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bhryun

ERROL FLYNN

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Shaniabluegirl, one of those slapping scenes in the promo is from Cry Wolf,and the lady being manhandled(Stanwyck) shot is the same film. It's an okay film noir, and Errol is a scientist in the film.

 

As for Bogie and Errol hating each other, I have read several biographies of both men and I think that this is in error. They didn't hang around a lot usually,but on Virginia City they were rumored to sabotage the film by burning some sets TOGETHER-this is recounted in several books with good research,so I think they weren't enemies if they pulled off a drunk stunt like that. Also, Flynn wrote vividly of visiting Bogie's yacht with some fish he caught as a present and Bogart having two black eyes given to him by his wife Mayo. David Niven corroborates this in another book as a witness. Lauren Bacall was quoted as being envious of the galley of the Zaca,Flynn's yacht in comparision to Bogie's boat,suggesting that she had been on both.I think they weren't chums but just people who saw each other from time to time socially in a superficial way.

 

Errol was certainly underated as an actor and even his reputed bomb pictures are of interest. Escape me never, and Never say goodbye were all bombs,but seeing them was a treat and enjoyable to this fan. He had more range than many and had looks and prescence that few could equal. Hope TCM shows more of his fims regularly!

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Hi, SktDoctor7:

 

Thanks for the information. I had never read that before. Perhaps that whole situation was blown out of proportion for the press. I mean, if so many people who knew both men have these stories and corroborated them, then I guess, perhaps, there must be some truth in it.

 

Perhaps, it was just Bogart disliked being in the film, period. He and Flynn might have had some disagreements as well. However, they did have some things in common, especially their love of sailing and partying. While a very talented actress, Miriam Hopkins could be a real pain to work with. Perhaps it was just the whole scene of the film Bogie disliked. I had never heard that story about them burning down some of "Virginia City" sets. Bogart was right about one thing: he did look ridiculous in a Western.

 

As for William Holden, I think the reason he and Bogie didn't get along was that at the time, Holden was not that much part of the Hollywood scene. He and his wife would spend their evenings at home. Perhaps Bill didn't approve of Bogie and his lifestyle.

 

Of course, Holden was also having an affair with Audrey Hepburn. The fact Bogart, who was usually cooperative on a film, was so nasty to Audrey, probably enraged Holden. Maybe Bogart looked on Audrey as some pretty, fragile-flower who couldn't act. I don't know.

 

Most everyone loved Audrey? Who knows what the truth was? Thanks for the information on Bogie and Errol.

 

Take care.

 

Deborah

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Okay, I finally saw the Errol Flynn special. It was very good. But let me apologize in advance to Flynn lovers.

 

He still leaves me cold. Nice and pretty and all that when he was young, but nope, zippo, nada. Robert Taylor, Tyrone Power pretty, I guess you could say.

 

But when he got older, oh the poor man. I don't know what demons he deeply and truly had, so I wouldn't dare pass judgement on what made him get into alcohol and drugs, but WHAT a shame that he died at ONLY fifty.

 

Terrible waste.

 

Oh, and Olivia De Haviland was creeping me right out of my skin. Her aged coquettish speech pattern made me turn the channel until she went away.

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I also enjoyed the Errol Flynn documentary and was really impressed with Flynn's wife, Patrice Wymore, and her memories of a complicated, beautiful man. My main criticisms are these: why did this documentary waste valuable time on comments from Burt Reynolds and Richard Dreyfuss? They'd never even met the guy! Reynolds, in particular, resembled an elderly Chinese priest with his terribly stretched face. Also, when the program began, I kept thinking: pu-leeze don't let those over-used windbags, Rudy Behlmer and Richard Schickel be dragged on for their comments. When that really happened, I--and my four friends who were watching the program with me--all screamed. These two men have ruined several movie commentaries, especially on the l950 "Titanic" and "Gone With the Wind." At least they didn't drag Molly Haskell, another over-used commentator, on for her feminist views. Still, it was fascinating to watch the evolution of Flynn from his first movie, "Mutiny on the Bounty" to those last shots of him--as worn and haggard from over-drinking and over-drugging as William Holden looked when he died.

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Thanks for another recommendation, feaito. Yesterday, I watched (and reviewed) Edge of Darkness (1943) which I found to be a terrific film.

 

Even though it was made as a propaganda film against the German occupation of Norway during World War II, and the Nazi's are portrayed one dimensionally as usual (even though Helmut Dantine tries his best), it does give a good perpective of the issues faced by the locals, men & women in all callings and professions, during an occupation as they decide what to do (or not to do) in their situation.

 

Even though Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan are top billed, it's really Walter Huston's and all the other supporting characters' (even some who are uncredited) film.

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Glad you liked Path! It's an excellent, gripping film, which I had taped some years ago...I'm waiting it to be released on DVD.

