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|Index||13 reviews in total|
I saw this on TCM and had read in several review books that this was a bomb remake of an earlier picture with Elizabeth Bergner,but I was charmed by this film and like Ida Lupino and Errol Flynn's chemistry a lot. The other actors(especially Eleanor Parker) are also quite good and the film is quite a change of pace from the swashbucklers,war filmsand Westerns Flynn was in a lot. I enjoyed it a lot,and wished Lupino and Flynn had had another outing in a better film. This is a good instance of Flynn's natural ease on screen,and his sex appeal even when playing a cad in rags! Not many actors could do as well with this selfish playboy role as Errol did-so underrated an actor.Ida is always watchable,too.
I give this movie 10-10 because it is captivating from start to finish. Errol Flynn is charming as usual and Ida Lupino has a very strong showing. It was the first time that I've watched a Ida Lupino film, but it will not be the last. She brings a sensitivity to the screen but also strong-willed and her own person. Her on-screen passion compensates for the lack of funds put into this movie. Lupino also compliments Errol Flynn as a great on-screen couple. Escape Me Never has a great feel to it and will not disappoint. The "I hate Errol Flynn" bandwagon may have been emboldened by this film, however, because Errol is flirtatious and is as womanizing as ever. But, if you watch the entire film you will find that he comes around in the end to realizing his true love and commitment. Watch this movie! It will not disappoint.
For big fans of Errol and big fans of period romance musical comedy/drama combo,this movie will deliver the goods.The story hits the spot for the genre.Very good music,very good cast and acting as well.What kpt this movie from becoming a classic though was the low budget and average directing.The cinematography was also below average.But still,Errol Flynn is so charming here as usual and for the right audience,it's still a winner.This film was unfairly under rated due to the dreaded anti-Flynn syndrome bandwagon......
I think the casting of the actors is exceptionally good and Errol
Flynn's nonchalant manner fits perfectly in this story. I felt it
demonstrated the lesson that we don't appreciate what we have until it
is too late and is taken from us. We mustn't take love for granted.
I was particularly interested to see Albert Bassermann appearing in this film and recognized his voice immediately because of his next and last acting performance which was in the famous 1948 film "The Red Shoes" in which he had a fairly significant role - not bad for an actor nearing 80 years of age!
Ida Lupino as 'Gemma' is cast adrift after a short union in marriage which produced a son, but she must fend for herself when tragedy ends the union. She links up the Sebastian (Flynn), a musician, who also happens to have a brother that is in music too.
I like the moderate display in this production of the film, nothing overblown or showy, but just plain and simple, almost like a stage production in a way and more true to the story.
It's an excellent movie and well worth seeing.
Ida Lupino is in love with Errol Flynn but Errol loves his brother's
fiancé in "Escape Me Never," a 1947 film from Warner Brothers. Flynn
and Gig Young play brother composers Sebastian and Caryl Dubrok. Lupino
plays Gemma, a poor young woman with a baby she calls Piccolo. She's in
love with Flynn, and tells the beautiful, well-bred Fionella (Eleanor
Parker), Caryl's fiancé, that she's going to marry the composer Dubrok.
Parker thinks it's Caryl and takes off. Carly, Gemma, Piccolo, and
Sebastian set off to find her, singing and playing instruments for
money as they go. Once they find Fionella, she falls for Flynn and vice
This movie is a remake of a film starring Elizabeth Bergner, and I have no idea why Warners chose it. The performances are good, with Flynn very handsome and charming, though signs of seediness were beginning to show. He plays a self-involved playboy with no practicality very well. Young has a somewhat thankless role as the less flashy brother. Lupino gives a sympathetic portrayal, though she's slightly miscast. The character is feisty but also more of an ingénue than Lupino, whose strong appearance and voice made her a leading lady almost out of the box. Unfortunately because she was at Warners, she had to take a back seat to Bette Davis much of the time. She had more in her than this role requires. Parker is excellent as a cool but lovely socialite.
There's some great music by Wolfgang Korngold of Sebastian's opera "Primavera," and some nice dancing. All in all, it's a small film that used sets rather than location. Not a great entry but some lovely moments from the stars.
