Archive for the ‘Author Errol Flynn’ Category

The Name’s Flynn, Errol Flynn — June 7, 1937

07 Jun

British Agent Errol Flynn – The Original Bond?

Listening to Flynn introduce himself at 6:11 to Frances Farmer as “Locke, Steve Locke” leads one to wonder whether Ian Fleming heard and was influenced by Errol’s British Agent performance.

— Gentleman Tim


Errol Leaves India for Africa — May 28, 1933

29 May

After a side-splitting incident with a rickshaw boy on the island of Ceylon, Errol left with Erben for the mainland French Colony of Pondicherry. From Pondicherry they traveled an intolerably slow and hot five days on a train “jammed” with “Untouchables”, up the east coast of India to Calcutta, where they witnessed a ~ “dizzying spectacle of temples, beggary, dung in the street, wispy Indian girls in their white wrappings, and whorehouses.” Leaving Calcutta for Africa on the French ship La Stella Errol brawled with a spitting-mad “huge Black Sengalese soldier who bunked above him in steerage. Erben had a good laugh at how decisively Errol lost that dispute.

Finally, on May 28, 1933, Errol left India on the French paquebot Compiegne, through the Gulf of Mannar, then through Arabian Sea to Djibouti, in what was then the French colony of Somaliland.

As depicted below, this route was part of an ancient maritime portion of the old “Silk Road” between China and Europe. Sounds sensible to call it the “Silk Seaway”.

— Gentleman Tim



15 May

— Gentleman Tim


Errol Gets Shanghaied — Voluntarily — Part 1 — Now for the loot, the jade, the daughters of the Mings, the treasures of ancient Cathay!

14 May

Hong Kong Volunteers Headquarters, circa Flynn’s time in China, including British, Asian, Scottish, Canadian, and the Australian volunteers. The Australians are wearing trademark ANZAC “slouch hats”.

— Gentleman Tim


Errol’s Malaria — Part 2 — Bitten in New Britain? … Or was it New Ireland? Or was it New Hanover? Or ….

13 May

Errol arrived at Raoul, Papua New Guinea (PNG), on October 1, 1927, at the age of 18. He came in search of gold and adventure. It’s not clear how many ounces of gold he found, but he certainly did find tons of adventure. For his first two years in PNG, Errol worked at a series of many different jobs and endeavors, at many different locations, for many different employers. He regularly changed jobs and residences, quitting and getting fired frequently.

It’s difficult if not impossible to identify all of Errol’s work and travels during this time period. Likewise, it’s difficult if not impossible to identify exactly when and where he first contracted malaria. However, timing and evidence indicate that he first met “Ann” (the Anopheles mosquito) on New Ireland (while employed at the Kenabot Plantation) or at New Britain (while at the Kokopo Plantation) or at New Hanover, or perhaps on one of the small surrounding islands, such as on Umboi (at the Gizarum Plantation), on Lemus, or on New Hanover (at the Matanalaua Plantation.) And not just the remote jungles and plantations were perilous, all the lowland cities, villages, and settlements, he traveled to and through were malarial hotspots, also – Aitape, Bulalo, Kavieng, Lai, Laloki, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Salamaua, Wau – all of them. Only the highlands of PNG were safe (from malaria, that is, not from headhunters and other nuisances.)

Errol’s time on these Ann-infested islands included very high malarial risk work as a government cadet patrol officer, as a plantation overseer, and as a recruiter of native PNG workers for plantations, et al. It was in one of these activities that, in 1928, he most likely first became a casualty of malaria. Moreover, Errol was very likely bitten more than once, at the same locations and possibly also on subsequent trips to malaria danger zones on mainland New Guinea, including possibly during his adventures up the infamous Sepik (“aka Septic”) River.

This map shows the locations where Errol likely first became stricken with malaria.

The following two maps show how extremely malarial it still is in the locations where Errol worked. As bad as it is now, it was far, far worse when Errol was there.

