Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...



Recommended Posts

wow!! you all have given me books to read in the future! i can't thank you all enough!


can some one please recommend any book that was turned into a film? i've been doing a search all morning and i can't find anything. film adaptations is what i'm thinking about.


i'm thinking a long the lines of peyton place by Grace Metalious, east of eden and the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck, valley of the dolls by jacqueline susann and others.


any recommendation or suggestion would be helpful! thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rusty,


Yeah, I really do love Errol Flynn too. And since I read this book, I love him even more.


I mean, he definitely says exactly what he thinks...but I'll say this for him - he's very fair about it. Cus he doesn't let *himself* off the hook either! And the whole book is written in such a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic fashion that it's very entertaining reading.


More than any autobiography I've read, I felt like by the end of it, I really *knew* Errol Flynn. He doesn't whitewash anything - not even related to his own actions IRL or performances in films. He's refreshingly, but brutally honest. And you have to love him for it. As you read this book, the feeling you get is not of him laying out his wonderous life to a bunch of adoring fans. It's more a feeling of sitting around in his living room, having a few beers with your buddy Errol; and Errol telling you the story of his life through a series of highly entertaining (and not always self-flattering) tales.


Lord knows he wasn't perfect. But at least he was honest about his flaws and he could laugh at himself and at life.


Of course, that same 'damn the torpedos' mentality is probably what caused him to be so utterly self-destructive and what untimately killed him so young. But 'he was who he was'. And in this book, you get to know pretty clearly who that was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Raoul Walsh tells the story of how when John Barrymore died, he "borrowed" his body and drove it up to Flynn's house. He told Flynn that Barrymore wasn't really dead but was dead drunk. Flynn supposedly ran into the woods scared. I'm sure this is just a tall tale, but I'm curious, is this mentioned in the book at all?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Yesterday, I ordered "My Wicked Wicked Ways" from Amazon.


Good thing is: it cost about the same as a used book (if you include used book shipping costs).


Bad thing is: I ordered it with the Busby Berkeley DVD set and I have to wait. Aww...



Link to comment
Share on other sites



I have heard the "borrow dead Barrymore" story from a source other than Raoul Walsh, but I don't remember where.


Anyway. I got a mental image of John Barrymore driven around Los Angeles strapped to the top of the car. Something like the "dead Aunt Edna" scene from the movie "Vacation".




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love books about old Hollywood. Some of the most entertaining may not be the most "factual" IMHO. Here some that I'd recommend (factual and not so factual):


Complicated Women and the follow-up Dangerous Men by Mick LaSalle

Hollywood by Garson Kanin (Perhaps not completely factual, but a fun read)

Tracy and Hepburn ditto the above

Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson

Silent Film Stars by Jeanine Basinger (Terrific book about the stars AND the films)

"I'd Love to Kiss You," by Whitney Stine (conversations with Bette Davis)


I don't know if anyone else agrees with this, but I hate, Hate HATE the bios by Barbara Leaming. She always seems to try and make stars out to be so, I don't know, twisted? Is that the word I want? I mean I know nice normal people don't generally become Hollywood stars, but geez.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'd Love To Kiss You" will go on my list, which is growing at an alarming rate, may I add :0)


Any more suggestions on Bette Davis? My appreciation for Bette is really beggining to take off.

What a talented woman...


I've read 'Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud" by Shaun Considine. Very entertaining book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard the "borrow dead Barrymore" story from a source other than Raoul Walsh, but I don't remember where. >>


Matt and Rusty,


I believe it was Raoul Walsh and Gene Fowler, Sr along with someone else who's identity escapes me at the moment, who were the ones responsible for the joke. I may have Walsh's autobiography around here somewhere so I will see if I can look it up. Sobered Flynn up quick as I remember, but not for very long.


Blake Edwards "borrowed" the story for use in "SOB".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,


Actually, it *is* in the book. And it really did happen....although not exactly like that - at least not according to Flynn:


"I was drunk - sad drunk - when I reached home. I walked in, sad and alone.


As I opened the door I pressed the button. The lights went on and my God - I stared into the face of Barrymore! His eyes were closed. He looked puffed, white, bloodless. They hadn't embalmed him yet.


I let out a deliruious scream.


I turned to run from the house. I intended getting into my car to flee down the hill away from my place, away from myself.


As I got out on the porch, I heard voices behind me, from the inside. Out came Walsh and the others.


'Hold on, Errol, it's only a gag!'


A gag! I went back in, still shaking.


They took the body back to the morgue. I returned to my room upstairs, shaken and sobered. My heart pounded. I couldn't sleep the rest of the night.


It was no way to remember the passing of John Barrymore.


Yet I forgave Walsh. He brought this distorted touch of genius to his films. In his films, he always introduced strange little ideas, those touches which are the mark of a man of true talent.


I was with Walsh at Jack's funeral. 'Uncle' Raoul took a look at me. He said, 'Jack would get up out of that box if he could see who was carrying him'.


The pallbearers were the persons he most hated."


-pg 305-6, "My Wicked, Wicked Ways - The Autobiography of Errol Flynn"


( *lol* - I told you he called 'em as he saw 'em!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Normandie,


Errol Flynn died in 1959 in Vancouver. I remember that very well; it was such a shock to hear that someone so vivacious would die.

Sean Flynn disappeared (killed??) years later in the late 60's, so Errol would not have experienced that. However, his mother, Lili Damita, was devastated for the rest of her life. She became a recluse in Palm Beach, much like "Norma Desmond"; I've heard she lost her mind.......



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Movie books that I enjoy (some of them mentioned previously):


The two Mick LaSalle books on pre-code films.


Sin in Soft Focus


The Parade's Gone By by Kevin Brownlow (required reading if you're at all a fan of silent film)


Behind the Mask of Innocence by Brownlow -- a fascinating look at social films of the silent era. Brownlow's name guarantees quality.


The Silent Clowns by Walter Kerr -- a beautifully written book on silent comedy. One of those books that make you wish you could meet the author, who is sadly passed on.


American Silent Film by William K. Everson. I have issues with this one, especially his misguided defense of "Birth of a Nation," but it's a good overview of the silent era.


Movies in the Age of Innocence by Edward Wagenknecht. Despite the mistaken title (silents were anything but innocent), it's a very personal look at silent film by an author who grew up on them. A bit heavy on Lillian Gish worship, but a good read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years 1928 - 1941" by Howard Gutner is a lovely book, jam-packed with great photographs of stars wearing Adrian designs in various MGM movies of the period.

It doesn't really go into Adrian's private life that much, instead the emphasis is on his genious and how he worked as a part of the MGM machine, as well as his influence on the 20th century fashion.

Plenty of sketches as well, with lots of explanation why each costume works for a certain role.


I was amazed at the length they went to recreate the original gowns worn by Marie Antoinette.

The dresses Norma Shearer worn in that movie are the exact replicas of the paintings of Marie Antoinette.


Adrian was very unhappy with the way studio recycled his creations once the movies were completed.

Guess which movie he had most fun designing costumes for?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another good one is Brando's autobio, Songs My Mother Taught Me. There's a good anecdote of how Glen Ford was a big primadonna on the set of Teahouse of the August Moon. Brando stole Ford's cookies from his dressing room and Ford went on a tirade accusing the kids from the movie of stealing them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone read "I Can't Wait To Be Forgotten", a biography of Kay Francis? I've heard good things about it


I meant to add this to my earlier post. I'm about halfway through it, and enjoying it quite a bit. It's seems to be well researched, and includes a lot of quotes from Kay's very frank diaries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...