I echo what a number of other reviewers have said about this film, that
they were pleasantly surprised by it. Most of the books about Flynn pan
the film, and put it on the list with his lesser- quality pictures. It
may not be in the top rank with his swashbucklers, but it really isn't
a bad film at all. He gives a fine performance, and shows what a good
actor he was, in just about any role he tackled. I like the fact that
it isn't an action film, as we get to see what he could do in a
different kind of part. I think he carries it off very well. He still
gets to be the handsome rogue (with a piano instead of a sword), but
also shows that his character is deeper than that, and has some real
sensitivity for his lady friend and her baby. Some reviewers say that
he was miscast, but I don't agree. A handsome, charming guy like Flynn
is just what the part demands. A flirtatious character, but one with
some deeper feelings, too. That could almost be a definition of the
real Errol Flynn. Flynn succeeds with a difficult task here- making a
selfish cad somewhat likable. You find yourself rooting for Sebastian
in spite of yourself.
It's nice seeing Flynn work with his real-life friend, Ida Lupino. Flynn, Lupino, and director Raoul Walsh reportedly spent a lot of time together, and were very close pals. In fact, Ida and her mother Connie (who also loved Flynn) are buried right next to Flynn in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. One gets the feeling that Ida always loved Errol, and, in an alternate universe, you wonder if they might have gotten married, or had some kind of long-term relationship. Flynn was a wanderer, though, so perhaps that wouldn't have worked out so well. Anyway, they play well together, and you sense that they really liked each other.
Gig Young and Eleanor Parker are also very good in this film. Both were excellent actors, though their later roles perhaps provided them with more range than this film does. As in all Old Hollywood movies, this one is chock full of great character actors. Reginald Denny, Frank Reicher, Anthony Caruso, Albert Bassermann, Doris Lloyd, Leonard Mudie, and many others. Reicher is one of my favorites, in all kinds of films. I think he is best remembered as the captain of the ship "Venture" in King Kong. Caruso was great, too, and should have had a bigger career. He always projected sincerity and believability.
I'm guessing Flynn had some coaching on the piano for this. There is at least one shot where you can see his hands on the ivories. Most of the other scenes show him from behind. Films have always been good at faking the playing of musical instruments, as it had to look good and seem believable. Pianists might poke holes in what looks like Flynn really playing, but it looks pretty good to me.
Anyway, this film is worth a look. It shows that Flynn's talents really did go beyond playing the swashbuckler. All of us fans have always known that, but it might be an eye-opener for some people. Supposedly, the bad reviews for this film, and for his performance, upset him greatly. Many think that the criticisms of his acting, combined with the effects of his rape trial, and inability to serve in the military during the war, led to the downward spiral his life soon took. If you look at him just two or three years after he made this film, he looks ten years older. Everyone knows how it all finally played out. But here, he still seems young and full of life. And he has a perfect partner in Ida Lupino, who was always good in these kinds of dramas. It's too bad they didn't make more films together.
After 1945 in which Errol Flynn appeared in typical roles for him in
Operation Burma and San Antonio, he obviously must have talked to Jack
Warner about getting parts that would broaden his range. He did three
films over the next two year designed to do that, Never Say Goodbye,
Cry Wolf, and Escape Me Never. The last is probably closest to Flynn,
but all three didn't either get great critical notice or did
outstanding box office. After Escape Me Never, Flynn was back in
traditional action roles like Silver River and The Adventures of Don
Juan, the kind of parts his fans like to see him in.
Escape Me Never is a four sided triangle story set in the years of the turn of the last century. Errol's a misunderstood genius of a composer who is living with a young widow, Ida Lupino and her baby. Ida's another Bohemian sort who broke into the villa in Venice of an English couple and their daughter. When she's confronted she mentions she's living with Errol. That sends a ripple through the house because daughter Eleanor Parker is engaged to Gig Young who is Errol's brother and they think Errol's a two timer. When she leaves Venice in a huff, Flynn, Lupino, and Young chase after her.
The problem is that the daughter may have been wrong on the particulars, but in fact Errol is a two timing cad, though a charming one.
Charm Flynn had in abundance, but I could never quite accept him as a musical genius. The best thing about the film is the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold who wrote a ballet for the film that is the highlight. Korngold scored a lot of Flynn's early swashbucklers, most notably The Adventures Of Robin Hood.
