Errol Flynn & Mulholland Farm
Wicked Errol Flynn grew up in the South Seas and emigrated to England in 1933. He worked on the stage for a short time and then made his way into motion pictures at Warner Brothers Teddington Studios. There Jack L. Warner of the Warner Bros. Burbank Studio took notice and brought Flynn to the United States, where he became a star of the first magnitude through roles in Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and a dozen other pictures, many of them with Warner Brothers starlet Olivia de Havilland.
Early in his Hollywood career, Flynn spotted the land on which he wanted to build his Hollywood home, high above the San Fernando Valley on Mulholland Drive. It took him years to shape the land and construct the house, which was completed as he wrapped up work with Olivia de Havilland on the film They Died With Their Boots On in September 1941.
Mulholland Farm, as he called it, was no ordinary house. It nestled in a mountaintop ravine, and its pinched-in wings embraced a nine-foot-deep swimming pool off the patio. Errol Flynn designed the place for parties and to accommodate his sexual tastes, and for the next 12 years, he spent his most prosperous years living at Mulholland Farm, throwing lavish parties, and hiding from the world during bouts of ill health and depression.
Just a year after moving into the home, Flynn was charged with statutory rape and endured a very public trial that nearly cost him his career and fortune. During these desperate months, the Mulholland dining room became headquarters for a defense team that would ultimately secure a not-guilty verdict.
Errol Flynn seemed to survive the scandal, and his career resumed. Mulholland Farm became Flynn's ticket to respectability, and all aspects of the stately residence were shown to the public as a reflection of a cultured country gentleman. All aspects, that is, except for the unusual features that Flynn had built into his home by the experts at Warner Brothers to serve his voyeuristic predilections. These features were well known to the Hollywood stars who trooped in for a series of legendary parties that continued until the end of the Flynn reign on Mulholland Drive.
Late in 1952, Errol Flynn left the United States for European locations to make his last film as a Warner Brothers contract player, The Master of Ballantrae. He didn't plan to give up his home at that time, but other foreign film work combined with increasing financial pressures to make it impossible for a return to the United States and Mulholland Farm. Flynn subsequently lost the property and when he journeyed back to Hollywood in 1956, he could only look up at the mountaintop and remember the life of splendor lived at Mulholland during his heyday as a movie star. Flynn spent his last days in Hollywood at the Garden of Allah Hotel and Villas on Sunset Boulevard, and died in 1959. At the time that Flynn passed on, singer and songwriter Stuart Hamblen and his wife Suzy were just settling into Mulholland Farm, where they would spend the next 20 years.
Errol Flynn Slept Here uses Flynn's own writings, first-person accounts, original documents, and all-new interviews to recount the Flynn years at Mulholland Farm, from the day he identified the property he wanted to buy, to the inglorious last days of the house and grounds as a Hollywood teardown. More than 200 photos help to tell the story of the most infamous home in movie history.
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