Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

Robin de Los Bosques Arrives in London

06 Mar

March 5, 1937, Errol and Erben arrived in London:

“In 1935, Flynn married French-American actress Lili Damita (divorcing in 1942), with whom he had a very stormy relationship, with frequent physical fights. They were called the “Fighting Flynns,” and he called his wife “Tiger Lili.” When his friend Dr. Herman F. Erben (1897-1985) proposed that he and Errol travel to Spain in 1937, Flynn jumped at the opportunity. The friends had met three years earlier on April 14, 1933 in Salamaua, New Guinea. Born in Vienna, Erben was a physician and a world traveler, adventurer, and photographer, making a living primarily as a ship’s doctor. The two adventurers liked each other from the start and traveled together for a couple of months through the Far East. (Thomas McNulty, “Errol Flynn: The Life and Career.” Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. pp. 23-24) So, in early 1937, Flynn decided to go to Spain as a war correspondent with a commission from Hearst Press, to get away from it all (some say to, literally, escape from his wife) or perhaps just for the adventure. “Arriving in Spain, I felt I was right back in ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’” (Errol Flynn, “What Really Happened to Me in Spain” Photoplay, July 1937: 12-15). Flynn and his enigmatic traveling companion, Dr. Erben, left on the Queen Mary on February 24, 1937, arriving in Southhampton, England on March 1.”

“On March 5, 1937, they arrived in London.”

Quoting “Robin de Los Bosques in the Spanish War

— Gentleman Tim



04 Mar

March 2, 1943

From Mulholland Farm to Yale 1945

My most sincere thanks,

Errol Flynn

— Gentleman Tim


Back in the Saddle Again

03 Mar

March 1, 1949

Sidney Skolsky
Hollywood Citizen News

Errol Flynn is far from being the happiest man in the world at this point. Not only is his domestic life in a state of chaos, but he has to make a western as his next movie. Errol is tired of shooting it up in the saddle. He doesn’t want to be the rich man’s Roy Rogers.

May 29, 1949

Hedda Hoppa
Quoting Errol in
“Flynn and Dandy”

“Acting for me is sheer fun. There’s only one thing I really don’t want to do any more and that’s Westerns. I guess I’ve trod every back trail and canyon pass in the entire west. I’ve never literally had to read the line, ‘they went that a-way pard’, but there is one cliche I’ve said so many times it comes back to me in all my nightmares. Every time there’s a gap in the story, every time the writers don’t know what to do next, they have me pull up ahead of my gang, assume a decidedly grim look, and say ‘All right men, you know what to do now.’ The fact is I’ve made so many of these things, scripts seem so much the same, that what it adds up to in my mind is that the studio says, ‘Here’s a horse. Get on.'”

— Gentleman Tim


Not for Nothing

01 Mar

February 29, 1940

Sidney Skolsky
Watching Them Make Pictures

If you wait long enough on a Michael Curtiz set, you’re bound to hear a Curtizism. The other afternoon on the set of The Sea Hawk I had a long wait. In fact for the first time I thought reliable Mike was going to fail me. Director Curtiz had Errol play a scene over and over. And everytime he gave an order I expected him to pull a gem. But he didn’t.

Finally, Errol did the scene the way Curtiz wanted and reliable Mike came through. He said: “Errol, you worked hard. But it’s alright. You can’t get anything for nothing unless you pay for it.”

— Gentleman Tim


“A Follow-up to Robin Hood”

28 Feb

February 27, 1939

Louella O. Parsons
Los Angeles Examiner

How would you like to see the dashing Errol Flynn as the equally dashing Don Juan? Academy award winning producer Hal Wallis is plotting such a story as a follow-up to Robin Hood.

Nearly a decade later…

— Gentleman Tim


Errol’s Casablanca?

24 Feb

Background to ‘Background to Danger”

This film was conceived by Warner Brothers to capitalize on the colossal success of Casablanca. The story was reported contemporaneously to have been purchased from highly-regarded author Eric Ambler as “a vehicle for Errol Flynn.” Ultimately it starred George Raft in the role originally intended for Errol. Raft himself was originally considered for Bogie’s role of Rick in Casablanca. Casablanca co-stars Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorrie were also in Background to Danger. William Faulkner contributed to the script. Directed by Raoul Walsh. I think this spy thriller could have been a very cool film for Errol.


One of the scenes depicted in the film was based on the attempted assassination of Nazi Ambassador to Turkey and former Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Franz van Popen, who was trying to lure Turkey into the war on the side of the Axis powers, including the Soviet Union. To prevent this, Moscow recruited 25-year old Yugoslav Moslem Omer Tokat to kill von Papen, hoping that the assassination would cause a rift, possibly even a war, between Turkey and Germany.

