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Warner Brothers Directors


mrroberts
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From the Warners Directors book , "If John inherited a passion for the arts from his father, his love of gambling and spur-of-the-moment flings came from his mother". Quite a statement to maybe draw conclusions from. Early in his days at Warners John Huston wanted to film *Moby Dick* with his father, Walter , as Ahab. That could have been a great film but the war years intervened and John went into the Army and did a number of film documentaries. Huston would eventually do *Moby Dick* but many years later with Gregory Peck (Walter Huston died sometime earlier).

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Thanks, mrroberts. So the wild side of John Huston came from his mother.

 

I've always liked Huston's MOBY DICK though the film has always had its share of critics, especially with the casting of Gregory Peck as Ahab. But I have to say that I really like Peck's performance in the film, as well. We can only dream about the kind of Ahab that Walter Huston might have been.

 

All those shots of that mechanical whale in the film really work well, as far as I'm concerned. There's a lot of talk about the problems they had during the shoot, losing at least two of those mechanical whales, I believe, because of the weather.

 

Those shots of the whale coming out of the water and charging at the men in their rowboats or, finally, at the ship itself, are wonderfully effective, particularly considering that this was done the hard way years before computer effects.

 

moby_dick04.jpg

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTgRe1uT9E6_CN5aN7jJ9aKFXMFBX0GjQohtuKsF57WIWDc7KhmlQ

 

moby-dick.jpg

 

These images of the whale always impress me. That second shot, with the whale coming at the camera, mouth open - a major nightmare inducer for me (and I'm not talking about the fear of bad breath).

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John Huston really wanted to do a film of "Moby Dick" but with the expense that would be involved the studio (Warners) wanted a big name lead star so Peck was the man. And he certainly proved capable in that role, but I agree about envisioning Walter Huston as a "perfect" Ahab. I personally believe that Richard Widmark would also have been great in the role (think of The Bedford Incident). Anyway, Huston did get to cast the other actors including Richard Basehart and Orson Welles. The final film cost 5 million to do and much of the at sea filming was very complicated and very dangerous. This film is really visually spectacular and has fine acting by all. Filming started in 1953 and wasn't completed and released until 1956. As was often the case John Huston was also involved in developing the script and helping to produce the film.

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Another story that John Huston wanted to film for a long time and eventually he got to do was *The Man Who Would Be King* . Originally the plan was to cast Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable (that would have been interesting) but when Bogart died in 1957 the project was put on hold. Replacing Bogart was one problem but just a few years later Gable also died. (Huston was the director of *The Misfits* , Gable's last film , done at United Artists). Huston continued to pursue doing this film (TMWWBK) and lead actor pairings considered were Burt Lancaster / Kirk Douglas , Richard Burton / Peter O'Toole, and Robert Redford / Paul Newman (I got some of this from wiki). Eventually Huston got to realize his dream with Sean Connery and Michael Caine in the lead roles. *The Man Who Would Be King* is considered one of John Huston's best efforts.

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I came across a 1979 Montreal Gazette article about John Huston which includes comments from the director on some of the actors with whom he had worked:

 

If a director were judged by the number of great stars and Oscar winners he's put through their paces, John Huston might be the best director who ever lived.

 

Huston won an Academy Award in 1948 for Treasure of Sierra Madre.

 

A grizzled, craggy-faced man with frosty hair and beard, Huston, 72, has youthful, puckish eyes. His latest film is Wise Blood, his first directorial assignment since The Man Who Would Be King in 1975.

 

Huston likes to say that he does as little directing as possible -"Most of my direction is done in casting, which comes out of the script."

 

Few directors have cast as many Oscar winners and nominees. A partial list includes Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, Deborah Kerr, Clark Gable, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor and George C. Scott.

 

But none of them rates highest in Huston's regard. His choice for unparalleled excellence - Robert Mitchum.

 

"There is no finer actor in the world than Robert Mitchum," Huston said without qualification. "I learned that when we did Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. He has a great wealth of talent and enormous discipline. Very underrated.

 

"I remember one scene where I asked Mitch to crawl through high grass on his belly for three takes. He did so without question. When I told him we had a print, he stood up and blood was running down his chest.

 

"I couldn't believe my eyes. He'd been crawling throughout stinging nettles without flinching. In my book, Mitch compares with Brando any time in the week.

 

"Marlon and I got along very well doing Reflections in a Golden Eye. But then I get along with almost every one of the actors and actresses I've worked with. For the most part there were no difficulties at all. You don't have trouble with good people."

