They Died with Their Boots On
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1 item from 2009


Philip French's screen legends

6 December 2009 4:20 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

No 76: Errol Flynn 1909-1959

Flynn was born in Tasmania, the son of an eminent marine biologist, and early on developed a passion for the sea and a reputation as a rebel. Spotted by a Warner Brothers talent scout while a young, very minor actor in England, he became an overnight Hollywood star in 1935 as a last-minute replacement for Robert Donat as the swashbuckling hero of Captain Blood. By 1936 he was the leading contender to play Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind.

Flynn was tall, slim, graceful, debonair with a neatly trimmed moustache, a winning smile, a hearty, self-mocking laugh. Everything he did, both on screen and off, contributed to his legendary status: the colonial background (he claimed to be a descendant of Fletcher Christian); the celebrated characters he played (General Custer, Robin Hood); his sexual conquests; his prodigious phallic dimensions (according to Truman Capote in Music for Chameleons, »

- Philip French

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