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Terry William Hamilton
The Last of Robin Hood is the true story of Beverly Aadland, a teen starlet who became the last girlfriend of legendary swashbuckler Errol Flynn. In 1957, Beverly was working at Warner Brothers studios with a fake birth certificate saying she was 18 -- she was in fact, only 15 -- when she encountered the former matinée idol. After a bumpy start, the two undertook a relationship that was ultimately embraced by Beverly's Hollywood mother Florence, who became a willing third wheel. The affair took them from L.A. to New York to Africa, then to Cuba where Flynn pitched in with the rebels to make a pro-Castro propaganda movie starring Beverly. It all came crashing to an end in Vancouver, however, when Flynn died in Beverly's arms, causing an avalanche of publicity; Florence finally achieved the attention she sought in the form of tabloid notoriety but the chaos drove Beverly to the edge of sanity. The Last of Robin Hood is a poignant yet darkly comic coming-of-age tale about the desire for ...Written by
When Beverly is asked about "Lolita", she says: "That book by Nabokov." The same words are used in the Police song, "Don't Stand So Close To Me". See more »
Errol told the people at the doctor's house during the last few hours of his life that John Barrymore just died. Barrymore actually died on May 29 1942; 17 years before Flynn died. See more »
TV News Reporter:
[pacing on the tarmac recording his report]
The world is reeling. Errol Flynn, movie star, matinee idol, notorious ladies' man, is dead at the age of 50. The hero of a generation, equally known for his swashbuckling in public and in private. He died true to form, in the arms of a much younger girlfriend. Now, all of America is asking, "Who is the girl?"
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Anthony Hopkins and Toby Jones did amazing work as Alfred Hitchcock; Meryl Streep was incredible as Margaret Thatcher while Helen Mirren was gobsmacking as the Queen, but Kevin Kline's portrayal of the aging Errol Flynn is positively eerie.
He looks like him, he speaks like him and he has caught the mannerisms. Kline was 15 years older than Flynn, but Errol's hard-living evened things up; its almost as though he has crossed back from the other side.
To modern generations, Errol Flynn, if they have heard of him at all, would have to be of passing interest at best, and this movie about his last love affair with Beverly Aadland must seem an odd little movie. Dakota Fanning may even be of more interest. Possibly they would also be put off by the age difference between Errol and Beverly - he was pushing 50 and she was 15.
However for those of us who were alive when Flynn was still making films, and were interested enough to read any of the books about the guy, this movie is close to fascinating.
With some knowledge of his life, you have to appreciate all the little touches seeded throughout the film. One was the way the relationship with Beverly starts with Flynn trying his well-practiced technique of seducing women by discussing with a co-conspirator in front of them how perfect they would be for a part in an upcoming production.
However, after taking advantage of her in a somewhat disturbing scene, his feelings for her go beyond a quick conquest and they become involved in an oddly-matched and dangerous relationship.
Much of the movie is told from the viewpoint of Beverly's mother, Florence, played by Susan Sarandon, who comes across as the stage mother from hell.
Rather than being overshadowed by Kline, it's Dakota Fanning's movie too. She underplays while projecting naïveté on the one hand, and worldliness beyond her years on the other. The last part of the movie shows the effect her unwanted celebrity has on her stability, while Florence actually revels in it.
The film has been criticised, scathingly by some reviewers, not only for skimpy production values, but also for sanitising the relationship, and for not taking more of a moral stance over the underage aspect. However, I do feel we are made aware of the situation throughout the film, and it doesn't ever really get a seal of approval.
Nevertheless, according to Roland Fisher, Beverly Aadland's husband of 40 years, she admitted to loving Errol Flynn until the day she died (in 2010).
Knowing a fair bit about the subject probably has a lot to do with whether or not you will appreciate this film - I for one found it totally absorbing.
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