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Archive for the ‘New Guinea’ Category

CROCODILE!

12 May

May 13, 1936

Evening Herald Examiner

He-Men of Filmdom Tell “Worst Fears”

Can you imagine those big “he-men” of the screen – Errol Flynn, Clsrk Gable, George Brent, and Victor McLaglen – having the jitters from fright.

Flynn’s great scare came six years ago in New Guinea when he was prospecting for gold. In the middle of a wide stream his raft fell to pieces. He and six natives started swimming for shore, when Flynn felt something bump his knee.

“Alligator!” cried one of the natives, and immediately disappeared with a blood-curdling scream. Flynn and the rest made the shore safely, but Flynn had to examiner his hair to examiner his hair in the mirror to convince himself it hasn’t turned wjite.


— Gentleman Tim

 

Stuck on Thursday Island

11 May

Being that it’s Tuesday, here’s a post on Thursday Island.*

* For those who may not know where Thursday Island is, it’s northeast of Friday Island, southwest of Wednesday Island, with Tuesday Islets east-northeast of it.


May 11, 1936

Harrison Carroll
Evening Herald Examiner

Quarantine authorities have gummed up Errol Flynn’s plan to make a Hollywood servant out of his former house-boy in New Guinea. According to a cable just received by the star, the boy is being held on Thursday Island, following an outbreak of contagious illness on the ship in which he was traveling to California.

A couple of years before Flynn made it to Hollywood, during his last days in New Guinea, Joan Crawford starred as Sadie Thompson in “Rain”, a “shocking” film based on Somerset Maugham’s most famous short story Errol would have definitely known of the film, because Maugham’s story was based on a trip he took to Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea, the film of which came out while Errol was Down Under. Maughman visited the island because a friend of his in Sydney warned him not to go. So he went and stayed three weeks..

“[It’s] the last place made by God, that there was nothing to see there and he would probably have his throat cut if he went there.”

When he arrived at Thursday Island, he was greeted by a woman in her nightgown. That and the island’s many colourful characters inspired him to write a story, about a ship that is forced to stop on Thursday Island because of an infectious disease outbreak!

Rain became Maughan’s most successful short story, a rage on Broadway, a silent film by Gloria Swanson, a talkie in 1932 by Joan Crawford, and remade by Rita Hayworth as “Miss Sadie Thompson”.

“IF YOU ARE EASILY SHOCKED – RUN FOR SHELTER!”

— Gentleman Tim

 

To Those Who Knew Him When…

03 May

May 3, 1939
Wireless Weekly

Glamor Man of Screen

Errol Flynn Is Real Life Adventurer

An Unbiased Biography

To those Sydney people “who knew him when,” the screen success of Errol Flynn is just another adventurous lucky break of this incredibly adventurous but capable lad. Flynn’s “official” biography, as set down by himself and his employers, runs counter at several points to the facts of his life as he told them to his acquaintances in Sydney when he was basking in the first beams of the film spotlight after appearing in “In the Wake of the Bounty.”

Flynn is the son of zoologist Theodore Thomson Flynn of Queen’s University, Belfast. He claims to be of the same blood-stock that produced Fletcher Christian, the famous Bounty mutineer, and he claims to have played with Fletcher Christian’s sword as a youngster.

By the time he was thirteen, Errol had attempted running away from home three times. At eighteen he was a member of the British Olympic boxing team. At nineteen he was “hoofed out” of school in Sydney, and he claims he began sailing the Pacific islands as master of a 20-ton yawl. He claims to have guided a party
of film-makers through the New Guinea jungles, and admits having been in the lucrative “recruiting” racket there.

First Film Role

Flynn claims that his movie career began when the party he had guided remembered him, and asked him to enact Fletcher Christian in their film of the Bounty mutiny. His work before the cameras was completed within a few days. Having tasted life in the movies, Flynn decided that that was the life for him.

By his own methods of exploits he did his Job of “selling himself to the Hollywood producers so well that his first part in Hollywood was a starring role!