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Though I liked most of the perceptive comments I've read about Errol Flynn in this thread, I've missed anyone's comments regarding the actor's beautiful speaking voice. Cultivated without sounding pretentious and vaguely English, I like to listen for it in quieter moments in his films when he is usually making a veiled reference to his own character's flaws or sharing an insight or trying to be a better fellow. He's also great, as noted in the excellent documentary, at exhorting his companions to action in a thoroughly believable fashion, but, if you can, look out for the quieter, more introspective moments in his movies. They're worth noting as well.

 

 

I've enjoyed seeing so many of the films of Errol Flynn this month, especially the aforementioned, powerful propaganda fim, "Edge of Darkness" and a little sleeper called "Uncertain Glory" with Paul Lukas that includes a playful and, at times, sensitive performance from Flynn. For sheer preposterousness and childlike exuberance few wartime movies could match "Desperate Journey" as Flynn, Arthur Kennedy and assorted cohorts from the Warner Bros. stock company hurtle through Deutscheland on an impossible hegira to freedom.

 

 

Just read the lively discussions of Errol Flynn and Bogart's possible enmity/friendship...either way did anyone comment on how ridiculous Bogart sounded in "Virginia City"?? I think that Bogie was supposed to be a highwayman of Hispanic extraction, but, oy,--that accent! One minute he sounded like Michael, the romantic Irishman 'born into the wrong time', pining after Bette Davis in "Dark Victory" and the next moment, I guess we were supposed to think that he was the Cisco Kid, by way of 52nd Street. Oh yeah, and the little mustache he wore. No wonder he drank. The only other actor who looked equally uncomfortable in a Western setting was James Cagney in "The Oklahoma Kid"--costarring, who else, Bogart.

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would you like to have a new best friend?

 

Seeing your remarks concerning Behlmer and Schickel, made me feel more able to state most unequivocally, how much I hate hearing critic's or gossip columnist's opinions of films or famous personages.

 

I will read or listen to them, but I always see them as trying to make a buck off of the subject.

 

I must watch too much Court TV, because I would rather hear one first hand comment by a stage grip, than a bunch of blather from someone, whose knowledge is all based on what they've read second hand or researched.

 

A lot of times, I will read some book by someone, who never even knew who the personage was till six months ago, and then by doing a teeny bit of research all of a sudden, they become the self proclaimed world expert on some actor, or actress...just because they pieced together a bunch of extraneous biographical information.

 

Now no offense to TCM though about Behlmer and Schickel, because this was a really enjoyable documentary, and did have great stuff from former wives, his daughter Deidre, Olivia, Vincent Sherman et cetera, but I was kind of thinking what you were thinking, Patypancake.

 

I did not mind so much Dreyfuss, as I did think he set the tone for what a man would have admired in the films of Flynn, as a boy watching from the balcony at the local Rialto. And you could tell his thoughts were all heartfelt.

 

I thought the bits from the Steve Allen show were great, and even the one with Imogene Coca, which I'll guess was from "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar. And Wymore's comments were most elucidating.

 

Where oh where is Beverly Aadland though???

 

I notice they did not mention anything about Flynn working in his early days as a prairie oyster shucker though, which is an interesting tidbit to be sure, considering the technique.

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Right on, therealfuster! I was also curious as to why they didn't spend a little more time on the tragic life of Errol's only son, Sean, who vanished during the Vietnam War--I think. From everything I've read, he was the spitting image of his dashing father with enough charisma, charm and good lucks to spare. Don't think I'm beating a dead horse, but I am so heartily sick of biographies on the stars--or movies--that waste precious minutes interviewing people who have no business being there. And once again--Burt Reynolds? Why not someone who actually knew Erroll--like maybe Lauren Bacall or Joan Leslie who might have known him during his Warner Brothers years.

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I actually remember seeing a couple of films with Sean Flynn in them years ago, and he reminded me of a cross between....Guy Madison, Brandon DeWilde and youngish Dean Stockwell. Had a likable screen presence but did not seem destined for stardom. Seems like I've heard he had a bit part in "Where the Boys Are" but I don't know if that is true.

 

Interestingly, I personally don't think facially that Sean was a dead ringer for Errol, but there was an overall resemblance in physique et cetera.

 

Sean seemed to have talent, but I guess was more like Flynn in his adventuring aspect, which lead supposedly to his demise. He'd probably be in his sixties now, which is hard to believe.

 

I'm sick of biographies also. Autobiographies are okay, at least you should be able to write about yourself, even if you lie!

 

Biographies just seem so sycophantic, when they are by someone who oftimes barely knew the real person, and just wants to make a quick buck. Or if they are by someone who goes out interviewing a slew of people, to get their story, I often wonder...do they pay these people for interviews, or give them a cut of the take?

