Documentary about action-adventure movie star Errol Flynn. Flynn's early life was something out of an adventure novel. He lived in the South Seas, undertook major sailing expeditions and dabbled in a variety of business ventures. His first stab at acting was In the Wake of the Bounty, an Australian made film where, he admitted, he didn't have a clue what he was doing. He did repertory theater work in England for a time and eventually ended up under contract at Warner Bros. studios in Hollywood. Jack Warner personally selected him for the lead role in Captain Blood which led to instant stardom. Similar roles, especially in The Adventures of Robin Hood made him the top action/adventure hero of his day. His career hit a major bump in the road when he was charged with statutory rape in 1943. He was found not guilty and there is a consensus that he was set up. His career began to decline by the late 1940s and in 1953, his contract with Warners came to an end. He continued to make the ... Written by
This was a very complete look at Flynn's life and career featuring archival footage of interviews of people who had worked with Flynn, comments from one of his three children, his daughter Dierdre, as well as quite a bit of time spent with Flynn's wife at the time of his death. Particularly touching were Olivia De Haviland's insights into Flynn's personality and her relationship with him through eight films and a romance that never really was or could have been.
Also, finally clearly explained, is the entire issue of Errol Flynn and the draft during World War II. Flynn had a spot on his lungs and an enlarged heart as a result of a bout of malaria, and thus was legitimately 4F. Warner Brothers had understandably downplayed the fact that one of their biggest male stars was in fact a rather sick man, so this came as a bit of a surprise to the public, and quite a few unflattering things were said about Flynn at the time.
I just recently watched his 1958 film "Too Much Too Soon" in which he portrayed John Barrymore in his last days, and it was interesting to hear the narrators mention that perhaps Flynn did so well in this role not only because of his dedication to his past mentor, Mr. Barrymore, but also because he identified so well with where John Barrymore was at this stage of his life. Both men always seemed to be looking for something they could never find.
Also revealing was that Flynn always wanted to be appreciated as an actor and he felt somewhat disappointed that a large part of his fame came because of his personal appeal rather than an appreciation for his skills. If you're interested in Flynn I highly recommend this as a very well done look at the man's life and career. Produced by Turner Classic Movies, it has the same high standards I've come to expect from all of their documentaries.
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