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Errol Flynn's age


rainbowstew
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Everything I could find says you're correct. I'm beginning to wonder if, for some reason, Osborne is making all these "misspeaks" on purpose. Seems to be making a LOT of 'em lately.

 

Maybe Osborne meant HE turned 51 when Flynn made that flick?

Sepiatone

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}Everything I could find says you're correct. I'm beginning to wonder if, for some reason, Osborne is making all these "misspeaks" on purpose. Seems to be making a LOT of 'em lately.

>

> Maybe Osborne meant HE turned 51 when Flynn made that flick?

> Sepiatone

LOL!!! :^0

 

Well, then I suppose we can understand why a 111 year old guy might start makin' a few flubs now and then, huh Sepia?!

 

Saaaaay, maybe this explains Bob's recent disappearance for a while? I mean, at 111, I suppose it takes a while for a body to recoup after a little tuck job, huh?!

 

(...though I gotta say, IF that's the case, his plastic surgeon has sure gotta be the best in the business, 'cause Bob's looking pretty darn spritely for his age, ain't he!) ;)

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Errol Flynn was born in 1909 and died at 50 in 1959. He would have been 43 or 44 when Master of Ballantrae was made, depending on how much later the release date was from the time it was filmed. I didn't catch the airing, or Osborne's talk before and after it, but if he said Flynn was 51, that would be a pretty major gaffe.

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Clearly the people who research and write up the copy for these intros have to do a better job at verifying their work. I don't expect RO to know everything or spend his time proofreading everything. But these misstatements do make everyone at TCM look bad, and have the viewer questioning everything else that is said. Like most people I rely on Wiki and IMDb for the "facts" but I imagine there can be errors there too. Errol Flynn has several sites to refer to, one from a daughter and one from one of his wives. Its best to view all of the sites and draw your conclusions from there.

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Clearly the people who research and write up the copy for these intros have to do a better job at verifying their work. I don't expect RO to know everything or spend his time proofreading everything.

 

I honestly don't expect Mr. Osborne to have to double-check everything. But I will say that while he was on vacation, there were far fewer such gaffes. Perhaps the copy was being checked for accuracy better since they might have a problem attracting hosts otherwise.

 

Or else someone on the staff is going out of his/her way to make Robert Osborne look less than knowledgeable.

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WAIT a sec here, folks! I've GOT it! I mean I think I've figured out the reason for this "mistake".

 

Ya see, it WASN'T that the copy Bob was readin' was in error. Nope, Bob just forgot to say one key word in the text, THAT'S all!

 

Yep! Five'll get cha ten that Bob just forgot to say that Flynn's LIVER was already 51 years old by the time that movie was bein' filmed!!!

 

 

(...uh huh...I knew there had to be a logical explanation for all this!)

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{font:Times New Roman} {font}<span style="color: black; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif"; font-size: 7.5pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman";">I caught the error when he said it but since Errol looked closer to 51 than 42 and sounded so bored and jaded through the whole thing I figured RO wasn’t that far off. I just couldn't buy him in this role as I could have had he made it 10 years earlier when he seemed to give a damn. I actually feel the same about *Don Juan.*

 

 

 

{font:Times New Roman} {font}<span style="color: black; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif"; font-size: 7.5pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman";">In the Jack Cardiff documentary, it was told that he almost died during the shooting of *Crossed Swords *- which RO said was made a year after this one - because his liver was almost nonexistent. I've never seen this movie and really don't want to. I'd rather remember him before he ruined his life and became another sad, sick Hollywood story.

 

{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:Calibri}I am sorry for all the gibberish. Sometimes my computer goofs up or I goof it up and this happens. Hope you can read it; if not I’ll repost it.{font}

 

 

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*<span style="color: #30596b; font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";"> *

 

 

 

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Edited by: wouldbestar on Jan 21, 2012 7:46 PM

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Even though Master of Ballantrae features Flynn past his prime, he still gives a quite creditable account of himself. You may not buy him in the role (that's your privilege) but, age 43 or not when he made this film, and even with all the self abuse, he was still an impressive swashbuckling screen presence.

