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Archive for the ‘Co-Stars’ Category

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.

— Gentleman 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.

— Gentleman Tim

 

On the Fifth Day of Christmas 🎁x5

29 Dec

Miss(chievous) Olivia was the Picture of Innocence…..

December 29, 1938

Erskine Johnson
Los Angeles Examiner

SOME MOVIES ARE MADE

Olivia De Havilland is sitting off stage watching a rehearsal between Errol Flynn and Alan Hale for a scene in Dodge City. When no one is looking she opens her hand to reveal a rubber band and a wadded piece of tinfoil. She wraps the rubber band around her fingers, folds the tin foil over it and draws a bead on the unsuspecting Flynn. She Lets go and Flynn jumps a foot as the folded tinfoil smacks in on the back of his lap. By the time he has turns around, the rubber band has disappeared and Olivia de Havilland is the picture of innocence.

— Gentleman Tim

 

The Heroine of Hollywood

27 Dec

In the seventh year you shall set them free (Deut. 15:12)

After spending 18 months in legal and professional limbo, de Havilland won the case and her free agency when, in 1944, the California Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that Warner Brothers had appealed: The studio could not extend her seven-year contract. At 5’ 3” and scarcely 100 pounds, de Havilland looked unintimidating, but her iron resolve was draped in velvet and silk.

When I asked her about the suit in 1998, she cited Deuteronomy 15, which stipulates that, in the seventh year, slaves shall be freed. “It seemed to me positively unbiblical to hold me to that contract for more than seven years,” she purred in her mellifluous voice. (By then, she was a lector at the American Cathedral in Paris.)

For the very deep diggers;
law.justia.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Rathbone as Wolfingham (Not)

23 Dec

December 22, 1938

Basil Rathbone today seemed destined to play another of the “heavy” roles that have made im one of the screen’s most famed menaces. Hal Wallis i negotiating a deal with Rathbone, wherein he would play the part of Lord Wolfington in The Sea Hawk.

Errol Flynn already has been announced for the star role in the picture, which will be Seton I. Miller’s revision of the Raphael Sabatini thriller. Rathbone, as Queen Elizabeth’s advisor, was in mind when Miller wrote the script.

If the deal goes through, this will be the fourth picture in which Flynn and Rathbone have played together. The other three are Captain Blood, Robin Hood, and The Dawn Patrol. Michael Curtiz probably will direct The Sea Hawk. He piloted Captain Blood.

Has any fencing menace ever fought better, or died better, than Basil Rathbone? I think not.
(Certainly not Henry Daniell!)

— Gentleman Tim

 

A Bloody Good Review

20 Dec

December 20, 2008

The Hollywood Immortals Who were Made by Blood

Flynn, De Havilland, Korngold

Errol Flynn: His sword carved his name across the continents – and his glory across the seas!

Flynn had only moderate acting experience. His roles in the four films he made since 1933 were small and somewhat unimpressive. Who remembers him as Fletcher Christian, for example. But he improved so rapidly in Blood that many early scenes were reshot. In fact, he ends up being quite good on screen, giving the impression of understanding his role, approaching his part, maybe, with the care of a Shakespearean actor. It’s a common appraisal but true: besides being able to flourish a sword better than anyone before or since, Flynn wore period clothes with style, as if he had stepped out of the past, or, as some have said, belonged there.

He spoke the convoluted lines naturally and with conviction. Not easy. The stilted quaintness and archaisms of the dialogue are largely retained from Rafael Sabatini’s 1922 novel, thanks to Casey Robinson’s screenplay. Yes, the words have a certain fascination because they are so quaint, so different from normal usage and seem to fit imagined 17th-century speech: “Faith, yes, I don’t doubt it. You’ve the looks and manners of a hangman.” “It’s entirely innocent I am.” “Bedad, we’ll have a crew yet!” “ … while I, who hate this pestilential island—well, such are the quirks of circumstance.” —All lines delivered by Flynn!

Olivia de Havilland: Her talent, beauty and charisma were resplendent

As for Olivia de Havilland, who had made only one previous film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier that year, Blood offered a much larger role. Her girlish and virginal persona would endure essentially unchanged in the seven subsequent films she made with Flynn, and the two would become one of Hollywood’s great romantic screen couples, á la Tracy and Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall. The charisma between the two, immediately evident in Blood, persists resplendently in all their films.

Erich Korngold: His film scoring changed everything

A Viennese composer of operas and chamber music, once a child prodigy, Korngold had worked with de Havilland on the Shakespeare movie arranging Mendelssohn’s music. Warner Bros. was so impressed they asked him to write an original score for a “little” movie they had just finished. Korngold, without seeing Blood, said no, but after WB’s insistence and a private screening, he was so moved by the film’s charm and humor* that he agreed to write the music.