On February 24, 1942, Tokat approached von Papen on a street in Ankara with a bomb. However, the bomb exploded early, killing only the attacker. The ambassador and his wife were only hit by a blast wave, suffering no significant injuries.

New York Times – February 24, 1942

ANKARA, Turkey – Franz von Papen, the German Ambassador, and his wife narrowly escaped assassination shortly after 10 o’clock this morning when, in the course of their customary walk from their residence to the German Embassy, an unidentified young man exploded a bomb, blowing himself to bits.

— Gentleman Tim


Mardi Gras 1939

23 Feb

February 22, 1939

Hollywood Citizen News


New Orleans – Errol Flynn, the film actor, gave an interview here today — and gave back the film pack he snatched from a photographer last night when the cameraman snapped a picture with a local girl at a Mardi Gras parade.

Flynn was watching the parade with a New Orleans sub-deb. He jumped at the photographer’s flash. He gave it back to a reporter and another photographer this morning. Flynn came here from Florida on a vacation trip.

— Gentleman Tim


On to the Empty Horses

22 Feb

February 19. 1936

Elizabeth Yeaman
Hollywood Citizen News

The directorial stock of Michael Curtiz has soared many points once the release of Captain Blood, which he directed with the previously unknown star, Errol Flynn. Curtiz was so successful in making Flynn a star that Warners now have assigned him again in The Charge of the Light Brigade.

— Gentleman Tim


It’s Fun Being Broke

20 Feb

Friday, February 19, 1937
National Syndication

Errol Flynn and Anita Louise, stars of the Cosmopolitan production “Green Light” which is now playing at the State Theatre as a First National release, have found in the film based on Lloyd C. Douglas’ famous novel roles that give them the most dramatic opportunities of their careers.

“It’s Fun Being Broke” says Film Star Errol Flynn

“I miss being broke!” Errol Flynn, Irish actor and adventurer, who stars in ”Green Light,” a Cosmopolitan production released by First National, opening at the State theatre today, drove his hand far down in his trousers’ pocket and pulled out a neat little fold of bills, held together with a gold clasp. “When you have money,” he announced, “any money, some of the kick is gone out of life. Money makes a man soft, unwilling to take chances. Being broke sharpens your wits.” “Don’t misunderstand me,” he added quickly. “I’m not saying I want to be broke. I just miss finding myself in that condition once in a while. It used to be a fairly regular discovery in my life.”

Asked to list those lean periods and to tell what he did to cure them, Flynn leaned far back on his dressing room couch and squinted at the ceiling. “There was a time in Sydney, Australia,” he began, “I slept on and under newspapers in a park for four nights. Newspapers make warm bedding. Then on the fifth day I got a job as a bottle smeller.” “Bottle smeller?” “Yes. With a soft drink manufacturer. There was a big pile of bottles and I was to sort them by smell. Those that had had kerosene or turpentine or some thing like that in them, I put on one side. Those that didn’t smell I put on the other. I couldn’t smell anything for weeks after.”

“There was another time in Kavieng, New Guinea, when didn’t have enough money to pay a fine, for knocking down a coolie who had insulted me. I didn’t have any money, but the magistrate didn’t know that. The boat I wanted to catch to another port was due in about a week. I asked the court what the alternative punishment would be if I didn’t pay the fine.” “I’ll have to jail you,” he said, ‘for about a week.’ T said I’d go to jail. He shook his head. ‘You can’t do that,’ he argued, “you know perfectly well there is no jail.’ “But I insisted. So he turned me over to the police master, who was a friend of mine, and I lived with him for a week. It wasn’t any great hardship. But he always urged me to come home early nights.”

“Green Light” is a romantic drama filmed from Lloyd C. Douglas’ best-selling novel of the same name. Some of the others in the cast besides Flynn include Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Anita Louise, Margaret Lindsay, Walter Abel and Henry O’Neill. The adaptation for the screen was made by Milton Krims. Frank Borzage directed.

— Gentleman Tim


Burning Daylight

19 Feb

1st edition (Macmillan 1910 – US)

February 18, 1939

New York Times Headline


Errol Flynn Chosen for Lead in ‘Burning Daylight’

Burning Daylight by Jack London, one of Errol’s favorite authors. Published in 1910, it was London’s best-selling book in his lifetime. The novel takes place in the Yukon Territory in 1893. The main character, nicknamed “Burning Daylight” was the most successful entrepreneur of the Alaskan Gold Rush. The story of the main character was partially based upon the life of Oakland entrepreneur “Borax” Smith. The novel was adapted for American films in 1914, 1920, 1928, and 2010.

Here is the 1928 Version with Milton Sills and Doris Kenyon.

As it turned out, it wasn’t until 2010, 92 years after the 1928 silent, that another version was filmed.

The 2010 version concentrated on the second half of the book, set primarily on Wall Street.

— Gentleman Tim