Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tales from the Archives: Faith of an Actress

This week's installment of Tales from the Archives comes from a Parish Monthly Calendar dating from July of 1939. Here is the cover page:


Today's article is about a Catholic actress named Elinor Flynn who was in movies during the late 1920s and 1930s. Although the article says Flynn appeared in 39 films, she only has 5 credits on IMDB. I am guessing that this is because most of her movie roles were as bit parts that were uncredited. Flynn also did work on Broadway and radio. Sadly Flynn died at the age of 28 in an automobile accident. The article praises Flynn not only for her career, but also for her strong Catholic faith. Flynn is noted for saying the rosary every evening as well as making the sign of the cross before she went on stage. The article tells us that Flynn was a close friend of Rt. Rev. Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen, better known as Archbishop Sheen. Yes, this is the same Sheen who became famous as one of the first televangelists. His television show Life is Worth Living ran from 1951 through 1957 and drew tens of millions of viewers each week.


According to IMDB, (not the most reliable source as like Wikipedia anybody can edit it) she had an uncredited role in the pre-code comedy Let Us Be Gay starring Norma Shearer and Marie Dressler. This movie appears to be the only one featuring Elinor Flynn that is available on home video today, thanks to WB's Archive Collection. However I couldn't find a picture of her and since she is uncredited I would have a hard time proving for sure that she is in this film even if I was able to see it. I'm not sure if the other films have survived or not as I couldn't find information one way or the other. While most lost films are silents, there are also a good amount of early talkies that have been lost. Sometimes this can be even more frustrating as there are films we only have the audio for (sound discs) or only have the visuals and not the sound/dialogue. It wasn't until 1930 that studios went to the sound-on-film process.

IMDB: Elinor Flynn

Come back Sunday for the weekly wrap-up!

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