 

Huston has a reputation for never raising his voice on the set. He guides his actors with quiet direction. When there are differences of opinion, he takes the star aside for a discussion.

 

Of the scores of stars he has directed, the only one he does not praise unstintingly is John Wayne.

 

"There was no difficulty, but I just felt he disliked me as much as I disliked him.

 

"Oh, there were problems with Monty Clift, but they were understandable. He was not a well man when he did Freud.

 

"As for Bogart, the only picture I directed him in was The African Queen. In the others (The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of Sierra Madre) Bogey was being himself, not acting. Still, he was a wonderful artist who managed to combine being a great actor and personality.

 

Huston directed Errol Flynn when the playboy star was past his prime. It was a wonder the two men ever worked together.

 

"Many years before we did the picture, Errol and I got into Hollywood's most famous fist fight," Huston recalled grimly.

 

"We were at one of David O. Selznick's famous big parties when Errol said something nasty about a lady. I told him he was a liar and he asked if I would like to step outside. I said I would be most pleased.

 

"We went out in the garden and it was a long fight. It lasted more than an hour. We threw tremendous punches at one another. We knocked each other down several times."

 

A couple of followup comments I'd like to make regarding this article. It's interesting that the reporter, in listing the Oscar nominated actors with whom Huston worked, mistakenly included Edward G. Robinson. That's a reflection of an assumption made by many over the years that such a great actor had been so honoured.

 

In reference to The Barbarian and the Geisha, the film on which Huston had friction with John Wayne, Wayne was afraid that he was miscast (an opinion with whom many critics would later agree). Huston admitted that he had directed some bad pictures, for which he took responsibility.

 

This one, he claimed, however, was NOT one of them. "It was a good picture before it became a bad picture," the director said, calling it a sensitive, well balanced work.

 

Huston suspected that Wayne took over after he left "because he pulled a lot of weight at Fox so that studio went along with his demands for changes." By the time "the studio finished hacking up the picture, according to Wayne's instructions, it was a complete mess." By the time that Huston saw the film he said "I was aghast." The director considered taking the legal means to have his name removed from the final product but changed his mind for compassionate reasons when he learned that the film's producer, Buddy Adler, was dying of cancer.

 

Regarding Huston's famous fight with Errol Flynn, there are a few anecdotes about the fight provided by the director. Curiously, though, to the best of my knowledge, Flynn never talked about it.

 

Finally, in reference to Huston's high regard for Robert Mitchum. Huston's final professional assignment was a 1987 acting cameo in Mr. North, a film undertaken as a directorial debut by the director's son, Tony. Huston had to bow out, however, seriously ill with pneumonia from which he would die at age 81. It was Mitchum who stepped in to replace him.

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A few photos of John Huston:

 

jose-ferrer-visits-john-huston-gregory-peck.jpg

 

Huston and Gregory Peck on the Moby Dick set, with visitor Jose Ferrer

 

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Directing Treasure of the Sierra Madre

 

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Directing The List of Adrian Messenger, with future director son Tony sitting on his lap

 

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At New York's Stork Club, with John Garfield

 

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Great shot on the set of We Were Strangers, with visitor Burt Lancaster obviously entertaining Huston, Garfield and associates

 

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Huston and Evelyn Keyes on their wedding day, July, 1946 (Future days with the director wouldn't be quite so happy as this one for the lady)

 

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Moulin Rouge set, with Jose Ferrer

 

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A proud moment for father and son in March, 1949. Backstage at the Oscars, with presenters director Frank Borzage and Jean Hersholt. John and Walter Huston honoured as best director and supporting actor for Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

 

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On The Asphalt Jungle set, with Marilyn Monroe and cinematographer Harold Rosson

 

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Another great shot, this one in Africa during the making of Roots of Heaven. That's Errol Flynn, Juliette Greco, producer Darryl Zanuck and a beaming Huston all appearing to be having a ball.

 

John-Huston-Dead.jpg

 

Huston on the set of his final film as director, The Dead

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It is very interesting reading the Montreal Gazette item that TomJH inserted a few posts ago. John Huston placed a great deal of faith in his actor's abilities and judgment and gave them a good deal of freedom in their work, allowing the actor's talent to be fully expressed. Huston said half of the job of directing is doing a good job of casting the right actors. He praises Robert Mitchum abilities as a natural actor (I would agree) , its unfortunate that they didn't work together more often. Huston also looks less favorably on John Wayne. I think I understand this. I like John Wayne and many of his films a lot. But I do think John Wayne needed the help of a strong , dominating director to perform at a high level. That was not Huston's style or nature so they weren't a good match. And putting Wayne in a terrible role (for him) didn't help matters, I wonder who made that casting decision (John Wayne in The Barbarian and the Geisha). I never knew a lot about the famous Errol Flynn/ John Huston brawl, its a shame the cameras weren't rolling when that took place. ;) Both guys seemed to have similar personalities, and its to their credit that years later they could let bygones be bygones and work together in a film. That was probably a good gesture on Huston's part, to cast Flynn when few others would.

