Archive for the ‘Newspapers & Magazines’ Category

A Deep Dive

03 Aug

Into the Pioneering Photography of Peter Stackpole on August 1 and 2, 1941

Photographer Peter Stackpole (1913-1997), was the son of artists, Ralph Stackpole and Adele Barnes Stackpole. Educated in the San Francisco Bay area and Paris, Peter Stackpole grew up under the influence of his parent’s friends and peers, Dorthea Lange, Edward Weston and Diego Rivera. Maturing in this supportive artist community, Stackpole began developing his photographic style at a young age. Stackpole’s appreciation for the hand-held camera and his developing technical expertise found a perfect subject in the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

In 1935, twenty-five of Stackpole’s bridge photographs were exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art. This led to several freelance projects and in 1936, when Henry Luce established his ground-breaking “picture” magazine LIFE, Stackpole was hired as one of the four staff photographers. Stackpole worked for LIFE from its founding until 1961, moving gracefully between photographing the glamorous and young in Hollywood, and the more routine lives of the laboring class, always endeavoring to present his subjects authentically.

“Stackpole’s portraiture of Hollywood stars created approachable and endearing characters, and is recognized as a pioneering contribution to “media culture,” solidifying Hollywood icons as a subject of fascination within popular culture.”

“Stackpole’s most dramatic moment happened in 1941, when he was assigned to rendezvous with Errol Flynn’s yacht Sirocco to take underwater pictures of Flynn spearing fish.”

“I used to be a kind of beach bum between assignments, but it never occurred to me to take underwater pictures,” Stackpole said. “I’d never seen an underwater camera. Fins weren’t invented yet, and face masks were few. I had a friend make up a plastic box to hold my oldest, most expendable Leica.”

“Aboard the yacht, Flynn fitted him with a pair of hand-carved wooden goggles to use underwater. Stackpole got 15 decent shots before his camera flooded [including] one shot of Flynn climbing the mast of the Sirocco.”

The photos from this shoot were not only technically and artistically masterful, they were also taken during what later proved to be the most tragically pivotal times in Errol’s career – a time he came to perpetually rue because of Miss Peggy LaRue.

— Gentleman Tim


Figure This Quiz!

01 Aug

The following three sets of measurements were recorded as belonging to three Hollywood stars circa 1942. One set belonged to the mighty Flynn. Which set was it? To whom did the other two sets belong to??

Thank you to one of the world’s best Flynn researchers for finding these figures! Very few measure up to him!

Irish blood in all three.

All worked for Warners.

One was a star before Errol and later married a good friend of Errol. He, though, was not a good friend to Errol – likely out of bitter envy because he did not generate the sparks or voltage Errol did, either with women or on screen. In fact, even his wife liked Errol more than she liked him.

The other was a friend to Errol, but played enemies of him in two films. He became a big star after Errol did.

— Gentleman Tim


Sixty-Six Years Ago Quiz

17 Jul

Sixty-six years ago Errol selected the cover photo for a magazine because it reminded him of the location depicted below. Where is the location and why was it memorable to him??

Added Friday 10 p.m. EST

— Gentleman Tim


Cover of The Queenslander — July 13, 1938

13 Jul

The Errol Hood cover below was selected last week as one of her top ten favorite Queenslander covers of all time by Joan Bruce, Specialist Librarian at the Queensland State Library in Brisbane.

The Queenslander was the weekly summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier, the leading journal in the colony — and later, federal state—of Queensland since the 1850s. The Queenslander was launched by the Brisbane Newspaper Company in 1866, and discontinued in 1939.

— Gentleman Tim


June 6 – What Quiz is This?

06 Jun

— Gentleman Tim


Errol On Top of the World — LIFE Magazine: May 23, 1938

23 May

— Gentleman Tim


May Day No. 2: The Legend of Maid Marian

01 May

In addition to its connection to Robin Hood, May Day has had a very long and very strong association with the Virgin Mary, most especially among Roman Catholics. The legend of Maid Marian may have arisen from that association, as did apparently Olivia’s costuming, as well as her physical appearance, in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

In the 1400s Catholics, as all Christians were at the time, in England celebrated May Day on the religious holiday of Whitsun featuring a quasi-religious rebel who robbed and murdered government tax collectors and wealthy landowners in plays and games. Agrarian discontent lay at the foundations of the feudal system that was built on the shoulders of toiling peasants. As time went on, the characters of Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale entered May Day rituals as well. Robin Hood was actually shown at this time participating in Mariology, the cult of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Originally Maid Marian (or the French Marion) was a shepherdess associated with the Queen or Lady of May or May Day. Keeping this in mind, “the world’s foremost authority on Robin Hood,” author Jim Lees in The Quest for Robin Hood set forth that the hypothesis that Maid Marian may originally have been the personification of the Virgin Mary and derived from the older French tradition of a shepherdess named Marion and her shepherd lover Robin in Adam de la Halle’s Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, 1283. In fact, Marian’s association with May Day celebrations lasted long after Robin Hood’s did, as pointed out by Scottish born poet Alexander Barclay in 1500, “some merry fytte of Maid Marian or else of Robin Hood.”