Worried Employers

Flynn has married Lili Damita and has made a terrific lot of money, has run away from work to enjoy a dangerous sojourn on the Spanish battlefields, has caused his employers a lot of worry and also made himself one of the most glamorous film stars ever known.

Natural successor to Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn is much more picturesque and more genuinely adventurous in his own off-screen life. At 30 he looks back upon exploits of the sort that most men believe are true only in fiction.

Errol Flynn, at 30, one of the big stars of Hollywood, was an adventurer who knew Sydney well only a few years ago.

But, with it all, he has made himself one of the top box office stars in Hollywood, and therein lies his laugh on the Sydney people who deride his smooth-sounding adventures as tall tales.

His weekly pay cheque is not a work of fiction!

— Gentleman Tim

 

Errol Meets Erben — April 14, 1933

15 Apr

On April 14, 1933, in Salamaua, New Guinea, Errol met Hermann Erben for the first time. It was a momentous event in Errol’s life.


— 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

 

The Prince, the Pauper, and the Malarial Superstar (Plus a Sick Director)

26 Jan

The Prince, the Pauper, and the Malarial Superstar (Plus a Sick Director)

January 27, 1937

Harrison Carroll

Evening Herald Express

Errol Flynn is back at work on The Prince and the Pauper after days out with the flu and malaria.

January 28, 1937

Elizabeth Yeaman

Hollywood Citizen News

The Prince and the Pauper has been plagued by flu. Errol Flynn, the star, was out of the cast for two weeks with a combined attack of flu and malaria. He finally reported for work on Monday. And todaydirector William Keighley took to his bed with flu. So William Dieterle has been rushed in to complete the picture which should be finished within another week.

HISTORY AND DOCUMENTATION OF ERROL’S MALARIA

Part 1

Errol’s Malaria

Errol’s Malaria — Part 1 — Blood-Thirsty Ann

Part II

Bitten in New Britain

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

Part III

Recurrences

Errol’s Malaria – Part 3 – Reports of Recurrences

— Gentleman Tim

 

Flynn Being Flynn

28 Sep

September 28, 1935

Harrison Carroll

One of the years strangest sites in Hollywood may be Errol Flynn acting in the story of his own life.

The new Warner Brothers’ discovery, who’s also the husband of Lili Damita, wants to put the story of his adventures into a scenario and, if the studio accepts it, to play the leading role himself.

Flynn could start the story in 1928 when he boxed for Ireland in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam. He’d include his experiences as a member of the British constabulary in New Guinea, his discovery of gold in the savage infested country, his operations as a skipper of a trading ship in the South Pacific, and his near death in a typhoon.

The young Irish actor, who’ll make his big did for fame in Captain Blood, would collaborate on the scenario with an experienced Hollywood writer.

If the story is carried on to Flynn’s arrival in Hollywood, conceivably, his romance with Lili Damita may be included.

Starting with his time on the Irish Olympic Boxing team might have proven a one-round knockout:

Flynn on Sirocco may have been better place to start, leaving out Amsterdam altogether:

Few men have ever survived adventures like those Errol experienced in New Guinea.
Only unholy matrimony with Lili Dynamita was more perilous.

Here she is, the ultimate Miss Adventure herself, Tiger ‘Lil,
Pre-Code in ’34, and post-Flynn in a few misadventurous years more:

— Gentleman Tim

 

A Flynn Farm Call for Hoppers and Cockatoos

08 Aug

August 9, 1939

The Wireless Weekly

Errol Flynn Wants Australian Pets
Cockatoos and Wallabies For Hollywood Home

Hollywood, the land of milk and honey, the home of plenty. Just everything in the world can be purchased there — except a pair of wallabies and a pair of those good old Australian cockatoos.

Errol Flynn, dashing Australian star, lately seen here in “Dodge City,” has been rushing round lately building and furnishing his new home, which now seems to be complete — but still not to the satisfaction of Errol.

In a letter to Sydney, Errol states that, while his home is all that could be desired, it misses out on just two things, and those things – shades of Australia! — are wallabies and cockatoos.

