Posts Tagged ‘Flynn’

Errol, Robin Hood and The Red Earl

28 Jan

When Errol was in Mexico in the 1930s and visited the house of the renowned Marxist artist Diego Rivera, he met his then assistant, a moustachioed Englishman, who introduced himself as Jack Hastings. His full name, however, was Francis John Clarence Westenra Plantagenet Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon, one of the oldest titles in England.

In Britain, Hastings was known as the ‘Red Earl’, for his left-wing politics and rapscallion behaviour. (The ‘Red Earl’ was to become part of my family when my father married his eldest daughter, Moorea.)

In the late 1920s, Jack had scandalised English Society by espousing Marxism, announcing his intention to become a painter and having an illicit affair with Cristina Casati, the young daughter of the notorious Italian Marchesa, Luisa Casati.The Marchesa lived in a Venetian palazzo (now the Guggenheim Museum) with two pet cheetahs and 10 footmen, whom she had painted gold. She was also a legendary style muse, captivating everyone from Diaghilev and Jean Cocteau to Man Ray and Cecil Beaton. She wore live snakes as jewellery and once went to a party dressed as St Sebastian, with metal arrows attached to light bulbs. Unfortunately, she electrocuted herself and had to retire for the evening.
Luisa Casati and cheetah

Luisa Casati with one of her cheetahs

The Marchesa dressed as Saint Sebastian for a party.

Luisa as St Sebastian

The Marchesa Casati, photographed by Man Ray.

The Marchesa Casati, photographed by Man Ray.

Jack soon married Cristina and they ran off to the South Seas and lived for a time on the island of Moorea (after which he named their daughter). Jack painted several canvasses and then went to Mexico to show his work to Diego Rivera, whom he revered as both an artist and a fellow Marxist. Rivera was so impressed he engaged Jack as his assistant and took him on as a pupil.

The Earl of Huntingdon and his wife Cristina Casati.

The Red Earl at work and play, and below left, his wife Cristina

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There he lived for nearly a decade, in between trips to Hollywood, where his notoriety caused him to be much in demand and, as he told my father, he socialised with Douglas Fairbanks, John Barrymore, Ronald Colman, Dietrich, Livvie, whom he attempted to kiss, and – most importantly – a newly famous Errol Flynn. Jack and Errol had something in common apart from being rebels with a taste for young women and living close to the edge.

The family tradition was that the Earls of Huntingdon were directly descended from Robin Hood, a claim supported by English folklore (the title of Earl of Huntingdon has often been associated with Robin Hood). Some of the male Earls have been given the name Robin, and the present Earl of Huntingdon is called William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass.

Robin Hood, Earl of Huntingdon!

When Jack heard that Errol was to play Robin Hood in a film, he jotted down some notes. One was:’It must be made clear that he is the Earl of Huntingdon.’ Another said: ‘Your moustache should be grown thicker, like mine,’! He was rather annoyed when both these directives were ignored.

The Red Earl's Moustache

The Red Earl’s Moustache

Errol's Robin Hood Moustache

Errol’s Robin Hood Moustache

Jack could be volatile. He was so wedded to the idea that he was a descendent of Robin Hood that when one man had the temerity to question the outlaw’s historical existence, Jack threw him down the stairs.
His marriage to Cristina failed, partly due to her being equally hot tempered. Though she claimed to be a Communist, she once hit her maid so hard she broke her arm. After they divorced, Jack married the novelist Margaret Lane.

Jack Hastings was a man of unique talent as an artist who has now become known as ‘The English Diego Rivera.’ He painted a mural for my father called ‘The Snake in Eden,’ which he had hung in our dining room in Italy over the objections of some, who found it a trifle explicit. His murals are now considered lost masterpieces as very few exist. There is one in the Marx Memorial Library in London and two in the US. I would be fascinated if anyone knew the whereabouts of other murals. In the meantime, there is a wonderful biography of Jack, called ‘The Red Earl’, by Selina Hastings, his other daughter. I recommend it strongly, as he and the Flynnster were definitely fellow travellers!

One of Jack's political murals

One of Jack’s political murals

My father with Moorea and my brother, Pericles.

My father with Moorea and my brother, Pericles.


— 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


Theodore Thomson Flynn: Not Just Errol’s Father

06 Aug

I’d like to share with you an engrossing radio podcast, first broadcast Saturday 3rd August across Australia on the ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Commission) long running ‘Science Program’. You may think the topic of  Flynn wouldn’t be remotely scientific, but you’d be wrong. You see, the focus is mostly on Errol’s father TT Flynn. The programme titled “In With Flynn” , covers a few generations of Flynns starting with Errol’s grandfather in New South Wales … and it seems Errol wasn’t the first Flynn to have his wicked wicked ways … “Yes, Errol Flynn was a swashbuckling lothario, a 20th century film star of very mixed fame. But what about his dad? TT Flynn was a noted biologist in Hobart who looked at fossils, fish, Tasmanian Devils and much more. A new biography calls him ‘Not just Errol’s Father’ and details his considerable contributions to Australian science. But was he too ‘In like Flynn’?”

There are 2 segments – the first focusing on the recently refurbished TMAG (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) which incorporates the Maritime Museum once directed by Errol’s father TT. The second discussed a newly published book on TT, ‘Theodore Thomson Flynn: Not Just Errol’s Father’

An added bonus, there’s a nice little narration (taken from a doco on Flynn made in 2005 I believe) from Christopher Lee, who knew Errol and acted in 4 of his B Grade  European swashbucklers in the 50s.

Links to listen/download the programmes here:

New life for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery…


T.T. Flynn: Tasmania’s first professor of biology

Talking about the newly published book ‘Theodore Thomson Flynn: Not Just Errol’s Father’…

— Philip


Posted in Main Page


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:…


— Mary Ann


Posted in Main Page


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………



— Mary Ann


Posted in Main Page


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…………


— 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


Posted in Candids