Though it has receded elsewhere in the world, malaria is still extremely prevalent and dangerous in PNG.

Note from this map, also, that it is not likely Errol would have contracted malaria in mainland Australia or Tasmania.…See, also: Errol’s Malaria – Part 1 – Blood-Thirsty…

— Gentleman Tim


Errol Robbed in China – May 1933

10 May

MAY 1933 – “Can’t an honest man make port without being stolen from!”

After being conned in Macao by Ting Ling O’Connor, Errol was robbed of his secret stash of diamonds. It was a big affair back in Hong Kong.

— Gentleman Tim


Off to Macao for Fan-Tan

08 May

Following Errol’s heavy losses at the Happy Valley race track, he decided to leave the British colony of Hong Kong for the Portugese colony of Macao in seek of better luck, especially at fan-tan, a Chinese game of chance he learned in New Guinea. He and Herr Erben hopped “the Fusham a small packet” to Macao, a 35-mile trip, an approximately 3 or 4 hour trip west across the Pearl River Delta. Macau was a largely undeveloped refuge for fishermen, wayfarers and exiles until the Portuguese settled there in the mid 16th century. In the 1930s, when Errol visited, it was had an extremely poor population, and reputation. As Errol states in MWWW, it was known as “the stinkpot of the orient”. No longer, though: Now it is one of the wealthiest regions in the world.

Here is a passenger ferry schedule from Hong Kong to Macao typical of when Errol took the trip:

Here’s junk-filled Macoa Harbor circa the time of Errol’s visit:

Here’s a 1930’s bird’s-eye view of Macoa:

Much of Macau’s prosperity is owed to gambling, which was legalized by the Portuguese in 1847. As many as 200 gambling dens when Errol visited, offering traditional Chinese favorites, including most notably fan tan.

In the years since Errol’s time there, “Macao has transformed from a sleepy Portuguese colony of amateur gambling dens and down-at-the-heel hotels to the Las Vegas of the East.”

Indeed, by many measures (at least prior to the Covid-19 pandemic), Macao is the most significant gambling mecca in now the world, bigger than Vegas.

— Gentleman Tim


Young Flynn in Hong Kong

07 May

On May 7, 1933, , on his meandering, months-long adventure-by-sea west from New Guinea to England, Errol arrived in Hong Kong. This photo shows Victoria how Errol would have seen it.

John Hammond Moore’s superb, pioneering biography of “Young Errol Flynn” states that it was likely the Nankin on which Errol and Erben steamed to Hong Kong (via Manila.) Moore has the date as March 4 – date corrections encouraged.) Below is a photo of the Nankin, which, I’ve read, was captured by the Nazi warship Thor in May of 1942 carrying very highly secret British correspondence and intelligence. It’s a good thing Chuck Pigham did not learn of this major security breach and blame it, too (along with Pearl Harbor … the Holocaust, 9/11, and the Covid-19 corona virus, et al) on Young Herr Flynn.

And this magnificent film depicts and describes what “The Gateway to China” looked like and was like in the 1930s.

— Gentleman Tim



30 Apr

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate
New South Wales, Australia

Errol Flynn Sues Magazine

LOS ANGELES, April 27. A.A.P.

Errol Flynn, the actor, has lodged a claim for 300,000 dollars damages against the film magazine “Movie Stars Parade.”

His action followed publication in the magazine of an article entitled: “My First Screen Kiss by Errol Flynn.” Flynn’s statement of claim said he did not authorize or write the article, which was untrue and harmful to his professional standing.

The article described a scene in which Flynn and Olivia de Havilland acted. It quoted Flynn as saying of his first screen kiss: “I looked forward to that tender passage with the same placid approval a wolf lavished on a herd of spring lambs.”

Flynn also seeks an injunction against alleged unfair trade practices and invasion of privacy.

Very Similar Article in the Canberra Times, April 28

— 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