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mrroberts, Flynn left so much out of his autobiography, including the fist fight with Huston. You have to keep in mind, though, that the actor wrote his book, in combination with ghost writer Earl Conrad, just after the African location shoot for Roots of Heaven had finished, so he was probably feeling quite generous in his feelings towards Huston at the time.

 

Thirteen years had passed since their fight by that time so it's apparent that, just as both men were enigmatic restless bad boy charmers, they also both had, as you pointed out, the capacity to let bygones be bygones.

 

It doesn't appear, however, that it was quite the same case with Huston and Wayne, though, admittedly, the director's comments about the Duke were pretty low key in that article. The fact that everyone knew Wayne was dying of cancer at the time of the article (recall the Duke's final frail appearance at the Oscars) may had a lot to do with the directors' attitude, though.

 

Some reports say that there was a physical altercation between the two men on the set of Barbarian, with Huston clearly the loser. It was while the director was in Africa shooting the film with Flynn that Fox took over the footage of Barbarian and the Geisha, much to the director's chagrin.

 

AngelaPeas4.jpg

 

Wayne and Huston separated by continuity girl Angela Allen. Allen worked on 14 Huston films, starting with The African Queen.

 

"I was interviewed by Sam Spiegel, "said Angela, " - not by John, who was already in Africa - and I got assigned to John that way. Sam thought because I was the youngest in the industry I'd be tough enough to withstand the rigours of the jungle.I did.I was one of the ones who did not go down sick. John fell out with Spiegel after 'African Queen' about finances but about fifteen years later I heard him say,'I don't like him,but he's the best producer I ever had.'" She recalls that Spiegel would argue with John: "Normally he had a very valid point. But, perhaps he wasn't the most honourable of men."

 

She continues: "John Huston knew what he wanted. He never over shot,he never shot a whole scene in a long wide angle making the actors play four minutes of dialogue - it's one of the most wasteful ways of shooting if you know you're going to cover it from different angles and you never want to go back to a wide shot.

 

"I knew his style so that if production managers came and asked him,'What are you shooting?',he'd say, 'I'm not discussing it with you. Go and ask Angie. She knows exactly what I want and the way I'm going to shoot.' So the Production Managers would ask me, 'You will be doing coverage?' or 'How many shots have you got to do, Ange?' And I'd say, 'He's got to do so- and-so and he won't finish before nine.' I never got it wrong.

 

 

"John didn't like second units. I shot some scenes for him on 'Roots of Heaven' as did Stephen Grimes, his art director, on another film. We knew we'd get told off about them. Whatever we did was wrong. I was in charge of a unit picking up shots of the doubles. I was not only directing it, in charge of my French camera crew, I even had to double for Eddie Albert because we were in Africa and we couldn't find another white man in the village. To find one very tall man, I had to drive about a hundred miles to persuade him to come and work for us. Most Directors hate second unit. They never think they're any good."

 

The Angela Allen quotes I found at the following link:

 

http://www.scriptsupervisors.co.uk/page12.htm

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Once again Tom comes through with some interesting stuff here. While we're on the subject of the Flynn bio, just what does he have to say about the two men who were so involved in his film career, Mr Warner and Mr Curtiz? Maybe Flynn was pretending that John Huston was Michael Curtiz and that's why Flynn fought with such intensity :)

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Mar 18, 2014 3:01 AM

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mrroberts, Flynn had a complicated love-hate relationship with Jack Warner. Since Flynn was by nature a rebel and loved to tweak the nose of anyone in authority (that even extended to a couple of cops with whom he had physical encounters) he always derived pleasure by upsetting his studio bosses.

 

That included doing his own airplane daredevil flying with Patric Knowles during the production of Robin Hood, or phoning in sick or threatening a prolonged vacation when negotiating for more money. On one occasion, when a stuntman/budddy of his, Buster Wiles, had a financial dispute with the studio, Flynn kept phoning in sick until Wiles got the money they both felt that Warners owed him.

