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|Index||15 reviews in total|
Errol Flynn had quite a gift for comedy that was sadly rarely exploited. Given the right material this film demonstrates that he could have happily been quite at home in Cary Grant style, gentle comedies. Out of his various forays into the genre this is certainly the best. Patti Brady gives a fine performance in the child part and Eleanor Parker looks simply stunning throughout the film. An added bonus is the wonderful Hattie McDaniel who is sadly underused in this film- a welcome presence none the less. Flynn carries off his comedic duties with the same easy style that he brought to his swashbuckling roles. The fact that he makes it look like it's easy doesn't mean that it is. A super little family comedy, great for the Christmas period or any other time you feel like being cheered up.
While I can't say too much for the script, NEVER SAY GOODBYE proves
that Warner Bros. should have let ERROL FLYNN have his way with playing
comedies more frequently. After a weak start with FOOTSTEPS IN THE
DARK, they decided he was better off as the stalwart hero of adventure
films instead. But his performance here is a genuine delight.
And FORREST TUCKER as a big Marine lug who thinks ELEANOR PARKER has written him letters during his war service, is another big surprise. His handling of the lovable Marine is downright enjoyable without an excessive amount of mugging. He ambles through the part with authority and the sort of restraint that makes the part just believable enough.
Otherwise, the script is on the uninspired side--with little Patty Brady as a girl who wants her parents (Flynn and his ex-wife Eleanor Parker) to reunite. Naturally all of her plans make for the mishaps and misunderstandings until all ends well.
On the down side, there are a few unfunny scenes during a restaurant rendezvous, but the best part of the film is ahead once Forrest Tucker shows up. From then on, it takes on a breezier style.
Donald Woods has his usual thankless role as the suitor Eleanor is thinking of as marriage material and Lucille Watson does a nice turn as her mother who disapproves of her ex-son-in-law.
Nothing special but it passes the time pleasantly and shows Flynn did have a gift for comedy. His Bogart act is priceless.
This movie is a hidden gem. I can't understand why this movie doesn't get more air time. Errol and Eleanor Parker make for a real attractive and dashing couple. And their chemistry is impeccable. I really liked the touch of his daughters reference to him as being her Robin Hood. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Errol Flynn. It's nice to see Errol playing a father as well. By all accounts from his very own children, he was a very attentive and loving father in real life. Also, the supporting cast is wonderful as well. You can't go wrong with supporting players such as Hattie McDaniel and Lucile Watson. Hattie McDaniel makes a movie that much better from the get-go. This movie has now become a Holiday tradition in my home. Enjoy!!!
Errol Flynn is a highly successful commercial artist trying to
reconcile with his ex-wife (Eleanor Parker) in "Never Say Goodbye," a
1946 comedy featuring Patti Brady, S.Z. Zakal, Lucile Watson, Hattie
McDaniel and Donald Woods. Phil Gayley's (Flynn) philandering (he draws
beautiful women in swimsuits) caused the breakup with his former wife
Ellen. As a result, their 8-year-old daughter Phillipa (Brady), whose
nickname is Flip, spends six months with her father in New York City
and six months with her mother, who also lives in New York City. Flip
wants her parents back together in one place. They want it, too, but
every time it's about to happen, a woman shows up because Phil forgot
he made a date with her. Then a marine (Forrest Tucker) comes to town,
eager to meet the woman who has been writing to him. It's Flip, with
the help of a book and the typing of her nanny (McDaniel). There was
one other helper - Phil, who when Flip wanted to send her photo,
suggested she send her mother's instead. The marines land just at the
right time, when Ellen is out to give Phil a dose of his own medicine.
This is a rather silly script that is helped immensely by a fine supporting cast, the incredible charm of Errol Flynn and the loveliness - and gorgeous gowns -- of Eleanor Parker. She is stunning in this movie, and, as a fan of hers, why her star didn't burn brighter in Hollywood is beyond me. Flynn was wonderful in light comedy, and many people believe it was the right niche for him. The problem is, other actors did comedy as well or better, and Flynn's swashbuckling/adventure work is exceptional. However, it's always fun to see him in something different. His Bogart imitation is suspiciously good; that's because Bogart dubbed the voice. In "Never Say Goodbye," he is just beginning to show a little dissipation around the edges; the major part of his career would be over four years later. It was too short a run.