 

I mean...why should a person tell all their fine stories of working with a screen legend, to someone else who then uses it to make money for themselves?

 

Another thing I dislike, is anyone who starts writing about their romance with a dead star, particularly if they are not very famous themself, and are more like a hanger on. I shall not name names, but there was someone not so long ago, that was touting her big romance with James Dean, that seemed a bit ludicrous in retrospect.

 

Again...before I believe everything I read, I should like some love letters verified by proper handwriting experts, and photocopied for any tell all book.

 

Now I'd have read the Pier Angeli autobiography, if there had ever been one written during the Vic Damone years, but other than that most such books seem specious and monetarily motivated.

 

The dead have no protection, from interlopers trying to make a buck off their fame I guess.

 

Oh, I love Joan Leslie....she was adorable!

 

 

 

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I thought the Flynn documentary was very well done, but I have to agree with you ladies about Schikel and Behlmer. In fact, at one point, Schikel said something so stupid, it just dumbfounded me. What he was saying was either totally obvious, or so moot - it was just stupid. Even Burt Reynolds was making smarter comments. And I was surprised to see both he and Dreyfuss in it, but I have to say, Dreyfuss was a pleasure to watch, since he's obviously a fan, and does have knowledge of Flynn's career.

 

Production wise, I thought it was excellent. It was just as good as the Cary Grant documentary if not better. And I loved the interviews with Olivia, Pat Wymore, and Vincent Sherman. And I can't believe Olivia's turning 89! God bless her. She had the best line in the whole show when she said that after multiple takes of a kissing scene in "Robin Hood," he started having "trouble with his tights." I cracked up at that. And it was nice to see Vincent Sherman, who I believe is in his 90's now. The insights from his daughter were great too. It was nice to hear that he was a good father. She spoke affectionately about him but also objectively, which was nice to see. She seems to be ok with the fact that he was a superstar, with a wild lifestyle, and therefore wasn't as attentive as other fathers would've been. At least she didn't run out and write a scathing book about him, which one could expect from the child of such a complex and free living star. I give her credit for that.

 

I've always had the impression that Flynn was more or less a womanizer, and didn't have much character. I have a new found respect for him now, since I feel I've gotten to know him more. True, he had his problems with drugs (morphine!) and alcohol, etc., but he did have a lot going for him, and did have a lot of redeeming qualities. And he was definitely a great screen personality. Maybe not a great actor like Tracy or Grant, but he's always fun to watch, and keeps you entertained.

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If Flynn was a womanizer, he could womanize me any time!

 

Sorry, but I just had to say it. His daughter Deidre's comments about the Geisler defense, were interesting as to Flynn not having to push himself on anyone.

 

Errol does seem a bit like Casanova, who did say in his autobiography, that he really did like the company of women.

 

It seems to me I've read some tale, of a rather bookish, unattractive woman who met Flynn at a party once, and was thrilled that he paid just as much attention to her as he did to the glamorous women there.

 

He seemed like a lot of fun, but also seemed to have some feelings of inferiority, which is so interesting in view of the effect he seemed to have, with other men envying him his prowess on screen and off.

 

But for me...any friend of John Barrymore's is a friend of mine.

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Your last line reminded me of a funny story about Flynn and his friend The Great Profile - Errol was distraught over the death of John Barrymore in 1942, he'd been out with a few of the boys having drinks and discussing Barrymore but decided to retire early and went on home.

 

Upon arriving home and entering his house he noticed someone sitting in his (Flynn's) favorite chair, he turned on the light and to his horror he saw Barrymore sitting in the chair.

 

Apparently, and as Flynn later learned, Raoul Walsh and a few other of Flynn's buddies some how managed to talk the funeral director into allowing them to remove Barrymore's body from the funeral home. Flynn was in complete shock.

 

The story is told in Flynn's and in Walsh's autobiographies and is confirmed by other sources as well.

 

 

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Wow, catanzaro - what a creepy story. I can't believe they would do that. I'm sure Flynn WAS in shock - I know I would be!

 

And therealfuster, the comment you made about Flynn paying just as much attention to the plain jane as he did the glamour pusses just goes to show that he was a good guy. Or maybe he just wanted to get with any woman he could - who knows! And you're right, he did have a self destructive personality that sprang from something internally, perhaps an inferiority complex, but where would he get it from? He was anything BUT inferior. He was loved and respected by men and women the world over, which is far from inferior in my opinion. But, there's no doubt that he did have some inner troubles that I guess we'll never know about. Maybe it's that he really wanted to be a writer, more than an actor, and was frustrated at the fact that he never made it as one.

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Great reading all these posts. I too had never heard that Flynn and Bogart 'detested' each other - not buddies, but apparently they got along all right.