 

None of this met with JL's approval, of course, especially since he was a noteworthy tightwad. Still, in his autobiography Flynn gave Warner the credit for casting him as an unknown in Captain Blood, and Warner would later call the actor one of the most charming and tragic men that he had ever met.

 

It's also true that after Flynn made a disasterous attempt at film production on his own in Italy during the '50s, returning to Hollywood a few years later, looking, quite frankly, for almost any work he could get, he had a renewed respect for the skill involved in the efficiency and skill of the studios that he didn't have when he was a top star at Warners.

 

When Warner cast Flynn as John Barrymore in Too Much Too Soon in '57, the actor was genuinely grateful for the opportunity.

 

Said Flynn at the time, "I am really grateful to Jack Warner for the way he treated me since I came back to work in Hollywood. Hell, nobody knows better than I do how I messed him up in the past . . . (The Warner Brothers) were the true magicians. And clowns like me were lucky to dance in their magic circle, though few of us realized it at the time."

 

JL, in his autobiography published a few years after Flynn's death, printed the following letter that he says he received from the actor at the time:

 

"Dear Sporting Blood, This is to thank you, Jack, for having confidence in me - for the second time. The first time was twenty-two years ago, when you and you alone made a hard and fast decision to put me in a sleeper called Captain Blood. In the intervening years, during which I cheerfully admit I gave you far more headaches than you deserved, I've always had a warm personal feeling towards you. Thanks, sport! Errol."

 

Keep in mind, that letter appeared in the studio mogul's autobiography. I'm not saying Flynn didn't write it, just that it does seem to serve Warner's ego to have published it. Based upon Flynn's earlier statement, though, it does seem to reflect the change in a rapidly aging actor's feelings, no longer the same rebel against authority, now just a man grateful to get a job.

 

As for Curtiz, I don't think Flynn ever showed much sign of mellowing in his feelings towards him. In his book he makes reference to the director wearing a fur coat during the freezing weather conditions of filming Charge of the Light Brigade while at the same time barking orders to cast members freezing in thin outfits.

 

Flynn wrote the following account of his final break with Curtiz:

 

Mike had the charming habit of blaming everything on everyone else. As the star I was often given most of the blame.

 

Curtiz was standing on a high parallel. I was to wheel my horse around and engage in a sword fight with a fellow. That is not easy, even though we had worked out every detail - the horses move, anything can happen. To avoid losing an eye we had guards put on the swords. But during the action I received a cut on the cheek and started bleeding. The scene stopped and the doctor attended to me. To my relief it had missed my eye.

 

A friend came to me, told me that Curtiz had made him take the tips off the swords. The last straw! I leaped up the twelve foot parallel to get to Curtiz - I'll never know how.

 

I grabbed Mike by the throat and began strangling him. Two men tried to pry me off. They succeeded before I killed him.

 

This was the end of our relationship. I deemed it wiser not to work with this highly artistic gentleman who aroused my worst instincts.

 

It's a colourful account by Flynn but I am highly suspicious of the historical accuracy of its details. Flynn did have, at times, a ferocious temper and he did physically assault Curtiz in front of the crew. The precise details have always been vague but it occurred during the production of Dive Bomber - a film that hardly involved horses and swords. (It's possible, of course, that the actor may have assaulted the director on more than one occasion and he confused the two events).

 

After the assault it was only when Curtiz was then assigned to the actor's next project, They Died With Their Boots On, that Flynn went to see Jack Warner and JL agreed that the actor would never have to work with the Hungarian director again. It was a huge personal triumph for Flynn, and a reflection of his status within the studio that he could pull this off, especially since most of his Curtiz films had been very successful at the box office.

 

Nevertheless, whatever its historical accuracy may be, Flynn's anecdote about the end with the director clearly sums up his feelings about the man.

 

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Happier days - December, 1938, with JL and Flynn enjoying a laugh at the end of the table. In company with them are Ann Warner, JL's wife, Lili Damita Flynn and Marlene Dietrich.

 

It's my understanding that Errol had a "thing" for Ann Warner but never tried to follow through on it. That crazy he wasn't. The same thing cannot be said for Eddie Albert. But that, as they say, is another story.