The humor that so impressed Korngold runs throughout the film. A recurring joke is Governor Steed’s (George Hassell) bout with the gout. Following a slave branding, the next shot shows the governor in a close-up. “What a cruel shame,” he says, “that any man is made to suffer so.”

What Korngold didn’t know—what WB had failed to tell him—was that he had only three weeks.

With time running out, he borrowed parts of two Franz Liszt tone poems, Mazeppa and Prometheus, to support the noisy battle scenes, interspersed with previous Korngold music from the film. While movie composers today appropriate the classics as their own, usually without acknowledgment, Korngold insisted his main title credit read “Arrangements by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.” This automatically disqualified Blood for nomination as Best Score, which it surely would have received; the composer would win the next year for Anthony Adverse.

Korngold had a large part—a very large part—in the overwhelming success of Captain Blood. A contemporary equivalent would be John Williams’ impact with Jaws (1975) or, even more so, the first of the Star Wars films (1977), which, in fact, is an obvious homage to the Korngoldian style—the lyrical, richly orchestrated, heart-on-sleeve ardor of 19th-century music.

Audiences who first heard Blood were astounded. They had never heard such music, not even compared with Max Steiner’s ground breaking King Kong (1933). The orchestra which recorded the music to film, the studio heads who saw the completed movie before release and the public which attended the country’s theaters—none of them had ever heard such music from a motion picture—a large orchestra by studio standards, complicated orchestration, big, luscious sound, dramatic music that perfectly underpinned the screen. Blood remains a milestone in film scoring, and Korngold would contribute to six more Flynn films.

Blood and his crew setting sail from Port Royal is one of the most lingering images in the film. He and Arabella exchange forlorn glances, he from the ship, she from shore, captured in multiple dissolves and supported by Korngold’s swelling music, horns echoing at the conclusion. (The scene, by the way, is replicated in The Sea Hawk [1940], Korngold and Flynn in tandem, only with Brenda Marshall as a pale stand-in for Olivia.) Later, before the final sea battle, when Arabella is put ashore in a longboat, there’s a reprise of that first separation, the two again staring after each other, if not to swelling, then certainly to lushly romantic music—horns again prominent.

Most critics say that as early as Anthony Adverse and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Korngold began experimenting with pitching the key of the music just beneath the actors’ voices. It began, actually, with Blood, if not sooner. Perhaps the best example, in any of his film scores, of how he unifies music with the screen image is the pillory scene between Blood and Jeremy Pitt (Ross Alexander), how the music—the second theme—changes in ambience, orchestration and volume, according to the emotions of the two men. Likewise, in the final love scene (“Whom else would I love?” Arabella asks), the music hesitates, softens, speeds up, becomes richer or changes in instrumentation, even disappears at one point, based on the tempo and emotion of the dialogue.

Thank you, Maestro Korngold, for this and all the your magnificent film scores. Your reward: The new career that save your life and the lives of your family.
.

And thank you, Errolivia, for the greatest swashbuckler and for being the most romantic co-stars in the history of Hollywood. Your reward: This kiss:

— Gentleman Tim

 

Train to the Trail — Beginning 80 Years Ago Today

13 Dec

December 13-14-15, 1940


Contemporary news accounts:

Again the Old Santa Fe Trail”. The New York Times. December 8, 1940. p. 188.
Schallert, Edwin (December 13, 1940).

“Celebrities En Route to Film Event”. Los Angeles Times. p. 28. Daugherty, Frank (December 14, 1940).

“Santa Fe Greets ‘Trail’ Film With a Three-Day Fiesta: Parade of Indian Tribes, Official Reception Held”. The Christian Science Monitor.

— Gentleman Tim

 

“Cupid” Hill – The World’s Greatest Archer

13 Nov

Howard Hill
Born November 13. 1899

Howard Hill was an expert bowman, long regarded “The World’s Greatest Archer”. He established the record for winning the most bow-and-arrow field tournaments in succession, a total of 196 competitions. He also wrote several leading books on the topic. Additionally, he was a tremendous athlete, most notably in football and baseball.

Among his many achievements in archery, Howard Hill in 1928 set a new world record for the farthest recorded flight shot with a bow and arrow, at 391 yards. That same year, he won his 196th field archery competition in a row. Hill, though, was not only one of the most decorated archers in the modern era of target shooting, hunting, and flight archery competitions, he was also a celebrated writer and producer. During his career, he produced 23 films about archery for Warner Bros. He also produced 10 different films of his own and was a technical adviser in many more motion pictures, providing his expertise in the field.

Howard Splitting the Arrow

Forward to Howard’s book, WILD ADVENTURE
Written by Errol

When you meet Howard Hill you know darn well you have met him before, but you can not remember where or when.

