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if you could have lunch...


BestEra

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If you could (or could have in the past) have lunch with any film star, who would you choose? You can choose ONLY ONE, and he/she can now be deceased. Please only actors/actresses in film prior to 1970.

I would choose Red Skelton. Although IMO most of his movies are only marginally good, he was such a good comedian, and a very kind person (from what I've seen & read). I remember his television show from the 1950's/1960's and he seemed like such a genuine person.

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He's not a star but I would choose TCM pick this month, James Wong Howe because I would love to hear the stories of how he lit the films he did. I love what he did with light and black and film film.

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Errol Flynn. But not really to talk about his films.

 

Being very much into adventure traveling myself, what I'd really love to talk to him about are his extensive travels, and how things have changed between when he went on alot of his adventures and now.

 

Or, he could just sit there and smile at me. I'd take that too. *lol*

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pktrekgirl,

 

I just finished Errol Flynn's auto-biography. He really considered Hollywood as a means to an end, didn't he? The first half of the book is very interesting (his adventures in New Guinea). The second half? Flynn's adventures on his boat are interesting, but I can (almost) hear the boredom in Flynn's voice while dictating his Hollywood-thing.

 

I would like to have lunch with Errol Flynn. I would like to hear his adventure tales and look him in the eye and (maybe) determine, "just how much fact have we got here?".

 

Errol Flynn...he's the man!

 

Rusty

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*lol*

 

Yeah, I'd love to ask him that exact question - just what percentage of all this is 'tall tale', Errol? *lol*

 

Somehow, though, I think all we'd get in response to that question is a laugh, a twinkle in his eye, and a call for another beer.

 

But you know what? In spite of his tendancy to tell tall tales, I think he was one of the more genuine people in Hollywood at that time. I mean, he said what he thought, and what you saw was what you got. He certainly didn't go out of his way to impress anyone, that's for sure! Even in that book, you get a feeling of genuineness about him that's difficult to put a finger on - even among the tall tales. Sort of a familiarity, really.

 

And while I think there is some tall tale in "My Wicked, Wicked Ways", I get the feeling that it is not put there to intentionally deceive. It's there to embellish a true story, just for the sake of making it more interesting or getting a bigger laugh. But not to maliciously deceive.

 

And as you read his stuff, you begin to take into consideration the "Flynn Factor", I think, and just enjoy the stories, knowing that although they probably happened, they no doubt did not happen exactly the way he tells it. *lol* Which is what I sorta meant back when I was telling you about the book: you feel not like you are reading a book by a celebrity, but like you are sitting around in the man's living room, listening to his stories over a couple of beers.

 

Did you feel that way?

 

And yeah, I think he got really discouraged with the whole Hollywood thing. I think part of it had to do with the nasty time of it he had with the rape trial...and I think part of it had to do with him not really liking his image in general.

 

He had a heck of a time in life, but I don't think he died a very happy man, unfortunately.

 

And that would be another thing I'd like to address with him over lunch - maybe point out to him how his films have endured so well...and that he never gave himself the credit he deserved.

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pktrekgirl,

 

Reading "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" was like having Mr. Flynn sitting in my living room and amuse me with his stories. I am kind of interested in reading some other books of the same genre, but I know that anybody else would be a let down. Oh, well.

 

Your "Flynn Factor"? Reminds me of Errol Flynn's use of the word "Flynn" as--pronoun, noun, verb, adverb, adjective... Hilarious!

 

"My Wicked, Wicked Ways" was a real treat.

 

Rusty

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Well, you do know that he wrote two other books - loosely autobiographical, both. "Beam Ends" and "Showdown" - you can get both brand new at Amazon. ;) And "From a Life of Adventure: The Writings of Errol Flynn" has bits of both of those books in it, as well as some very interesting articles he wrote for Photoplay. It's a bit harder to find though, since it's out of print - that one, you'd have to buy used...but I got my copy through Amazon.

 

Both "Beam Ends" and "Showdown" are written in the same voice as "My Wicked, Wicked Ways". The man makes you laugh in spite of yourself sometimes! I can't count the number of times I've shook my head and laughed at something outlandish that he wrote. No doubt about it - he was a VERY entertaining and engaging guy. :)

 

I'm REALLY glad you enjoyed the book! I was hoping you would, after I did all that gushing over it!

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Bruce Cabot is a bum.

 

With friends like those, you don't need enemies, that's for sure.

 

And while we are at it, his business manager was a bum too. :P

 

But yeah, you might get a real kick out of those other books I mentioned. I was over at Amazon this afternoon and saw that there are (used) copies of "From a Life of Adventure: The Writings of Errol Flynn" available for a good price - alot better than the price of alot of the books I've collected on and by him.

 

It's definitely worth the money. Alot of stuff from the New Guinea days and a good collection of magazine articles written throughout his career - articles that range from the hilarious (one about his dog Arno, and one about his first screen kiss with Olivia were especially entertaining) to the tortured and soul searching (an article about faith and his feeling of being a lost soul).

 

The bits from "Beam Ends" and "Showdown" were redundant for me since I own those books (both chiefly about the New Guinea days, and both very entertaining), but if you can pick the book up for cheap, it's well worth it - for me it was worth it for the articles alone.

 

The impression I'm left with after all of that is exactly as you described it - Hollywood was a means to an end. In fact, in one of the articles he pretty much says that - being an actor allowed him the time and the means to travel, which was his real passion.

 

That's why I'd like to talk to him more about that than about "Robin Hood" or whatever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ronald Colman.....he could have just read the phone book, who cares. I would have loved to have lunch with Stan Laurel too. I think Errol Flynn would have been interesting, but a good pair of running shoes my have been needed.

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It's so hard to decide but I think I would go with Frank Sinatra. Too me he's just one of the most interesting people in the whole world. He may have been really rough sometimes but I also hear that he could be very sweet and giving as well. I think there is so much I could talk about with him and learn that it would be amazing.

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I'd love to have lunch with the whole Rat Pack. But lunch would be served at 2 AM and it would be a liquid diet. One of my favorite lines from the Rat Pack live act was Dino telling Frank to pour him a salad.

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