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Its often hard to separate the personality of the actor in his real life from the image they portray on the screen. I have an impression (maybe I am all wet) that Errol Flynn was in many ways an easy going guy, a rebel type for sure, but also accepting others for their being a free spirit too. I believe you had to push Flynn hard to create a confrontation but once you crossed the line look out. Flynn obviously took a lot of abuse from Michael Curtiz, probably more than others would have. If Curtiz had let up at some point maybe he and Flynn could have had a more workable relationship. But some people like Curtiz seem to encourage tension and conflict with others, at least with certain people that they single out. And as you say, Tom, Errol liked to taunt or tease authority so this was always a volatile situation. And some people can't ever let go of an old grudge, Flynn seemed to be able to do that, at least when it served a purpose.

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I think in making an appraisal of Errol Flynn's personality, it would depend upon which part of his life you were dealing. When he first arrived in Hollywood he was very ambitious to make it as a star, wanting all the trimmings of affluence that with it. But he was also an easier going guy then who wrote a novel (Beam Ends) in 1937 at a time when he had an optimistic high energy viewpoint on life.

 

He took a lot of crap from Curtiz while making Captain Blood for two reasons 1. he knew this was his big opportunity for success and 2. he was a movie neophyte who didn't know any better. Afterward, when people confided in him that a lot of directors didn't treat their actors in the same harsh insensitive abrasive manner in which Curtiz treated him while making that film, he became very resentful of the director.

 

Not so resentful as to refuse to work with Curtiz, of course (he wasn't that big a star yet, not until 1941 when he finally did take a stand against working with him anymore), but the two men never did like one another. While Curtiz did get along with some other actors, he never did with Flynn and the personal contempt went both ways.

 

Curtiz was a workaholic while Flynn's greatest energy went into his extra curricular activities. In his early years in Hollywood, however, Flynn's drinking was not an issue while making his films. And he really did try hard at times. He just happened to be an actor who always made it look so easy on screen.

 

He knew, for example, that Robin Hood was a huge film in his career (Warner's most expensive production until that time) and he put in a major effort on the stunt work in that film, doing much of it himself.

 

After the 1943 rape trial, however, Flynn began to gradually change. He became increasingly more cynical about people (women in particular), and he increased his drinking, combined with drug experimentation. Flynn's increasing bitterness with Hollywood and frustrations with his career, combined with a sense of futility with life (which increased his well known hedonistic behaviour) darkened the original sunny outlook that he had on the film colony.

 

In the later '40s when Flynn drank and reached a certain point with his drunkenness he was, quite frankly, a man to avoid. Even more so, according to his second wife, when he was on drugs, which is what lead her to leave him. When sober he was still a charming man but the drugs and alcohol could unleash dark demons. He was most certainly not an easy going man in the last dozen or so years of his life.

 

Even then, however, he still had some friends, like Ida Lupino or Ann Sheridan, who always spoke well about him, even when they were no longer in contact and Flynn's self imposed European exile vagabond lifestyle had caused them to float apart.

 

Also remember one other thing. It was in the early '50s that he was first told by a doctor that his lungs were shot full of holes, his liver was close to being on life support and he had not much longer to live. Flynn carried that death sentence with him for about the last seven years or so of his life. His attitude was "what the hell" and his drinking and drug taking increased.

 

Flynn's futile attempt at being his own producer with productions of Crossed Swords and the aborted William Tell in Italy in 1953 (during which time he more or less laid off the booze) finished him as a top tier star. After that he was in a constant search for funds, there was little letup in the substance abuse, and the physical and emotional downward spiral would continue until his heart attack death in 1959.

 

His teenage girlfriend Beverly Aadland in those last two years (while it became a scandal after his death) uplifted Flynn's often flagging spirits a lot. She made him laugh. Aadland unquestionably loved him (she still spoke of that love 30 years after his death) and all indications are that Flynn genuinely cared about her.

 

Typical Flynn, though, he died before taking any real provisions for her in a new will so she had her own sordid affairs and experiences after his death. In the late '80s, though, Aadland was interviewed and said that if Flynn was still alive, she'd still be with him. (From what I know of Flynn's restless spirit, though, and how he eventually got bored with people, I strongly doubt that that would have been the case).

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When I watch an Errol Flynn film from his glory days at Warner Brothers I really enjoy myself. He was such an entertaining guy on the screen and if you look past the surface I believe he showed a real talent as an actor. Its a shame he didn't get more recognition for that. When I read about his off screen life experiences I feel rather sad. Some of those troubles he brought on himself and others were just the typical consequences of being a big movie star celebrity, the long term downfall of many people.