 

As for his performance as Don Juan, no one else could so inhabit that part quite as well as he did, I feel. Flynn's marvelous in the role, in both the tongue-in-cheek moments, as well as that terrific final duel on the giant staircase. Adventures of Don Juan is a clever, witty swashbuckler and Flynn more than lives up to the title role. Both it and Ballantrae are two of the best looking costume films of that era, the latter film benefiting from great on location photography.

 

Crossed Swords, which you've never seen, is a far cry from either of those films in quality. Beautifully photographed, however, by Jack Cardiff and also benefiting, again, from real castles and Roman built streets in its Italian shooting, the script (an attempt at the wit of Don Juan) and direction are a bit of a mess. Flynn, however, looks like he's having a good time, and his final duel at the picture's climax is surprisingly vigorous. It's a real tribute to the actor that he looks as relatively good as he does in Crossed Swords since he almost died of hepatitis during production.

 

 

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{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}TomJH: Okay, I'll give *Crossed Swords* a try the next time I can. For me in most of his movie and TV appearances during the 50's he seemed to speak in a monotone with little expression in his voice or face. It was a real difference from the exuberance of his early performances and it was disheartening. I do agree that *Don Juan* swordfight looks great on screen but I've heard how difficult it was for him to do. I'm game for giving it and *Ballantrae* another try.{font}

 

 

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> I honestly don't expect Mr. Osborne to have to double-check everything. But I will say that while he was on vacation, there were far fewer such gaffes. Perhaps the copy was being checked for accuracy better since they might have a problem attracting hosts otherwise. Or else someone on the staff is going out of his/her way to make Robert Osborne look less than knowledgeable.

You raise an important point. What we don't know is whether Osborne has final say as to the copy he reads. The possibility exists that the writers and other support staff don't have final say, and that Osborne brooks no disagreement with his own memory and judgment. If this is so, then it's disgraceful, and so counter-productive, since Osborne would be the one sabotaging his own reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> Flynn's liver was well known to be at least 60 years old!

Before the doctor doing the autopsy on the 50-year-old Flynn was told whom he was dissecting, he remarked that his subject's organs looked like those of an 80-year-old. Somehow I think the devil-may-care Flynn would've taken a bit of perverse pride in knowing that, beyond the momentary pleasure in consuming all that alcohol, it also provided forensic evidence that he was second-to-none at burning the proverbial candle at both ends.

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wouldbestar, I agree that it is disheartening to view the physical and emotional deteriation of Errol Flynn in his last decade. That would not, however, in my opinion, apply to his work in Adventures of Don Juan. That was the last great star vehicle of his career and he gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, capturing the world weariness of an aging lover growing tired of the chase. There was much of the real Flynn there which is why he's so good in the part.

 

He later had a tendency to walk through a lot of his '50s films, but I've always felt that Ballantrae and Crossed Swords are the two films he made then in which he did provide more emotional investment in his roles than in the others. Ballantrae also benefits from extremely handsome photography, a fast pace, some well choreographed action sequences (in which Flynn, though obviously doubled at times, still looks pretty convincing) and a first rate British supporting cast, with Roger Livesey a standout as Flynn's Irish rogue companion.

 

I love Livesey's dialogue in the jail scene with Flynn as they both face the hangman. Livesey puts a lot into his delivery as he talks of the places that they haven't seen, the sheer fun of it all . There's a look of rueful appreciation on Flynn's face during that scene. This was a man who always suffered from wanderlust and wanted to see what was just over the next hill. I think he would have more than identified with the sentiments expressed by Livesey's character.

 

Crossed Swords is a larky, more superficial film than Ballantrae but Flynn, who also had a part in the production of the film, I believe, tried to recapture some of the high spirits that used to be his trademark back in the '30s and '40s. The effective, if rather grim, performance he gave in Ballantrae is replaced by a far more light hearted actor. Even though he's clearly aged his performance has more energy, I feel, than probably any other in his last decade.

