Maureen O'Hara, Eleanor Parker, John Garfield

Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle "Santa Claus", Natalie Wood as Susan Walker and Maureen O'Hara as Doris Walker in "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) directed by George Seaton

John Garfield as Albert Schmid (tripping over a Christmas tree) and Eleanor Parker as Ruth Hartley in "Pride of the Marines" (1945) directed by Delmer Daves

Dane Clark was one of the few actors to remain friendly with Garfield through the years, as both men had much in common. Clark had grown up in Brooklyn, had boxed some, had tried unsuccessfully to get into the Group Theatre in the 1930s, and had come to Hollywood on a whim. There were stories that Warner Bros. hired Clark by in 1942 just in case Garfield gave the studio trouble.

Eleanor Parker received the first of her three Best Actress Oscar nominations playing a prisoner in "Caged" (1950), for which she won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She was also nominated the next year playing the cop's wife who shared a secret with the neighborhood abortionist in William Wyler's "Detective Story" (1951). Her third and last Oscar nod came for "Interrupted Melody" (1955), playing an opera singer struck down by polio.

Parker could easily have been nominated that same year for her portrayal of Frank Sinatra's faux crippled wife in Otto Preminger's brooding masterpiece "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955) adapted from the novel by Nelson Algren.

Dane Clark said both he and Garfield fell in love with Eleanor Parker during filming "Pride of the Marines", but the love did not translate into anything more physical than flirting.

John Garfield with Loretta Young

John Garfield landed a second loan-out, this time to RKO, to film the espionage thriller "The Fallen Sparrow". He wasn't the first choice for the part, James Cagney, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott had all been offered it first.

The film's political standpoint, while ambiguous, appealed to him: Garfield plays John McKittrick, an Irish-American Loyalist who returns to New York City after fighting in the Spanish Civil War only to discover that his best friend, Louie, has been murdered. Louie, like McKittrick (or "Kit") was an American fighting the good fight against the fascists in Spain. Kit is haunted by memories of tortures in a fascist prison, and he believes that the main torturer, a limping man, is still after him.

Kit hooks up with Toni Donne (Maureen O'Hara), a dubious member of royalty who may or may not be reeling Kit right into a lair of film noir proportions - the film moves along well and remains an early example of noir with Garfield in a Philip Marlowe-type role.

John Garfield kissing Maureen O'Hara in "The Fallen Sparrow" (1943) directed by Richard Wallace

"One of the small ways in which I was able to contribute to the war effort was by promoting war bonds. Sometime between making 'This Land Is Mine' my last film with Charles Laughton, and 'The Fallen Sparrow' with John Garfield (my shortest leading man, outspoken and a real sweetheart), Fox sent me to an evening dinner engagement in Texas to sell war bonds. Errol Flyn was scheduled to speak that night, and he was seated on the dais next to me. He was very poised. Errol leaned toward me and and began whispering lewd propositions out of the corner of his mouth, it was crude and ugly stuff and not the slightest bit erotic, which I would expected from this legendary Casanova. Clearly he had to be drunk if he really thought I'd ever be part of a seedy Errol Flynn sex orgy. He was treating me like a Hollywood whore, like a little sex doll from the back streets". -'Tis Herself: An Autobiography' by Maureen O'Hara & John Nicoletti (2005)

Maureen O'Hara arriving to testify in the Confidential trial, accompanied, from left, by Deputy Dist. Atty. William Ritzi, Guy Ward (O'Hara's personal attorney), and O'Hara's brothers James FitzSimons and Charles FitzSimons.

Actress Maureen O'Hara successfully sued the "Confidential" magazine for a story in the March 1957 issue falsely accusing her of having sex in the balcony of Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theatre. As she recounted in her 2004 autobiography "Tis Herself" her passport proved that she was in Spain on the date alleged by Confidential. Her lawsuit and large settlement were instrumental in the decline of the magazine. "Everybody reads it but they say the cook brought it into the house”, said Humphrey Bogart. Groucho Marx responded to an article about him in the magazine with his famous letter -originally printed in his book 'The Groucho Letters' (1967) "If you don't stop printing scandalous articles about me, I'll be forced to cancel my subscription." Confidential magazine inspired the film "L.A. Confidential", based on James Ellroy's novel "L.A. Confidential".

"Just as Hitchcock had his fantasies about icy blondes, so John Ford dreamt of hotblooded Irish redheads. But his relationship with O'Hara was immensely complicated. He adored her, yet knew he couldn't have her. He was too old for her and understood she didn't want a romantic relationship. The more she and Ford battled with each other, the more he loved and resented her. For her part, she was often mystified by the abrupt shifts in his mood. Only gradually did she come to realise that he was obsessed with her and couldn't control his feelings. When he got drunk, he wotld write incoherent love letters to her, then accuse her a short time later of betraying him or lying about him. One day, she discovered that he had broken into her home and gone through her belongings". Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

When the studio cast Ida Lupino opposite Errol Flynn in "Escape Me Never" (1947), she was elated. She had met Flynn and his first wife Lill Damita in Palm Springs in 1936. At Warners, Ida, Flynn and Raoul Walsh formed an elite triumvirate dedicated to fun. Each had a nickname: Ida was "Little Scout"; Flynn was "The Baron"; and Walsh was "Uncle." The charismatic Flynn charmed everyone. "There was a wonderful exhilaration being around Errol. You became as bold and as wild as he was." The story was a light, rather creaky plot about an English girl in love in turnof-the-century Venice.

Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker in "Escape Me Never" (1947) directed by Peter Godfrey

In a case of mistaken identity, brothers in love with Lupino and Eleanor Parker become confused. The Breen office was perturbed by the film's implications that Flynn's character was "an apron chaser" and pointed out that the actor "has the same reputation in life." Lupino and Flynn enjoyed making the picture; their friendship deepened into romance. Ida adored Flynn but knew he would never be content with any one woman. -"Ida Lupino: A Biography" by William Donati (2000)


Errol Flynn as Santa in "Never Say Goodbye"(1946) directed by James V. Kern: A seasonal clip from the Warner Bros rom-com starring Errol Flynn & Eleanor Parker. When Errol Flynn dons a disguise as Humphrey Bogart in one scene, it's Bogart himself who's doing the voice-over.