962) and opposite Vincent Price in “The Last Man on Earth”(1964).

The plot of the film deals with the kidnapping of the British viceroy’s daughter (played by Panaro) and her fiancee, a British officer (played by Rossi-Stuart) by a fanatical murderous sect who worship “a white elephant.” Sean’s job is to rescue the two. He is aided in his mission by Palmara, who is also Versini’s protector who is a princess out to rescue her brother who is also held captive by the White Elephant sect.  [While the film would probably be a good double feature with Errol’s film, “Charge of the Light Brigade”,

it has more in common with the 1939 film “Gunga Din”, i.e. the murderous cult.]

The film was released in the UK in 1966 under the title, “Temple of the White Elephant” where it mostly received  bad reviews. The film made it to the US sometime in either 1966 or 1968. Released to US television syndication by American International Television, the television arm of American International Pictures. In the English language prints Sean dubs his own dialogue.

While not a great film and as per my review in my article, “The Forgotten Films of Sean Flynn, Son of Errol Flynn”, Sean looks good in uniform. The film does have plenty of action and does make for a good matinee type movie. It has a great score and is in glorious technicolor. It also makes great use of its lush location. The French language version can be found on YouTube, so you can judge for yourself for those who are interested. As for Sean, after completing this film, he went into what some have called his “Great White Hunter” phase, when he traveled to  Pakistan, where he killed a tiger which had taken the lives of three woodsmen and received a certificate of extreme gratitude from the Pakistani government.  He then went on to Africa where he tried his hand as a safari guide and big-game hunter. He also spent time as a game warden in Kenya. In need of money he completed three more films before becoming a photojournalist and war correspondent in Vietnam and lost his life in Cambodia in 1970. –A. R.

— ILIKEFLYNN

 
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