Archive for the ‘Mail Bag’ Category

Mail Bag! Rare Photo of John Decker with Errol Flynn & Flynn Portrait!

16 Nov

Our chum, Norman, sends this great photo of artist John Decker posing with his subject Errol Flynn …

Tanks, Norman!

— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! Marvelous Kirt Doke Errol Flynn Paintings!

31 Jul

Rory Flynn received an email from Kirk Doke and he has kindly allowed us to publish it here on the blog:

Dear Rory,

Congratulations on the publication your new book.  I purchased a copy of The Baron a couple of years ago and I enjoyed reading it very, very much.  Thank you for all of the hard work that you have conducted on your father’s behalf.  All Flynn fans are deeply indebted to you for your remarkable passion.

I read on the EF blog today that the Decker portrait of Errol Flynn was recently restored.  That is great news and I hope you enjoy the work very much.  Your father’s interest in art has always fascinated me.

Please find attached images of Errol Flynn that I have painted.  I am contacting you via a secure educational email system and this is not a solicitation.

For the last 35 years I have taught and exhibited art.  Before academia called, I was fortunate to work for a year in a movie memorabilia store in Greenwich Village.  It was there that I started collecting Errol Flynn items.

Five years ago, I retired from full time teaching and transitioned to part time, which now allows me more time to paint.  My goal is to produce a couple EF paintings per year, with ten now being close to exhibition form.  I enjoy touching them up now and then.

The main focus has been the swashbuckling movies and I am moving into the war and westerns next. The works are painted in acrylic on canvas and all paintings are 30″ x 48.”

I wish to keep the series intact, and they will not be offered commercially.

In a few years I will be contacting regional art centers and museums to exhibit a retrospective of my career and I plan to exhibit them at that time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy my work.

Very Best,

Kirt G. Doke
M.A., M.A., M.F.A.
Adjunct Professor Art
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Mt. Pleasant, MI


— David DeWitt


Rory Flynn Restores John Decker Portrait!

28 Jul

Rory Flynn, daughter of Errol Flynn announces on the blog today that she has fully restored the famous John Decker portrait of her father:

During my childhood this portrait always hung at Mulholland Farm in my father’s den … the artist was John Decker most famous for his portraits and characterizations of Hollywood celebrities Katherine Hepburn, Buster Keaton, John Barrymore, Jimmy Durante and others as historical figures.

He was quite well-known, and a friend of my father who invested in an art gallery with him in Hollywood, and I think he painted this in 1947… many years later, another wife later, the portrait was taken to Jamaica where it remained for about 25 years when it was almost completely destroyed in a hurricane.

The water damage was horrible.

My stepmother relocated it to the basement where it sat all these years until I was able to retrieve it after her death. I handed it over to the art curator John Short and John Hamm who run the North Carolina Gallery of Fine Art where it was beautifully and miraculously restored to its former condition with almost exactly the same frame that my father had made for it.

I am thrilled and excited to have this hanging in my home and I can’t thank these gentlemen enough for the year that it took for them to restore it …


Rory Flynn with Curator John Short

Click image to enlarge

… thanks, Rory!

“North Carolina Gallery of Fine Art specializes in 19th, 20th and 21st century museum quality art. Our special exhibit is the “Face of Lincoln” bronze sculpture by Robert Merrell Gage (American 1892-1981). The gallery also provides art restoration services for paintings and frames, art appraisals and the professional curation of small private and business art collections”…

— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! Flowers for Flynn’s Birthday! June 20, 1909 … in 2021!

20 Jun

Thanks Selene …

— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! Reagan, Flynn and Wayne?

15 May

Our Portugal based friend Audie spotted this and send it along …

Here’s the nearest that John Wayne and Ronald Reagan came to acting in the same feature film. (Sadly, not all that close):

Olivia, Flynn and a future President (as George Custer).

In April, 1940, Warner Bros. set up the semi-Western Santa Fe Trail as a vehicle for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The plot followed the exploits of army officers J.E.B. Stuart and George Armstrong Custer after their graduation from West Point.

As per usual, the brothers Warner were free and easy with facts, given that Stuart graduated from the academy in 1854 and Custer matriculated in 1861, and the two men didn’t know one another. The Hollywood rationale? “Come on, already! This is a movie! At least both of them graduated from the Point!”

Duke Wayne, now in the A-list category thanks to Stagecoach and Dark Command, was approached by Warners to play the George Custer role. Wayne, however, turned up his nose at the part, having no desire to play second banana to Flynn (then Warner Bros.’s biggest star), even though the flick was a big-budget epic.

Undaunted, Warners cast contract player Dennis Morgan as Custer, but Denny fell out due to a scheduling conflict. At which point, up-and-comer Ronald Reagan, fresh from his triumph as George Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American, was hurriedly awarded the role.

Mr. Reagan, aware he was a last-minute replacement, later recalled how a frazzled studio tailor rushed into his dressing room to refit a Santa Fe Trail cavalry costume:

It occurred to me then that it would be just as easy someday to throw my clothes in a corner and hang some other actor’s in their place. …

If John Wayne had been less finicky about the parts he accepted, the “other actor” in Santa Fe Trail would have been the Big Cowboy and not Ronald Reagan portraying George A. Custer.

This is as close as the two ever got to acting in the same film: they were both offered the same part.

Postscript: “SFT” was a highly profitable film that boosted Reagan’s career. It fell into the Public Domain when United Artists Television neglected to renew the copyright.




— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! DEEP SPACE 9 & Errol Flynn?

09 May

Audie, our pal in Portugal sends this amusing note:


Am watching it now.
When Sisco asks where the hostage taker would like to be right now, this was his answer on the screen …
Later, he said, “Oh, hell, it’s probably raining in Tasmania, anyway …”

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Season 3, Episode 4: Set in San Francisco, 2024.


Thanks, Audie!

— David DeWitt

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Mail Bag! Nice Bio of Eric Wolfgang Korngold …

26 Apr

Our pal Jan van der Vliet sends this nice link to a detailed bio of Erich Wolfgang Korngold related to a DVD recording of The Adventures of Robin Hood:… – Thanks, Jan!

— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! Mark McSherry & Restoration of The Private Lives of Elisabeth and Essex

07 Apr

Warner Archive just posted the opening four minutes of their restoration on YouTube.

Hope the link works for you!



Thanks, Mark! Tip O’the hat ….

— David DeWitt


Posted in Mail Bag


Mail Bag! Eddie Sotto & Captain Blood Call Sheets!

06 Apr

I enjoyed the Laguna Beach then and now pictures you posted. Very nice. Years ago, I came across to complete production records for that film, even down to who the sword fighting doubles were on the beach and when they lost the sun. Very interesting stuff,
You can pretty much go day by day and scene by scene and even shot by shot of that film and know what time people came and left. A bit of a rabbit hole! But it’s a complete record of a classic film.




— David DeWitt


Mail Bag! Philip Gostelow Photography!

14 Mar

From time to time we like to promo the works of members who support The Errol Flynn Blog over the years and today photographer Philip Gostelow reaches out to us about his new website gallery:

“As a photographer I had the great opportunity to photograph a number of celebrities while based in Tokyo in the 90s.
“I’ve just launched a new web gallery on my web site offering for the first time limited edition prints. The first of these are portraits of Quentin Tarantino … please refer Facebook posting as following:
Purchasing Instructions –
“Would EFB be interested to post this offer, together with attached sample?”


Philip Gostelow 
photography + film…

Thanks, Philip!


— David DeWitt

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