This is the second version of this story, the British cinema did one in 1935 with Elisabeth Bergner and Hugh Sinclair. I'm guessing that was a better film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are things I like about this film, and things I don't like.
On the plus side, it's a very different kind of film, particularly for the likes of Errol Flynn, Ida Lupino, and Gig Young...perhaps not quite so different for Eleanor Parker. Those who were used to Errol Flynn the swashbuckler, must have been rather taken aback when they viewed this film at the local theater. And, it's a little bit different take than the typical story about the lover who is irresponsible and emotionally cruel to their mate(s).
On the negative side, I really dislike the ending. Really dislike the ending. Really! I noted that another reviewer mentioned this was low budget. Well, that actually seemed to vary throughout the movie. In the opening scenes that were supposed to be Venice, it was pretty convincing. Then the scenes in the forest -- cheap, cheap, cheap (and that's not the sounds of birds). And some of the scenes filmed against a back projection were quite chintzy, as well.
Flynn plays his role well here, though overall, it's a pretty unflattering role for him. And, the wrinkles in his forehead that were so evident by 1950, still aren't there in this film (it must have been a wicked 3 years in between). And, this is one of the few roles in which I actually liked Ida Lupino. More diverse a performance than I typically see her in. And, thank goodness to see Gig Young in a role where he's not a sappy "other man", such as in his later roles in Doris Day-type films. Eleanor Parker is so young here, I'm not so sure I would have recognized her were it not for her billing.
This film is offbeat enough that I can see why it was a flop. And, I doubt it will grace many DVD shelves. And, the print that is shown on TCM is not very crisp, but I think that's less the photography than the maintenance of the 65+ year old film.
Worth a watch...at least once. Now I'm in the mood for "Santa Fe Trail".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was one of the more difficult Errol Flynn movies to watch--mostly
because Flynn plays a character that is probably more like him
off-screen than any other he played (except, perhaps in one one of his
last films when he played John Barrymore). Flynn is a ne'er-do-well
brother who is shacked up with Ida Lupino. Lupino has practically no
self-respect, as Flynn likes her but never in any way shows he loves
her or her baby (by the way, WHOSE baby this is isn't discussed at
all). Flynn ignores her, flirts with other women openly and is
emotionally shallow. How a woman could love a creep like this is quite
baffling--though I know there are many like this! Into their poor world
comes Flynn's brother, played by Gig Young. Apparently his fiancée and
her family thought that Lupino was living in sin with him (Young), when
it was really with Flynn (the brother). She dumped him and ran off and
Flynn and Lupino urge him to follow her. In fact, they all go off
together singing and doing odd jobs to pay their way.
Eventually, Flynn finds this fiancée first (played by Eleanor Parker). She seems to have gotten over Young very quickly and is soon smitten with Flynn--even AFTER she finds out he's been living with Lupino. Later, when Flynn and Lupino marry, Parker STILL secretly wants him. Apparently, Lupino is not the only idiot female in the movie! Well, to make a long story short, Parker and young break up and Flynn is about to run off with her when he finally shows he has some conscience and runs back to Lupino. By now, Lupino's baby had died due to neglect (Flynn didn't have a steady job and seemed unconcerned that the baby lived in a cold apartment and was sick). And naturally, Lupino takes him back, because, after all, she IS an idiot!! If you want a film that makes a lot of sense and where you can respect the characters, then find another film. It is an interesting character study but with either stupid females as well as a sex-crazed and shallow leading man (Flynn), it's still tough to watch. After all, if you can't like or respect the characters, it's tough to stick with a movie. It was well made and produced--but the plot just wasn't very satisfying and was quite forgettable.
It's not a comedy but if you don't laugh, you will be wondering why you continued to sit through this till the very end. Errol Flynn carried this film most of the way with his usual charm but even he can't perform lazarus on such a poorly written screenplay. Peter Godfrey didn't help either. Perhaps he had fallen asleep while directing this piece. Having said that, it has a great cast of actors and actresses. Lupino is a good actress but I felt she was badly miscast in this film. What a pity though because the idea was good and it had potential.
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