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Posts Tagged ‘Errol’

The Hell Fire Club, Errol, Patrick and Rex

31 Jan

The original Hell Fire Club (Errol was a member of a watered down Hollywood homage, which he doubtless regretted, as he would have vastly preferred the original) has been the subject of books and films. Its first meeting took place in 1747, under the auspices of Sir Francis Dashwood, rake and dilettante, in the cellar of the George & Vulture Inn in London. The George & Vulture, which in the City, is still open as a restaurant. Shakespeare is said to have stayed there, and Dickens wrote parts of the Pickwick Papers while in situ.

The George & Vulture

 

The best screen ‘portrayal’ of the Hell Fire Club – which revives its 18th Century ethos – is in The Avengers episode, ‘A Touch of Brimstone’ (1966), starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg as Steed and Mrs Peel.

The episode caused outrage when it was shown on television, including protests in Parliament, and was banned in America. It concerns a degenerate aristocrat, The Hon. John Cleverly Cartney, who revives the club, its period dress, its orgies and its anarchic spirit. He takes the anarchy a bit far however, when he tries to blow up three visiting heads of state.

Cartney is played by one of the most interesting actors of the period, who also appeared in ‘The Innocents’ (1961), with Deborah Kerr. His name was Peter Wyngarde and despite his on screen roles as a homme fatale, he was gay.

Peter Wyngarde as John Cartney

What made the episode so infamous, however, was the orgy scene, in which Diana Rigg is dressed in a leather S&M outfit, with boots and a dog collar, pictured below.

It is not all orgies. Patrick Macnee does some very fine fencing in order to foil, as it were, the dastardly plotters.

The incomparable Patrick, who would have made the second best James Bond after Errol, was a sort of cousin of mine, his maternal grandmother Frances being the granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Huntingdon. So back we go to Robin Hood!

Patrick worked with Christopher Lee, who was also a friend, and Lee, of course worked with Errol. Patrick never met Errol, but they had certain similarities, apart from being dashing, charming, erudite, gentlemanly and able to carry off period costumes.

They both had very difficult relationships with their mothers. Patrick’s mother, Dorothea, decided to become a lesbian, which, not surprisingly, led to the breakup of her marriage. Patrick was raised by Dorothea and her ‘partner,’ Evelyn, whom he called ‘Uncle Evelyn.’

He was then sent to Eton, but expelled for selling pornographic photographs and acting as a bookie for his classmates.

Macnee appeared in a minor role in Olivier’s film of ‘Hamlet’. His big film break came with a rather mediocre musical comedy called ‘Les Girls’ (1957), in which he played a barrister. The highlights were Macnee and the wonderful Kay Kendall, who was married to Rex Harrison and already ill with the leukemia that was to kill her at the age of only 32.

Kay Kendall in Les Girls

Interestingly, two years before, Kendall had co-starred with Robert Taylor in ‘The Adventures of Quentin Durward’, which was supposed to have been a vehicle for Errol.

Kay made two films with Harrison, the British comedy ‘The Constant Husband,’ and ‘The Reluctant Debutante,’ which also featured American teen queen, Sandra Dee.

Harrison remains a contentious figure. Yes, he could be astoundingly rude and unpleasant, but he could also be heroic in private. Kay Kendall had been his mistress, and though he was in love with her, he remained very attached to his then wife, Lili Palmer.

When Kay’s doctor told Harrison she was dying, he and Lili had a discussion. It was agreed they would divorce so he could marry Kay and look after her during the time she had left. He did this devotedly and never told Kay she was ill, which must have been a great strain on him. When she died, he was genuinely devastated.

Of course he spoiled it slightly by telling people what a marvellous and selfless thing he had done, but he did it just the same. Rex went on to marry a friend of my father, Elizabeth Harris, the former wife of roistering actor Richard Harris. The marriage was not an unqualified success, with Rex reverting to hype. One day Elizabeth came down to breakfast and Rex said: ‘That’s a fine cavalry moustache you have this morning.’

Notwithstanding his lack of tact, Harrison was a joy as an actor, with his astringent rasp of a voice and sheer panache. (He even made cardigans look sexy, though not as sexy as Errol did.) He would have been a major Hollywood star in the 1940s, had it not been for the Carole Landis scandal.

Carole Landis

Yet was his behaviour towards Landis as deplorable as all that? Rex was married to Lili when he met the blonde actress, and Carole was no blushing innocent, having been thrice-married herself and rather generous with her favours, as well as being mentally unstable. Or, as we say over here, a complete basket case.

When she started her affair with Rex, she must have known he was not going to leave Palmer. Almost a year later, in 1948, she took an overdose. Rex found her while she was still alive, but there was a delay in calling an ambulance. Apparently, he had been searching through her address books hoping to find the telephone number of her private doctor in order to avert a scandal.

Shocking as this was, there have been other cases of famous men doing the same – even when the women who had overdosed were their wives! Greek tycoon Stravros Niarchos acted in precisely the same manner when his wife Eugenie overdosed and then died, and John Paul Getty Jr likewise, after spouse Talitha Pol ingested too much heroin.

Rex had signed a contract with Fox, which was dropped ‘by mutual consent.’ Perhaps this made him bitter and thus increasingly choleric. I wonder if he ever met Errol? He certainly knew Errol’s chum David Niven, who was very dyspeptic about Rex in his memoirs, but kept inviting him to dinner, just the same.

— PW

 
 

The transformation – how was it done?

20 Jan

I always wondered what do movie studios do to transform their new contract players into stars? Has anybody any ideas?