As others have mentioned, the best part of the film occurs with the appearance of Forrest Tucker, so young he's practically unrecognizable. In fact, he's 27! Worth seeing for the cast.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the third time I tried to watch this film. The previous two
times, I found the beginning so sickeningly sweet and "schmaltzy" that
I just stopped watching. However, now that I am a little older and more
compulsive, I forced myself to watch all the film and I was very
surprised to see that I actually liked it quite a bit. So, I look at
the movie much the same way I would look at swimming in the ocean when
the water temperature is 70 degrees (that's about 21-22 degrees
Centigrade for all those metric-lovers out there). Sure, the water is
terribly cold and shocking at first, but if you FORCE yourself to stay
in the water, you'll get used to it--so resist that urge to jump out
The film begins with a lengthy exchange between Flynn and his daughter, played by a lispy Patti Brady. Some may find there conversations very cute and endearing, though others may find them a bit hard to take since these moments are so gosh-darn sweet! In a way, it was some amazing acting by Flynn because it's hard to imagine him in real life having kids or acting domestic especially that he wanted to be faithful to one woman in this film--now THAT'S ACTING!! NEVER SAY GOODBYE concerns the divorced couple, Flynn and Parker, and their mutual desire to remarry. Since they both love each other as well as their lispy kid, it seems like a foregone conclusion that they will once again tie the knot. However, there are some serious problems standing in their way: Lucille Watson (who plays her usual over-bearing and controlling mother-in-law character), Flynn's girlfriend (after all, he is Errol Flynn and he is divorced, so you gotta expect him to have a girl SOMEWHERE) and a marine (played by Forrest Tucker).
Not unexpectedly, all this does get worked out by the end and everyone lives happily ever after. However, despite it being formulaic and predictable, the film is a winner because it is so much fun to watch. Flynn, despite his reputation as an action-adventure hero, is very good with comedy-romance and it's just a lot of fun to watch him. Also, the film has the ever-scene chewing Cuddles Sakall--he's just so gosh-darn cute and sweet that he is perfect in this type of film. And, despite the sweetness, the film is pretty well-written. The bottom line is the film is FUN.
So my recommendation is that you DO watch this film and force yourself not to retch at the sickeningly sweet aspects of the film. Once you've gotten over this, the rest of the film is a picture that is well worth your time.
a fine romantic comedy. errol flynn shows what a deft touch for comedy
he possessed. a talent that probably shows some of his true prankster
self. the comedic writing on this film is excellent. eleanor parker
does a nice job as flynn's ex wife whom errol is trying to win back.
eleanor is also easy on the eyes. the sets exude 1940's glamour and
style where appropriate.
flynn's comedic timing and wit are displayed to full effect here, watch his double takes, his ability to verbally counter punch with a snappy comeback or act the straight man, and his total believability and sincerity where required, this guy could act! it is a shame errol did not get a chance to do more roles like this throughout his career, he was multi-talented to the extreme. if you enjoyed "it happened one night" with gable and colbert or some of the william powell and myrna loy comedies you will enjoy this.
well paced and lots of laughs. a lost diamond of a movie.
Never Say Goodbye was one of three films Errol Flynn did for Warner
Brothers where apparently Jack Warner tried to change his action hero
image somewhat and broaden his appeal. No doubt at the behest of Flynn
himself who was complaining to Jack Warner the same way Tyrone Power
was doing over at 20th Century Fox with Darryl Zanuck.
Errol's a little less than heroic here, just your average divorced father who happens to be a commercial artist. He and Eleanor Parker have been divorced a couple of years now, but daughter Patti Brady so wants them back together again, especially as a Christmas wish.
Errol's willing enough, but he's got some stiff competition in the persons of Donald Woods who is courting Parker and Marine Forrest Tucker who Brady's been writing to. On the imbecilic instructions of her dear old dad who knows what Marines like, she sends a picture of Mommy in a bathing suit. Of course that piques Tucker's interest quite a bit. Errol himself has model Peggy Knudsen interested in him, but she's not going to wait around forever.
Add to this scene stealing veterans like Lucille Watson as Parker's mother and restaurateur S.Z. Sakall and you've got the makings of a nice family type picture, the kind that Errol Flynn so rarely made in his career. Flynn does fine in the part, but for comedy he's far better in Footsteps In The Dark as the millionaire/mystery writer. Flynn's first effort at comedy was The Perfect Specimen done early in his career with Joan Blondell. I've not seen that one, I do so wish TCM would run it.
