7 August 2002 | sychonic
The man needs a better bio pic
I have a soft spot for this movie, if for nothing else it was filmed in the eighties and the subject is Errol Flynn, one of the greatest stars in Hollywood history. Whenever I think of Flynn I think of that line in "My Favorite Year" where the character Alan Swann says: "I'm not an actor, I'm a star!". Of course the character is a take off on Flynn, who did indeed show on a similar show, see the movie if your a Flynn Fan.
But unfortunately, this film is pretty badly done. It's not the actors fault, one can see some effort on their part, though Barbara Hershey is abysmal as Errol's wife. The flick needed far more money, to make the scenes in the thirties and forties believable, and the director seemed to settle for first or second takes, because a lot of the scenes were pretty dreadful.
The problem with the movie is that it failed to capture the true lust for life that Errol Flynn obviously had--anyone who's read the book, the first tell all by a major star, can't help but be disappointed. Perhaps someday some quick witted director will try again, we can only hope. Flynn is the one actor who can truly say that his private life was more interesting than his life on screen.
Perhaps the most egregious sin of this effort was the fact that they sliced off two of the more interesting parts of Flynn's life--the first and the last: It makes no mention of his real life swashbuckling days in tasmania and New Guinea and on the waning part of his life, they leave off after the late forties, and forget a major part of his life. He died, after all, at only fifty. There are so many stories they didn't tell--and though time is a constraint, of course, they pumped up parts of the story that they basically invented. It really is too bad, this man's life is worthy of a bio film far more serious than this one. But one has to love this, if one is a fan of Flynn, simply because it is about him. And perhaps that's enough on one level. But the true love of life, and wickedness, and intensity, needs a better movie. Flynn is a complicated character--though very lovable in his ways, he was also someone who made other people unhappy because of his selfishness.
But altogether, this movie isn't worthy of the magnitude of this guy's personality, his intense life, and the stories that he has to tell.