 

The problem, though, is that Crossed Swords doesn't have the kind of material in its screenplay (or direction) that had so distinguished Don Juan. That largely defeats Flynn, I'm afraid, but it's not because the actor didn't give it a game effort. Highlight of the film, without a doubt: a well edited and staged final duel between Flynn and the villain, the last impressive demonstration of what still remained of the actor's physical prowess in his twilight years. Flynn is quite visible in much of this duel and was trying to give his fans a demonstration that, to some degree, he still had it.

 

The version of Crossed Swords that I saw was a beautiful print, doing full justice to Jack Cardiff's lovely photography. It also had, though, bottom of the barrel audio on the English dubbed soundtrack. If you care, I purchased it from an online company called Godzillaflix.com. It seems to still be available for 30 dollars. That's a fair chunk of change but, for Flynn fans, I think it's the only way to see this extremely rare film in a fairly presentable version.

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Wouldn't someone with Osborne's knowledge make the necessary corrections to the copy as they are reading it? Would anyone want to read something on air that they know is incorrect? I knew Flynn was born in 1909 because I read his autobiography many years ago. Maybe someone can give me a spot on TCM. I am a quiet, easy going person. I can read bad copy as well as the next guy.

 

Edited by: FloydDBarber on Jan 22, 2012 11:08 AM

 

Edited by: FloydDBarber on Jan 22, 2012 11:11 AM

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The possibility exists that the writers and other support staff don't have final say, and that Osborne brooks no disagreement with his own memory and judgment. If this is so, then it's disgraceful, and so counter-productive, since Osborne would be the one sabotaging his own reputation.

 

That is one scary thought. I missed the intro on BALLANTRAE so I can't claim to have heard it. That would have really knocked me out of my chair as it's just too easily verified and those are the kind of errors that really annoy me. Between features I had to run an errand and got back just in time to see the WB logo.

 

I imagine that whoever is putting these things together is doing so at a computer, not on some ancient Underwood typewriter in a dungeon room with no electricity and thus no PC. TCM has all of these promos about how one can access the site with a downloded app and access all sorts of info. Give that man an app if he's the one at fault, they run on batteries so the lack of electricity in his cell can't be an excuse.

 

 

I can see someone making an error when it comes to the age of George Raft as I can find three different birth years in my library alone. Loads of studio bios would shave years off a player's age and some of these inaccuracies still manage to surface.

 

 

But I've never seen any dispute over Flynn's reported age - many of his exploits have been debunked or doubted, but not his birth date.

 

 

However, any possible dispute between Osborne's memory or the copy he's presented can most likely be settled if the writer is forced to supply footnotes as to his source of the info. If that person is proved wrong - or lazy - it will become apparent soon enough. Meanwhile, because of flubs like these and some of the less than worthy prints that have been airing, it does appear as if quality control is slipping.

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> What we don't know is whether Osborne has final say as to the copy he reads. The possibility exists that the writers and other support staff don't have final say, and that Osborne brooks no disagreement with his own memory and judgment. If this is so, then it's disgraceful, and so counter-productive, since Osborne would be the one sabotaging his own reputation.

 

Having had the opportunity to watch Robert O on the set in Atlanta and at some of the tapings at the Film Festivals, I've never seen him act in such an imperious way. He has a great rapport with the men and women on his crew and they work well together. He doesn't act in the manner described above at least from what I've seen.

 

As to why he doesn't catch the misinformation in the scripts, given his age it is likely difficult to remember all the time the film history one keeps stored in their memory. I'm only in my 50s and have a hard time remembering facts or film titles from time to time.

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> I agree that it is disheartening to view the physical and emotional deteriation of Errol Flynn in his last decade. That would not, however, in my opinion, apply to his work in Adventures of Don Juan. That was the last great star vehicle of his career and he gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, capturing the world weariness of an aging lover growing tired of the chase. There was much of the real Flynn there which is why he's so good in the part.

I've always really liked the film, but it is, in a way, two films: the first half is light, filled with Don Juan's rueful humor about the life he's led, and the reactions of a skittish public at news of his return to Spain, whereas the latter half is standard swashbukler derring-do, with little in the way of humor at all.