One would expect Mr. Flynn to favor perhaps a lion cub or a polar bear. But no; a pair of hoppers are his prime interest, with a pair of old yellow crests as second favorite.

Last week, Dorothy Flukes, of the Warner Bros.’ Australian office, told country listeners of the interest the Flynns are taking in their lovely new home, and she went on to give a few highlights of Errol’s life since reaching Hollywood.

Can Anybody Oblige?

Pearl fishing, prospecting, island trading, and even a little black-birding all supplied the earlier background for this colorful character.

If anybody has a pair of wallabies or cockatoos, or even one of these animals or birds that they would like to send to Mr. and Mrs. Flynn as a present for their new home, then a line to Miss Flukes, care of Warner Bros. Pictures, Sydney, will take care of everything.

Miss Flukes will arrange for cartage, transport, customs, feeding, etc., and at the same time arrange for Errol Flynn and his beautiful wife (Lili Damita) to send to the giver a personal letter of thanks and a photograph of the pets in their new home.

— Gentleman Tim

 

A Speedie Recovery

27 Jul

July 27, 1936

Jimmy Starr
LA Evening Herald Express

Eight years ago when adventuresome Errol Flynn, now Warner’s new film rave, represented the British Government at New Guinea, one of his many odd duties was to act as physician and surgeon.

When a native named Joe Speedie appeared at headquarters with a gangrenous toe as a result of having been bitten by a poisonous fish, it was “Dr” Flynn who performed the necessary amputation of the infected toe. The emergency operation saved Joe’s life.

Last week, “Dr” Flynn received a belated fee for his surgical gesture, a valuable gold-headed cane. Joe explained in the accompanying letter that he had seen Errol in Captain Blood and was most happy to have located his benefactor of long ago. And Errol’s quite proud of his ‘fee.’

The article says that Speedie was bitten on the toe by a poisonous fish. What it likely meant is that he was bitten or injected by a venomous fish.

Venom is injected. Poison is ingested.

“Poisonous fish are fish that are poisonous to eat. They contain toxins which are not destroyed by the digestive systems of animals that eat the fish. Venomous fish also contain toxins, but do not necessarily cause poisoning if they are eaten, since the digestive system often destroys their venom.”

I believe the fish which “bit” (i.e. injected) venom into Joe’s toe may have been a Stonefish. They are prevalent in the waters off Papua New Guinea and are “the most dangerous venomous fish in the world.

They are the most venomous fish in the world. The attack can last as little as 0.015 seconds! When not chasing their prey, they move slowly. But they’re venom is speedy, more speedy than Speedie.

“Stonefish are venomous marine fish classified in the genus Synanceja and the family Synancejidae, found in shallow waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific. They are sluggish, bottom-dwelling fish that live among rocks or coral and in mud flats and estuaries. Thickset fish with large heads and mouths, small eyes, and bumpy skins covered with wart-like lumps and, sometimes, fleshy flaps, they rest on the bottom, unmoving, blending almost exactly with their surroundings in form and color. They are dangerous fish. Difficult to see, they can, when stepped on, inject quantities of venom through grooves in their dorsal-fin spines. Wounds produced by these fish are intensely painful and sometimes fatal.”

Watch your step! They can also live and attack on land for up to 24 hours!!

— Gentleman Tim

— Gentleman Tim

 

Rough-Cut History

19 Jul

July 19, 1935

Harrison Carroll
Evening Herald Express

Filmland learned for the first time today the romantic history of the diamond that Errol Flynn, dark-haired Irish actor, put upon the finger of Lili Damita, who is now his bride.

It was five years ago that Flynn came into possession.

A young adventurer, he was working as a British agent in New Guinea to help preserve peace among the native tribes. One day, he made a gold strike in the jungle.

Trekking back to civilization, Flynn sold his discovery for $10,000 in gold. He decided to leave New Guinea, but couldn’t carry his new found riches. So he put the money into rough-cut diamonds.

It was one of these diamonds that the young actor soon to play the starring role in the Warner film, Captain Blood, had made into the engagement ring his new bride now wears.

— Gentleman Tim

 
 
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