2 May 2009 | bkoganbing
The Bloom Is Off These Lilacs
When the producing/acting team of Herbert Wilcox and Anna Neagle got Errol Flynn he was willing to work for just about anything in Lilacs In The Spring. He owed the US government a lot of back taxes and was abroad so he couldn't be arrested for same and his epic William Tell had gone belly up. So the Wilcoxes were able to get Flynn for a fraction of his asking price from a decade ago for this Neagle film.
In it Anna Neagle plays a musical comedy star and her own daughter, in addition to reprising two of her previous screen roles in dream sequences, Queen Victoria and Nell Gwynn. The frequent use of flashbacks and imaginary sequences is going to leave the viewer quite a bit confused.
As for Errol Flynn he's both husband and father to Anna Neagle in her two different guises. The young Anna Neagle is caught between two suitors, producer David Farrar and stagedoor johnny Peter Graves. That is not the Peter Graves of Mission Impossible.
Neagle sings beautifully of course, she was one of the United Kingdom's premier musical comedy stars as well as a film star. As for Flynn he does a nice song and dance to Lily Of Laguna, but compare it to the number he did in Thank Your Lucky Stars with Warner Brothers during World War II, That's What You Jolly Well Get. Errol's aged quite considerably and it shows.
I wish both of these stars had teamed years earlier because they're a bit long in the tooth for this material, especially Flynn.