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Archive for the ‘Shangheinz Shanties’ Category

Spongerob Errolpants

26 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

in January of 1947 the National Geographic Magazine published an article called “The Errol Flynn of Sponge Divers”.

The Errol of this and the Flynn of that were honorary titles at the time. But in the case of one exceptionally dangerous profession we can well picture our Hollywood hero genuinely taking a liking to the complimentary comparison.

World traveller and life time adventurer that he was, I wonder if he read this article and got the idea for the movie “MARU MARU” then and there, or if the namesake hotel in Tanzania did the deed.

Take a deep breath and dive in here yourselves: sanceau.com…

Enjoy,

 

 

— shangheinz

 

Stuntmen, stand-ins and stooges VII

02 Mar

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

the most gentlemanly stuntman of Errol was Patrick “Paddy” Crean. He doubled him in “The Master of Ballantrae” and “Against all flags”. An accomplished actor in his own right later in life with roles in “War and Peace” alongside Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn and  in “The naked Maya” with Ava Gardner, he is mostly remembered for his superb swordmanship. Until today a flagship workshop called “the Paddy Crean” is held in his honour in Canada. He reminisced about about Flynn fondly in his hard to find autobiography “More Champagne Darling” and gives quite an insight into the ill fated adventure (film) “The Story of William Tell”, where he was to appear as partisan pesant. The song in the end of the clip is most pleasant  for this class act choreographer naming both our Hollywood hero as well as this class act irish paesano.

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

An effigy for Errol

17 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I came across a curious item auctioned off last week bearing Errol`s (first) name.

The seller announced it like this:

Wonderfully expressive, signed vintage carved statue from Rose Hall, Jamaica, depicting a kneeling bearded gentleman with hands clasped around his middle. Solid, one piece carving from a dense, medium brown color wood, possibly mahogany, polished to a nice sheen, slight crack on base behind figure. Signed on underside of base, “Errol,” Rose Hall, Little River Ja(maica.) Coincidentally, the famous hotel in Jamaica, Rose Hall, is where legendary Hollywood actor Errol Flynn spent a great deal of time. Material: wood. Measurement: approximate 26″ (INCHES). Shipping: $100; different rate to Alaska, California, Hawaii & all International.

Now if it served him simply as a good luck charm, as epitome of virility or as a shield against evil spells we may never know, but it is attached to another Flynn film project of later years.

Our Hollywood hero contemplated making a movie out of  Herbert George de Lisser`s 1929 novel “The Witch from Rose Hall”. Mr. Lisser wrote for Jamaica`s The Gleaner and was the editor of the yearly “Rum Punch” publication about the island`s Who`s who and the How much…

In the book main character Robert Rutherford is sent to Jamaica to learn the planter`s business from the bottom. He becomes the overseer at Rose Hall. The owner, young widow Mrs. Palmer, whose three husbands have all died in suspicious circumstances, gets attracted to him. So does the housekeeper Millicent.

Read about fine line between fact and fiction here:

Annie Patterson: the “White Witch” of Rose Hall between Reality and Legend.

In April of 1957 a Gleaner article announced that the filming of “The White Witch of Jamaica” to begin the following year. Flynn would produce it together with director Marquis Warren from a screenplay by James Edward Grant (a John Wayne regular).

At first Vivian Leigh had been considered for the lead. Then it was Ava Gardner who took sole pole position. She had expressed interest in the project, since her long running contract with MGM would conveniently come to an end in 1958. The title of the movie had meanwhile expanded to “The White Witch of the Indies”.

On July 10th of `57 Errol wrote a letter to MGM studio head Benny Thaw to get green light for Ava`s particpation:

” I went with Grant to Madrid a few days ago to see Ava Gardner..Ava appeared extremely interested in this property, and doing it with me…I would like to ask you personally…if it is true that she will be free to make any deals outside of Metro in one year`s time. TWWOTI is perfect for her as a vehicle- so can you tell me if M. is of her opinion…that she will be free to contract for her services in about a year and two months from now. 

I shall certainly appreciate a personnal word from you, Benny. I hope  Life is as pleasant for you as it is for me here. Why don`t you take a look?” Sincerely EF

What sounded like a shoo in for success in terms of resurrecting an ailing career was not to be.

Maybe a rabbit`s foot would have brought more luck.

Enjoy,

 

 

 

— shangheinz

 

The Flynn Connection

03 Feb

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

this week two time Academy Award winner (Best Actor in 1971 for French Connection & Best Supporting Actor in 1992 for Unforgiven) and fine Flynnmate Gene Hackman celebrates his 90th birthday.

Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California on January 30 of 1930 and attributes his choice of becoming an actor to our Hollywood hero:

“It was an Errol Flynn picture that did it,” Hackman said. He doesn’t remember the title of the Flynn film, which likely would have been 1938’s “The Dawn Patrol” (Gene has a poster of this film in the pool billiard room of his house) or 1939’s “Dodge City,” or maybe even “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).