Never Say Goodbye neither changed Flynn's image with the movie-going public nor did it chart any new directions for him. But it's a pleasant enough comedy diversion. Note that 'imitation' of another Warner Brothers star towards the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Flynn may not be a dashing pirate, outlaw, warrior or gunslinger in
this one, but his lovable aristocratic rogue persona still shines
through in this rare superior romantic comedy. All the principals are
perfectly cast, Flynn still looking in his prime at 36. His rather
recently divorced wife is played by a winsome Eleanor Parker, and Patti
Brady is great as their 7 year old daughter, intent on bringing her
parents back together. I didn't see the first segment, so assume this
couple split because of Flynn's indiscretions with his sexy models for
his commercial artwork, which continues to be the main issue throughout
the film. Clearly, Parker's family is very wealthy, living in a mansion
worthy of Scarlett O'Hara. Flynn's character also appears to be from a
wealthy family, he mostly exhibiting his aristocratic demeanor, despite
his rather sleazy occupation. Nonetheless,toward the end, he is
frequently on the losing end of altercations, flat on his back, in
mocking contrast to his usual winning macho image.
Twice, Flynn dons disguises to try to scare away or outmaneuver romantic rivals for Parker. In the first case, he sneaks into Parker's mansion and dons a Santa outfit, as does his romantic rival in another part of the mansion. At one point, to avoid detection by his rival, he engages in mirror mimicry. That is, he mimics exactly the actions of his nemesis, as if the latter is looking in a mirror. I'm sure this has also been done by some other well-known physical comedians, including Bob Hope in 'The Princess and the Pirate'. Later, he made up a burlesqued version of Bogart's face at his most sinister, along with a tough gangster lingo, to try to scare away Parker's young marine romantic threat. It didn't work. Nonethless the film ends on a feel good note. One must assume that this ending either represented yet another short-lived reconciliation or that Parker's character decided that she would have to learn to tolerate Flynn's philandering ways, as preferable to their present arrangement with a chronically complaining daughter.
S.Z Sakall plays his usual role as an elderly overseeing father, uncle or confidant, with a very thick European accent. Here, he is a restaurateur where Flynn frequents with his blond model and presumed lover. Unfortunately, his various attempts to diffuse an embarrassing situation for Flynn all end in disaster. Sakall, a native Hungarian, was already an accomplished European actor before fleeing an impending Nazified Europe. He was most often included in various musical romances of the '40s and early '50s, after a supporting role in 'Casablanca'
Schmaltzy comedy about a precocious little girl trying to reunite her divorced parents. The parents are played by Errol Flynn and Eleanor Parker. The little girl is Patti Brady. I have no problem with seeing Flynn in a change of pace role but he really doesn't get to shine in this. You could replace him with a dozen other actors and there would be no noticeable difference. Same with Parker but I always found her rather nondescript. Flynn does sing a little, which will be of interest to fans. Patti Brady is cute but got on my nerves pretty quickly. Lucille Watson is Parker's bitch of a mom. Forrest Tucker plays a marine the mom uses to make the dad jealous. He's probably the best part of the movie. Hattie McDaniel is the maid, Cozy. S.Z. Sakall is a restaurant owner named Luigi (yeah I know but it's explained). Everybody plays their part fine but it's just all so hokey. Pretty much every scene with the little girl is like swallowing a cup of sugar. The romance isn't particularly noteworthy and the comedy is bland. There are some tearjerker moments too. If you don't have a stomach ache by the end of this, consider yourself lucky. Flynn fans might want to see it for curiosity's sake. Everybody else will probably be bored.
I agree with most of the comments I've read. The 'Luigi' character is
flustered and hilarious, especially at the beginning. While it's a
fluff look at serious divorce and the heartache it plays on children,
and though there's a goofy lawyer but no corresponding goofy judge; the
main thing here is the wonderful child actor, the mysterious Patti
Brady as the precocious daughter 'Flip.'
She is so much more natural and delightful than her predecessor Shirley Temple, I don't understand why she didn't continue on for more than a few years. I went and looked up the time frame to see if Shirley could have been copying her, but no, I guess it was the other way around.
This girl went beyond the normal child stereotypes and would have been an improvement in many other Christmas & family & WW II movies (tied in by young giant, Tucker's Marine character, 'Wickie'). I can't find anything on Brady; she must have kept private, later.
When you're watching the stream of standard Christmas repeats, don't miss this one!! It's B&W, but still worth it.
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