With the impending departure of the LOML overseas – ooops, that would be
to the bosom of his family in Tasmania – a girl has planned an Errol Flynn movie marathon.
Commencing this nod to the senses with Elizabeth and Essex, a movie that traumatised me as a child. Witnessing Errol Flynn getting his head chopped off could easily have pushed me towards a life of crime as I spent many happy months decapitating my Barbie dolls as a consequence. Bette Davis playing Queen Elizabeth 1 set herself up beautifully for her later Award winning performance in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane with the original resting bitch face.
I’ll be following this with The Adventures of Robin Hood. One of Errol’s first movies and clad in Lincoln Green a girl does like a man with a big sword. Sadly this movie too was destroyed by the female protagonist in the form of a young Olivia De Havilland, playing Maid Marion. I’m sure Olivia is a lovely person – she’s still alive, you know, and living in France – but oh so insipid and sweet. I felt she always deserved a good belt in the chops.
Having by this time resolved any lingering anger management issues Gentleman Jim Corbett will follow, with our local hero playing a pugilist of Irish extraction who takes on World Heavyweight Champion, John L Sullivan, played by Ward Bond. The feisty uptown girl, Alexis Smith, plays the love interest and gives as good as she gets. Lots of laughs in this one and the collection of bit players contribute to making this viewing a truly joyful experience.
Right. My favourite of all Flynn movies: The Dawn Patrol. This is an old black and white about the futility of war with Errol playing a fly boy during WW1. Such a serious and sad topic delivered with bravado by Errol, real life mate David Niven, and Basil Rathbone. I saw this on the big screen for the 100th birthday celebration for Flynn in his birth town of Hobart, Tasmania, and it was spectacular, particularly as my daughter was shouting the champagnes.
Why have I brought this up? I recently came upon a first edition, hardback cover of Flynn’s autobiography, My Wicked Wicked Ways. This is the uncensored version which I had not previously read. I was disappointed with the original, though not because of the stuff that was later cut. The sexy bits were tame when compared to today’s reads. It was the sloppy ramblings that disappointed.
The wine is chilled and the chick peas roasted. Here’s to the latter balancing out the former. Salute.