“Anyway, I’m watching this Errol Flynn picture, and all of a sudden I’m Errol Flynn. Then the movie’s over, I’m leaving the auditorium – still being Errol Flynn – and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the theater lobby.

“And I stop cold. I’m looking at myself in the mirror, and I’m this little kid – I’m no more Errol Flynn than the man in the moon – and then I ignore the mirror image, and I’m still Errol Flynn – at least, that’s how I feel – and that’s where and when it dawned on me: If the movies can engender this powerful illusion of realism, then regardless of what I look like, I can be anybody I want to be. I became fascinated with acting, got a job working in a theater when I was old enough, about age 14, and never really wanted any other career.”

Soon thereafter though he joined the Marines at underage 16. His parents had divorced when he was quite young. It was up to his maternal grandmother Beatrice to raise him in Danville, Illinois. He worked as a field radio operator  with the Army in China and promoted himself to bouncer and barkeeper when he left the Corps after 4 years. “Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors”

In his first small movie part he played opposite Warren Beatty in the film “Lilith” and seized the camera moment. Says Beatty: “…Gene was such a natural, honest, brilliant actor that made me good in our scene together. I remember thinking- I`m not going to do any other  movies without him.” True to his word he hired Hack for “Bonnie and Clyde” resulting in the man`s first Oscar nomination.

Things had been diametrically different when he joined the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse for a summer of games and plays very similar to Errol while in Northampton. He debuted in “The Curious Miss Caraway” and won the intern “least likely to succeed”- award then and there. Co- winner was his life long friend Dustin Hoffman, who decades later commented on those carefull days: “Man, stardom just isn`t as much fun as scuffling for jobs.” Both hapless hams would be sharing apartments in New York of the Sixties with equally untalented collegue Robert Duvall.

Gene Hackman refers to himself as a non- sentimental guy and is not sure where in his Santa Fe home he kept his two golden boys. He has few regrets and none whatsoever that he didn`t do “Silence of the Lambs”, neither as director or as an actor. Officially retired from the film business in 2008 he since is writing books (“Pursuit” in 2013) – another thing he has in common with Flynn. That and a archetypal attitude as far as heroic antics on and off screen are concerned: “The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.

Party on Popeye,

 

 

— shangheinz

 

Mulholland nightfall

24 Jan

Read the rest of this entry »

— shangheinz

 

Shine on you jazzy diamond

20 Dec

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

Errol`s silver screen antics and his real life persona inspired the title of this saxophone classic. First to be heard on Zaca in Jamaica, then in the musical nightclubs around the world. Here is the story how all that jazz came aboard, ehm about…

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Issa Flynn!?

09 Dec

 

 

 

 

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

here is a photo showing Abraham Elias Issa, prominent hotel owner of Jamaica’s famous Myrtel Bank Hotel in the company of a couple  and a fella who looks like but doesn‘t grin like Flynn.

Is it a weary Errol or an Errorol (maybe one of these: www.theerrolflynnblog.com…) ?

The lovely lady in the picture doesn‘t care, she seems to have made up her mind to make the most of the moment. Issa hosted the creme de la creme of stars  like Lawrence Olivier and Vivian Leigh, Walt Disney and Winston Churchill, Ava Gardner and Louis Armstrong at his destinct resort. He and our Hollywood hero were friendly, so there is a chance this is Ol‘ Errol with his hair parted very strictly. Real deal or heel- what‘s your educated guess…

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

700 sail with Lock, stock and Errol

16 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

these days Flynnmate No. 700 came aboard my FB site www.facebook.com…

All are eager shiphands clicking likes for our Hollywood hero day in day out- on a clear day with interactions of almost a 1000 film fans!

Enjahoy,

 

— shangheinz

 

Cuban Trouble Girls

11 Oct

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

once before the baron met the Baron in Cuba:  www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

Now Allen “Abbie” Baron makes three.

The writer- director started out as set designer and gives a hilarious account about the makeshift shooting of  “Cuban rebel Girls” in his biography “Blast of Silence”.

Six weeks after Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista, flyer and flynntimo Barry Mahon had gathered a crew of five barflies from Jim Downey`s Bar and Restaurant and a bunch of Playboy bunnies at the Hotel Capri in Havana.

Sandbagging there at the time also was actor Ernie Kovac with cast members of the Carol Reed classic “Our man in Havana”.

Abbie Baron came into play, because he drew storyboards for Barry, who then pitched them as potential moneymakers to studio bosses.

He remembers our man Flynn as every bit the movie star that he was at the roulette tables and on location at the Sugar finca of Quarto Caminos, which was lent to them by a Cuban friend of Errol.

Leading teenie Beverly Aadland had Ol`Errol laughing with that lewd lingo of hers and sweating in fits of jelousy.

When his then time secretary Hillary, a stunning young American with a Southern drawl, who was married to a Cuban officer, made a pass at Abbie, their production tumbled from topsy-turvy into full turmoil.