 

Agree that Bogie should never have been cast in Westerns, and accents certainly weren't his forte. Don't know which is worse, the on-again-off-again Irish one he has in 'Dark Victory', or the so-called Mexican one in 'Virginia City': "What eez your beezness?" Yikes. The things the poor guy had to put up with in his pre-Maltese Falcon/Casablanca career... And speaking of being miscast in Westerns - I did read once a comment Bogart dropped about Cagney in their Western together, 'The Oklahoma Kid' - that in that great big hat, Cagney looked like a mushroom! I love Cagney, but that's funny!

 

Flynn, on the other hand, could pull off Western heroes with just as much panache as he showed in his swashbuckling roles. His flair was such that fans wanted to see him in dashing roles only - the typecasting that resulted was I think one of the things that really bothered Flynn and perhaps contributed to his self-destructive lifestyle.

 

True, Flynn is absolutely spectacular in his action hero roles - NOBODY did it better and those remain my favorites of his, but he really was a fine actor. As was mentioned here, 'Uncertain Glory' is a real sleeper - Flynn's performance is multi-faceted, as a totally unprincipled crook who finds something for which he's willing to give up his life.

 

Also, he plays a charming weakling in 'The Sisters' and is quite effective - but that movie seems to be ignored in favor of his other co-starring vehicle with Bette Davis, the much more opulent 'Private Lives of Elizabeth & Essex'. Both of these are on TCM Tuesday, 4/26, back-to-back, so that should be a good opportunity to compare the two.

 

As for Davis and Flynn clashing, I'm sure they did - but I saw a blooper-outtake once that showed that for a moment at least they were enjoying each other. The outtake's from 'The Sisters' - Flynn's character is solicitously hovering over his wife Bette, who is feeling a bit poorly because she's pregnant. They're sitting on a bench, he's fanning her and so on, and Bette suddenly says "I just had the baby in the women's restroom" -- Flynn's immediate, surprised burst of laughter, followed by Bette joining in and leaning against him was priceless.

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I agree-its great to see such interest in Errol Flynn,who has been much maligned and overlooked recently.

 

Regarding Errol and Bette,each one was attracted to the other according to Jack Warner in his book and countless other sources, but Bette didn't want to be just another notch in his bedpost(a paraphrase of her own words in one biography.) Errol admired her as an actress(he would always screen her movies at his parties and even at sea on his yacht) and in his book,described loving her sexy walk! He reportedly told her "Bette, I would love to propostion you,but I'm afraid you would laugh at me." Bette replied,"You're so right,Errol!" She also "helped" Olivia De Haviland resist Errol and Leslie Howard with a lot of vocal support againist them both.

 

About Flynn and an inferiorty complex,according to several excellent biographies and his diaries,he felt bad that his father was a fairly famous professor, and Errol had flunked out of at least 12-15 schools. He also had an abusive mother,who beat him lots and refused to boil his formula as a baby-giving him undulant fever. He was also never given credit for his acting by Warners,and he was made to feel inferior about that a LOT-he never even knew that Cecil B.Demille and others repeatedly wanted to cast him in several pictures until he ran into a casting director for Demille on a plane by chance-Jack Warner had maintained to Errol that nobody else wanted him after the GWTW/Selznick fiasco. Lastly, he suffered from poor health and yet was always portraying an athlete on the screen-he definitely was upset about the gap between the image and the real man according to his own diaries and writings. A lot of the old stars complained about their erosion of self-identity under the studios-Rita Hayworth and Errol certainly fit the bill on this score. They even changed his hair color 90% of the time-it was actually golden brown,but Jack preferred black hair,so it was usually black. His real haircolor is on display in the Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

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Seems to me I also remember seeing Flynn speak once about the rape trial.

 

Flynn seemed to think, that he was the scapegoat used to cover other stars' less than sterling escapades. I recall that Bing Crosby's name and a few others who were always seen as above board, like Bob Hope et cetera, were mentioned, and that Flynn felt like the papers and magazines always wanted to have someone to brand as a louse, and that he would take the heat and the system would not defend him, being that he already had the reputation, while someone like Crosby, would be portrayed as a saintly homebody, all the while his more licentious behaviour outside work, was totally hushed up.

 

This referred to womanizing and party antics, including drunken melees and driving type infractions and Flynn seemed to feel he was often offered up as the sacrificial victim, to hide other stars misbehaviour.

 

Interesting concept, and probably is much truth in it, just like that story about Confidential Magazine getting scoops on Rock Hudson, yet some other less important actor was outed instead and paid off.

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therealfuster - You're probably right about Flynn feeling like he was a scapegoat for Hollywood.

 

And besides that, I think Flynn, being a fairly independent and free thinking man, probably resented the fact that Jack Warner basically controlled his life. He probably wanted to do his own thing but felt stifled under the contract that Warners had on him, and the security of a high salary that he knew he couldn't walk away from.

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