May Day in the Catholic Church

The Legend of Robin Hood and Maid Marian

Here’s a May Day Celebration in England from the Days of Errol Hood and Maid Olivia:

Hell, even atheist Katie Hepburn celebrated May Day!

Here’s a majestically beautiful May Day ceremony in 2018 from a Catholic School in St. Louis:

— Gentleman Tim


May Day No. 1: The Legend of Robin Hood

01 May

No other aspect of the history of the Robin Hood legend deserves more notice than the hero’s participation in the May Day Games.

May Day Games and the Robin Hood Legend

Robin Hood ballads reflect the discontent of ordinary people with political conditions in medieval England. They were especially upset about new laws that kept them from hunting freely in forests that were now claimed as the property of kings and nobles. Social unrest and rebellion swirled through England at the time the Robin Hood ballads first became popular. This unrest erupted in an event called the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

The earliest known mention of Robin Hood is in a ballad called Piers Plowman, in which a character mentions that he knows “rimes of Robin Hood.” This and other references from the late 1300s suggest that Robin Hood was well established as a popular legend by that time. One source of that legend may lie in the old French custom of celebrating May Day. A character called Robin des Bois, or Robin of the Woods, was associated with this spring festival and may have been transplanted to England—with a slight name change. May Day celebrations in England in the 1400s featured a festival “king” called Robin Hood.

Robin Hood Ballads

Dressing up as the medieval social justice warrior was among young Henry VIII’s favourite pastimes.

Henry VIII Joins the Party

— Gentleman Tim


Errol’ s Last (?) Will and Testament filed April 27, 1954

27 Apr

Flynn Will Omits Bev


— A fight brewed today over the estate of actor Errol Flynn, whose will was filed for probate here Wednesday. The will, dated April 27, 1954, left most of his estate to his widow, Mrs. Patrice Wymore Flynn, with specific bequests to his children and parents. In Hollywood, his former wife, Mrs. Nora Haymes, said Flynn had told her there was another will dated sometime in 1957 in which he left everything to his children and parents. She said she planned to consult an attorney to protect the interests of her two daughters by Flynn.

Melvin Belli, San Francisco attorney representing Beverly Aadland, Flynn’s 17-year-old companion for the past year, said he was amazed that no provision had been made for his client He said he knew Flynn wanted to provide for Beverly and Belli said he would do something about it. Flynn and his widow had been separated for some time while he travelled to Europe and the Caribbean with Beverly.

— Gentleman Tim


Insouciant Like Flynn

18 Apr

April 18, 1938

Sidney Skolsky Presents

Hollywood Citizen News

Errol Flynn and Warner Brothers are feuding, with Mr. Flynn having told the studio that he will return from his vacation when he feels like it.


April 18, 2005


No film star ever bettered Errol Flynn in tights, but he was the soul of insouciance even when he wore a cavalry uniform or bluejeans. That’s the revelation of “Errol Flynn: The Signature Collection” (Warner Home Video), which features the athletic, rakish star not just as an inspired Sir Francis Drake take-off in the vivid “The Sea Hawk” (1940) and as an uncharacteristically stiff Earl of Essex in “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” (1939) but also as a gallant General George A. Custer in “They Died with Their Boots On” (1941) and as a gritty frontier sheriff in the colorful Western potboiler “Dodge City” (1939). The set includes a surprisingly frank biographical portrait, “The Adventures of Errol Flynn.”

But the key film in the set is the sweeping, ebullient swashbuckler “Captain Blood” (1935). Three years before he became the most dashing Robin Hood yet (in “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” available on a separate Warner DVD), the young Australian actor, in his Hollywood breakthrough, proved his panache at righting wrongs. In this film, based on Rafael Sabatini’s 1922 novel about seventeenth-century pirates of the Caribbean and directed by Michael Curtiz, Flynn is Peter Blood, a peaceful doctor who makes the mistake of treating a rebel during the tumultuous reign of King James II and ends up a slave in Jamaica. The ravishing Olivia de Havilland (Flynn’s frequent co-star) plays the feisty, sympathetic niece of the tyrannical British slave owner; Blood and a barracks full of enslaved rebels (good men all) make their escape by stealing a Spanish ship and becoming buccaneers.

Flynn combined aristocratic dash with rebel flair—in “Captain Blood,” he defies the ruling order with absolute confidence. At one point, de Havilland says, “I believe you’re talking treason.” Flynn replies, “I hope I’m not obscure.” (This exchange has a close echo in “Robin Hood,” when de Havilland exclaims, “You speak treason!” and Flynn responds, “Fluently.”) In his autobiography, “My Wicked, Wicked Ways,” Flynn wrote that “youthful and virile roles” like cowboys and swordsmen “require gusto and genuine interest—such as I had felt at the time I was making ‘Captain Blood’ and ‘Robin Hood.’ ” He’s right: in these movies, his exuberance irradiates the screen.

Published in April 18, 2005, print edition of The New Yorker.

— Gentleman Tim