Mr. Officer held everybody at gunpoint in the hotel`s lobby and demanded to know where his wife was.

Unpaid bills at local groceries did the rest, and the whole cast & crew left Castro´s Island in a hurry.

But not before Mahon, who had aspired to become another DeMille, was able to hide cameras, 35mm raw stock and a Lincoln convertible in a palm tree shaded shag.

Abbie got them out at a later date and started his movie career mostly on his experiences during those turbulent days filming CRG.

“Barry never uttered a word about his WWII extraordinary exploits in all the time I spent with him. I regretted judging him for his terrible skills as a filmmaker, but was happy to learn he was a real-life hero. I learned from him that bullshit had great currency and I put the knowledge to good use.”

Enjoy,

 

 

— shangheinz

 

Tiger Lil‘ and Cat Man

23 Sep

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

of all the tin roofs in Beverly Hills, none was hotter than Tiger Lil`s…

Cat Man went by many names- he was called by authorities “The Phantom of Bel Air”, “The Jersey Devil” and Willard Borton by birth certificate. Born and raised in Gloucester City, NJ, he adopted a what-you-see-is-what-you-get philosophy at an early age. TRUE DETECTIVE ran his CV in on of their issues as follows. “If another youngster had a toy he coveted, he appropriated it for his own. Occasionally these tactics got him into difficulty and it was no unusual thing for him to be called on the carpet to explain a black eye or a bloody nose incurred in a fight with some wrathful playmate.”

Various stunts (he once used a swordfish gaff to open a second floor window) led to various stints in reformatories. While in juvenile jail he behaved impeccably. His overall charming behaviour made sure he got released early every time he did time. Maybe it was the breath of fresh air that brought out that feline feeling again.

Arriving in Tinseltown with a wife and stepson in tow in December of 1934, he rented a bungalow under the name of Ralph Graham on formidable Formosa Street and put up a respectable front. At daytime he took the “See the movie stars` homes for 25 cents”- Tour.  “I`ll see them”, said Graham to himself, “and from the inside, too.” At nighttime he was prowling the perimeters of the rich and famous, the bold and the bejeweled. Hiding behind the heavy shrubbery of their vaulted villas, he could go on with his burglaries unnoticed.

Flynntimates Miriam Hopkins, Fred MacMurray and Fannie Bryce were amongst the many victims of Will the Cat. From Gary Cooper he took an unregistered colt and further on used it for protection. At Barbara Stanwyck`s place in exchange for furs and pearls he left the cryptic message K.P.G.G.L.X, meaning: Keep plugging good girl. Love & kisses. He snatched a gold cigarette lighter bearing the initials C.L. from Gable`s girl, while Tyrone Power yearned to get back the golden cross of the Order of the Knights of St. Louis, which had been in the Powers family for generations. Feisty swashbucklerette (www.theerrolflynnblog.com…) Maureen O`Sullivan almost caught the cat red handed and alarmed the police about an intruder. When confronted by policemen he was able to talk his alleyway out, swearing he was a privat patrolman and had seen the burgler vanish in the opposite direction!

In July of 1938 he entered the home of renowned film director Frank Capra- ininvited. Unfortunately for him he ended up in the nursery of the family`s newborn baby who immediately turned on the siren. Nevertheless he managed another dashing escape. Afterwards he somehow felt he had overstayed his welcome in this prominent hood of Hollywood. So he relocated and bought a small house on 420 Howland Canal in Venice complete with boat. The furniture came courtesy of laundry magnate George M. Theodore. Never mind that his front door had to be cut out to give way to the grand piano…

Robbing the rich was not his first priority, he also gave back to the not so poor. Always the gentlemanly thief he first took off the engagement ring of another victim, only to give it back to her once he found nothing else to his liking at her home. “Is that really the only diamond you have?” “Truly it is.” “Well, there`s nothing here I want, here`s your ring.”

The then hot silent film diva Lili Damita also fell prey to the Cat. He stole all of her jewelery, escaping unscathed only because the Flynn bride to be hadn`t been at home at the time. Police was at a loss how sixty to seventy burgleries hadn`t delivered the tinniest trace of Jumpy Cat. $32.000 worth of riches were taken from a prominent motion picture executive. A multi millionaire with a household name donated $ 1.800.000 in stocks and bonds (fortunately for that Mr. DeMillions they were non negotiable). At Sonja Heine`s home CM had to contend himself with cans of Norwegian fish.

What California`s cobblestone cops didn`t know, was that, despite the Cat`s prowess, his effort had netted him only a few thousand dollars. A Hollywood Boulevard pawnshop owner named Morris Wasserman flew back and forth to New York with excessive baggage and had the loot remodeled. Mo` dinned on brilliants, but fed the Cat breadcrumbs. Fed up with coming up short time and time again a frustrated Catso confessed everything when questioned for a minor misdemeanor. Wasserman was put on probation, while Willard forever sang the Folsom Prison Blues.

Lili meanwhile adorned herself with Errol.

Enjoy,

 

— shangheinz