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Well, I've been a Flynn fan most of my life, mrroberts. That's why I've read quite a bit about him to find out that he was such a fascinating, if decidedly flawed, self destructive personality. Aside from being a real life adventurer and a great sailor, he was a man who wanted to be a writer. Being an Aussie roustabout from his early days (and a man who often skirted the law in the process) he had, not surprisingly during his Hollywood years, a lot of macho hard drinking male companions.

 

Yet, surprisingly (probably to those male companions, in particular) Flynn also regarded himself as a bit of a food and wine connoisseur, a man with cultured tastes in both reading material and music, as well as, for a while, an avid art collector (having a Van Gogh and Gauguin original, among them). These are not the images that immediately come to mind with his international playboy reputation.

 

I also think that, during his prime years, he was unique talent on screen. It's difficult, if not impossible, for me to envision anyone who could have been his equal on screen as the Sea Hawk or George Armstrong Custer, as Gentleman Jim or that tongue-in-cheek Don Juan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was on vacation and without much web access when all this was posted. A thoughtful and honest evaluation of Flynn.

 

Also, rumor has it that the fisticuffs with John Huston may have been about a certain lady that Huston was involved with at the time who was also Flynn's frequent co-star. You don't have to be Fellini to figure that one out.

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That fight between Huston and Flynn is one of Hollywood's most famous, yet the details of the contest have always been quite vague. Both men checked into Cedars of Lebanon Hospital afterwards, and I believe I've heard talk of Errol sustaining a couple of broken or cracked ribs.

 

Flynn, once again, to the best of my knowledge, never talked about the fight (possibly because he felt awkward about the source of it, to which you alluded, rosebette, but that's just a guess on my part). Even in Huston's own account of it, though, he acknowledges being knocked down a number of times by Flynn. Therefore, even though Huston had done some boxing earlier in his career, I've always had the impression that Flynn may have gotten the better of him to a degree. I've never heard that Huston floored Flynn.

 

Taking place in the back garden area, I believe, of David O. Selznick's home, I know that Selznick was furious with both men for the brawl. Considering the fact that we're talking Huston and Flynn here, I assume that there may been a fair consumption of alcohol taking place on both their parts. If the fight actually did last about an hour, as Huston later claimed, both men would have been forced to sober up.

 

How I would have loved to have been a bug in that garden watching these two men go at it that 1945 evening. What I've always wondered about, though, is the fact that I know of no anecdotes from any others who may have witnessed the contest. And you just know that once the word got out to partiers that Flynn and Huston were going at it, there must have been some spilling outside to take a look.

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Tom, in reading my Warner Brothers Directors book , John Huston's second film as director was *In This Our Life* from 1942. Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland were the two stars and it was during this film that Huston and Olivia first became an item. And Huston had great difficulty with Bette (join the crowd, John) , particularly with the final scenes of that movie. In fact (from the Raoul Walsh bio book that I now have) Walsh was brought in to direct Bette for the final scene. Walsh didn't fare much better getting her cooperation but somehow they got it done. I personally have never seen the film, I'll have to put that on my to do list. I thought the Walsh book may have had a reference to the Huston/Flynn fight but it doesn't. The book does get into the close father/son type of relationship between Walsh and Flynn. Walsh's wife Mary did not like Flynn very much however. When one of Flynn's children was being born, Flynn spent the night at Walsh's home drinking instead of going to the hospital to be with his wife and child.

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Rosebette, we all assume that the Huston/ Flynn brawl was about Olivia (a winner gets the girl type thing). But considering the feelings both men had about Bette Davis maybe the fight was over Bette (loser gets the girl :) )

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Since the last page or two of this thread was dealing with director John Huston --- the Warner Brothers Director book briefly touches on the Huston film "The Misfits" . This was a film done for United Artists and is well known for its cast and the fact that it was the last film for 2 legendary stars, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. This film went way over budget (over 4 million at the end) and that was largely due to the difficulties with Marilyn. Getting her to show up for a take, many multiple takes, etc , ran up the bills. John Huston, who was known as an easy going guy while directing, couldn't bring himself to try to discipline her. The other members of the cast also liked Marilyn a lot but the endless delays in filming took a toll on Clark Gable, whose health wasn't very good at the time. Gable died right after the finish of the film. This is not meant to reflect badly on John Huston but I can't help thinking that if he had been a little more forceful with her in moving things along it might have been best for all concerned , especially Marilyn. And Marilyn had a good rapport with John Huston , he directed her years earlier in "The Asphalt Jungle" with good results. Marilyn always needed that strong guiding hand and after "The Misfits" she had similar problems on her next film project that resulted in her being fired.

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