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Flynn Plays Barrymore on TCM, Friday Jan 9 at 11am (EST)


TomJH
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I know that the  purpose of this thread is all about Flynn and his portrayal  of John Barrymore but I have to comment again on Dorothy Malone and her work in this film.  I think she was terrific in this. This time period (mid to late 50's) found her in several major films giving strong performances in each one.   She became a "blonde" in the mid 50's  and I guess that gave her career a boost.  But at the beginning of the Barrymore bio film  she is a young woman  (late teens)  and a brunette, looking a lot like the girl she played years earlier in THE BIG SLEEP (and many of us guys remember that scene, right?)  I think Dorothy was a very good actress, working steadily in small roles and then progressing to leading lady status.  I wonder why she started moving into mostly tv work in the 60's? She still worked steady but she  still would have been very suitable in films.  Hey, Dorothy is still with us, in a few weeks she will be 90 years young. I sure hope she is doing well and has a great birthday. :)

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To think that Flynn is not even 50 years old, but he looks like he's in his 70's.  One has to wonder the condition of his internals (heart, lungs, liver, etc).  And just as important, his mental health and attitude, he looks like a man who isn't enjoying life at all, ready to give up,  its very sad.

I don't know if you're talking about Flynn's appearance as Barrymore or that photo I posted just prior to your comment, mrroberts. That photo, which is about the worst I have ever seen of Errol, is, fortunately, a studio makeup job, rather than an image of the real man.

 

However, your comments about his heart, lungs (which were shot full of holes) and what was left of his liver after years of excessive drink, are a reflection of the coroner's report on him two years after this film was made. It was commented that he had more the appearance of a 70 year old than his actual age of 50. He went physically downhill quite badly in his last few months.

 

There's a scene in Too Much Too Soon depicting a press party for Diana Barrymore's first film when Flynn as Papa Jack walks in to surprise everyone. There's a moment in which he pauses in mid self introduction as he spots a young blonde standing off stage. There are two shots of her, in fact. That blonde was Beverly Aadland, who would be Flynn's teenage lover for the last two years of his life.

 

Of course, his relationship with this young lady (she was 15 when they first met though Flynn didn't know it as she always looked older than her age) would be a source of considerable controversy when it was made public after his death. The fact remains, however, that she brought him a degree of happiness in those final years. Once, when he was asked what he saw in her, he simply replied, "She makes me laugh."

 

But it was true. She did make him laugh, and he would take her with him on trips to Europe, as well as his Jamaican estate. And, as much as many people will judge him harshly for this Lolita relationship, the feelings of affection between the two appeared to have been genuine. Flynn wrote her letters while he was filming on location in Africa that clearly reflect a man awash in sentiment and concern for her being. Aadland, in turn, almost 30 years after Flynn's death, said that if Errol was still alive, she'd still be with him (a statement which couldn't have done much for Aadland's current husband when it appeared in People Magazine).

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