 

That bifurcation, with the latter half decidedly inferior to the former, keeps THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN from being the truly great film it might've been, and the capstone of Flynn's career as the great heroic swashbucker of the sound era (it probably won't come as a shock to any of you that Flynn's performance is, in a way, autobiographical, merely transposing the swath he cut through Hollywood with that of a fictional rake in 17th century Spain. I strongly suspect that much of the dialogue that screenwriters Harry Kurnitz, George Oppenheimer and, uncredited, William Faulkner and Robert Florey, was taken directly from the musings of an older and, perhaps, wiser, Errol Flynn beginning to look back on his "wicked, wicked ways" with a tinge of regret).

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Bob is one of the nicest, most easy-going and approachable on-camera performers of all time.

 

Considering the sheer volume of movie trivia rolling across his prompter during any given taping, plus the fact that all his intros and outros are shot in a single take no matter how long, it really should be his writers' responsbility to check his copy for accuracy.

 

But then, "TCM" doesn't stand for Totally Correct Minutiae ...

 

 

 

 

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Adventures of Don Juan is one of my favourite films. While I wouldn't disagree with you, Sprocket Man, in calling the earlier humourous portions of the film as among the real highlights of the production, I also think that the latter, more standard swashbuckler derring do, as you call it, in the film's second half probably has more impact as melodrama because of its contrast to the first portion.

 

In spite of the talk from director Vincent Sherman about Flynn being out of shape and labouring during the shooting of the picture's final duel, the fact still remains that that piece of choreography comes off extremely well. That grand staircase duel has to rank, easily, as one of Flynn's best screen action sequences, standing second only as a duel to the Robin Hood classic he had with Rathbone. I think that Robert Douglas as the Duke de Lorca is a fun to watch, and Viveca Lindfors gives an intelligent performance as the Queen. Lindfors' performance, like the film itself to some degree, I think is somewhat underrated. I think her final scene with Flynn, played in The Grand Manner, is a memerable one, aided immeasurably by Max Steiner's breathtaking musical score.

 

Don Juan is a shimmering production, one with a far wittier screenplay than any of Flynn's previous costume adventures. The actor is allowed to shine with his subtle reactions to tongue-in-cheek dialogue and situations, but when the melodrama comes later he's more than up to the task of delivering as a action hero, as well. Don Juan showed, in my opinion, that no one was better at this kind of material than Errol Flynn. At his best, he was truly a one of a kind.

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*AoDJ* has one of my favorite Flynn lines: "this time, I'm wearing my old clothes. *Captain Blood* has to be my favorite Flynn swashbuckler, but *AoDJ* is well done, and great fun.

 

I'll put in a plug for another underrated Flynn performance, in John Huston's The Roots of Heaven*. Flynn plays a dissipated man, as he was then in life. It's also his second to last film.

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I agree with you about "Roots of Heaven", but another film he did the following year where he again delivered the goods was the bio pic of Diana Barrymore {John's daughter} "Too Much, Too Soon" 1958 with Dorothy Malone in the lead and Errol Flynn as John Barrymore. He delivered an excellent performance of his good friend and drinking buddy.. He looked a lot older then his 48 years. It was hard to believe it had been only 20 years since "Robin Hood", but the hard life style and drinking had indeed taken it's toll. The film itself is a poorly made piece of film making and not very factual, but Flynn and Malone both deliver wonderful performances....

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>Viveca Lindfors gives an intelligent performance as the Queen. Lindfors' performance, like the film itself to some degree, I think is somewhat underrated. I think her final scene with Flynn, played in The Grand Manner, is a memerable one, aided immeasurably by Max Steiner's breathtaking musical score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew Lindfors slightly, and she was a lovely woman. She was "imported" into Hollywood to be the "new Ingrid Bergman" (as was Alida Valli at about the same time). Of course, there's never been another Bergman, no could there be, but Viveca didn't need to be. She was Viveca, and that was, in itself, a very fine thing.

 

As for Max Steiner's score, it's just been re-recorded in its entirety by Tribute Film Classics (http://www.tributefilmclassics.com|http://www.tributefilmclassics.com/, though the title hasn't appeared on its website just yet) in modern digital stereo by the Moscow Symphony orchestra under William Stromberg) for release later this winter. I can't wait to get my copy of what is my very favorite Steiner score.

 

 

 

 

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