Errol arriving in Hollywood:
From this:

To this:

— Tina

 

The day when Hollywood came to Dodge City, KS

31 Jul

I found this article about when Errol, cast, and others came to premiere the movie “Dodge City” in Dodge City, KS in 1939:

DODGE CITY, Kansas — The year 1939 is considered by most experts to be the greatest year in the history of movies. There were such classics as “Gone with the Wind”, “Wizard of Oz” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” along with many others. There were also a number of very good movies, one of which helped to make Dodge City, Kansas, the focal point of the midwest and much of the country for a couple of days in April of 1939.

The movie was “Dodge City”, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHavilland. Dodge City and the state of Kansas lobbied hard to convince Warner Brothers to open the movie in the town for which it was named. Jack Warner agreed and it led to one of the biggest days in Kansas history. At the time, it was only the second movie opening ever held outside Hollywood.

Warner Brothers went all out, sending a trainload of studio stars, including Flynn, to Kansas for the opening.

Noel Ary is former director of the Kansas Heritage Center in Dodge City and 88- year-old Luis Sanchez is a former mayor who was there that day as a 15 year old.

Ary talks of the unprecedented spotlight shone on Dodge City: “It attracted the attention of people from all over the country. All the major New York newspapers were represented by reporters.”

In addition to that, NBC Radio did five live broadcasts from Dodge City over that weekend, and Life Magazine put together a lengthy picture spread circulated around the country.

When the train rolled in, among the thousands at the Dodge City depot was 15-year-old Luis Sanchez, who talked his way onto the train to meet movie stars and get autographs.

“I hadn’t seen any movie stars”, says Sanchez, “and I figured here’s a trainload of them. Now’s the chance. You better take advantage of it.”

Among the stars on hand were such names as John Payne, John Garfield, Jane Wyman, Ann Sheridan and a man who would become to many the greatest movie star of all: Humphrey Bogart.

But that was in the future. In 1939, none of those names was even close to Errol Flynn (Miss DeHavilland could not make the trip). To understand how big Flynn was in 1939 just think George Clooney and Brad Pitt, combined. Flynn was simply one of the top handful of movie stars in the world.

“He was a swashbuckler. He was a good looking guy, he was tall and he played the part well,” says Ary. “He fit everybody’s dream, he really did. He played the part of hero and ladies’ man the way you thought it should be played.”

Following the greeting at the train station, complete with a live, nationwide broadcast, there was a one mile parade with thousands of people lining the streets. It included all the stars who were there, governors of three states, floats and a marching band.  The parade ended at the new stadium just south of downtown where there was a rodeo and more.

“They had a wedding”, says Sanchez. “And Errol Flynn was the best man and Ann Sheridan was the maid of honor. The place was packed. It was packed.”

And as much as anything, that was the story of the day: the crowds. No one can say for sure, but most agree that about one-hundred thousand people showed up in a town of ten thousand. Pictures and film of that day showed wall-to-wall people at the train station, the parade route and the stadium. For one day, it made Dodge City the second largest city in the state of Kansas.

That night, at three local theatres, the Dodge, the Cozy and the Crown, the movie premiered. It was a story of cattle drives, railroads, romance and cleaning up a rowdy town. It bore little resemblance to the actual history of Dodge City, but it’s fair to say no one complained. Had they been handing out Oscars in Dodge City on that day, the movie would have swept the awards.

The Dodge theatre still stands, refurbished but empty, standing now as mute testimony to a day when Hollywood came to Dodge City.

“Hollywood did well by Dodge City”, says Ary. “We’re gonna talk about it for a long time, at least as long as somebody remembers it. And we’d like to make sure nobody forgets.”

This is the link to this station’s website: www.ksn.com…

 

— Mary Ann

 
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Errol, Olivia and the movie with the radio adaptation, “Green Light”

31 Jul

Here is an article I have found and it is about the movie, “Green Light” and the radio adaptation of it also.  It also tells about Olivia and her involvement in the radio adaptation of the movie.  Here is the link to the site……..oldhollywoodincolor.com…

 

 

— Mary Ann

 
2 Comments

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Errol’s “Mon Film” Mag Cover

08 Jul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another one of Errol’s “Mon Film” Mag Covers but, unfortunately I can’t find the date of when this issue of this magazine came out. Could someone help me with this.

— Mary Ann

 

“The Perfect Specimen” 1937 Film Ad

09 Jun

Last night, I found this Movie Ad for Errol’s movie, “The Perfect Specimen” from 1937.

Here is the link to the site………greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com…

 

— Mary Ann

 
 

My Favorite Images of Errol!!!!

03 Jun

Here are my 2 favorite images of Errol from the April 25, 1947 photo shoot……………

 

Why I like the both of these is that it is the same background and he is wearing the same dark shirt on both of these photos. His hair is wavy on both of these photos and with the widest, whitest smile in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— Mary Ann

 
 

Errol’s “Mon Film” Magazine Cover from 1947

13 Apr

This is Errol’s “Mon Film” Magazine Cover from 1947.

— Mary Ann

 

Errol with Arno and teasing him with a Fish

17 Mar

Isn’t this cute….. Errol on the Sirocco with Arno and teasing him with a fish.

— Mary Ann

 
7 Comments

Posted in Candids

 

Here is an Australian Team named after Errol’s cat, Bes Mudi

13 Mar

Here is a article I just came across today on the internet that a team from Australia named a team after Errol’s cat.  I think this is cool to have a sports team named after Errol’s cat, Bes Mudi.

The team’s name is Bes Mudi Bandits and here is the link to the page…..

www.mzstuff.com…

 

— Mary Ann

 
9 Comments

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