Let me solve your problem. If, like myself, you sometimes find yourself hanging on a bar rail and staring over the head of the bar-tender, behind those character-destroying bottles of Four Posies or Old Step Mother, you will spot Hill. There you will see a reproduction of a painting, the cultural contribution of some beer cartel like Somebody and Rusch, depicting Custer’s Last Stand. That American aborigine, that Indian on the piebald pony is Hill. Yes, the guy giving out with the blood­curdling war whoop, drawing a bead on the heroic general (if a bead can be drawn with a bow and arrow Hill is the one who can do it) is our boy. This is no quaint flight of fancy; It has to be Hill. God knows, I have stared at both Hill and his weapon often enough, chilled to the marrow.

When Hill goes after any living creature with his bow for whatever reason, whether for food, motion pictures or sport, he has the same intensity, the same piercing black eyes, the same unmistakable snarl, leering with the triumph of the Indian about to wade up to his navel in the gore of the Paleface, He may be stalking only a rabbit, but it is still Hill.

He calls himself a Cre, I think, and is inordinately proud of it, But he is a real Indian, make no mistake, as this Paleface knows. Confronted by Hill bearing down upon me over the bar on that pinto pony charging over countless hordes of Four Posies, I have always felt a keen sympathy for the unlucky Custer.

It is only our long and enduring friendship (based upon a mutual love for hunting and the Great Outdoors) that has induced me to write this foreword to his book, a thing I would do for no one else. As yet, being on a different continent from him at the moment, I have not had a gander at Howard’s book, but I am sure it is a work calculated to bring out the best kind of savagery in American youth. The book is a cinch to stir many a nervous pulse as Hill has stirred mine in the past. It has to be filled with wild adventure. In it naturally, he will not tell you of the time we were out hunting mountain lions, and having just lassoed one, he had the frenzied brute screeching and turning somersaults at the end of a rope snubbed around a tree. Suddenly Howard yelled, “Here, hold this, and I did, only to find out that I had hold of the tail of the enraged cat instead of the rope. Nor, I suppose, will this savage recount another incident that occurred while we were hunting wild boar on Sana Cruz Island when he left me hanging on the side of a cliff several hundred feet above the rocky sea-shore. While he sat in safety fifty yards away, eating boiled eggs and going into sporadic gales of laughter, he watched me suffer the terrors of chronic vertigo, too petrified to move an inch. Yes, Hill is an Indian.

Although no Indian myself, and having no claim to being perhaps even an exceptional hunter, yet I do have much in common with Hill. The wailing note of the loon floating across a placid lake, the distant high pitched cry of the timber wolf, the roar of the jaguar and the blood-curling cough of the charging wild boar, call to some deep inner response within us both that is not acquainted with modern civilization.

“Cupid” Hill, as I have called Howard ever since we first met while making the picture Robin Hood, has done things with a bow and arrow that few have essayed with the rifle and I for one am going to read his book with great nostalgia, for some of the truly wonderful moments of my life have been spent tagging at Howard’s heels on our hunting trips in many strange corners of the world.

Errol Flynn

Rome, italy

Errol-Related Filmography

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
– Technical adviser and archery instructor

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
– Captain of Archers (credited)
– Elwyn the Welshman (uncredited)

Sword Fishing (October 21, 1939)
– Short Documentary – Himself

Shark Hunting (November 9, 1940)
– Short Documentary – Himself

They Died with Their Boots On (1941)
– Stunts (uncredited)

San Antonio (1945)
– Henchman (uncredited)

Deep Sea Fishing (1952)
– Short documentary – Himself

Cruise of the Zaca
(Released December 6, 1952)
– Short Documentary
– Filmed 1946-47

— Gentleman Tim

 

Birthday Tribute to Bad Prince John

10 Nov

THE TORRENTIALLY TALENTED CLAUDE RAINS
ONE OF TYE GOLDEN AGES GREATEST ACTORS
BORN NOVEMBER 10, 1883

— Gentleman Tim

 

Errol Full of Arrows

04 Nov

November 4, 1950

New York Times

“Rocky Mountain (1950) – Errol Flynn is an ever gallant fellow, but he seems to carry gallantry too far in Warner Brothers’ “Rocky Mountain,” which came to the Strand yesterday. So far, in fact, does he carry it in guiding a beautiful dame from a horde of ravaging Indians that he ends up as full of arrows as a war-bonnet is full of feathers. And that’s about as far as one can go. The only valid explanation for (Mr. Flynn’s conclusive gallantry is that he here represents a Confederate captain and therefore a Southern gentleman. And it seems that a standing rule at Warners is that a Southern gentleman will lay down his life for a lady, even though it means disobeying Robert E. Lee.”

The Errol Flynn Rory knew…

— Gentleman Tim