THE ADVENTURES OF ERROL FLYNN (2005) B/W 87m
From the TCM website, turnerclassicmovies.com:
"'Don't you think Cagney would make a swell Robin Hood?' That was the start of a memo sent in 1935 from a Warner Bros. costume consultant to the studio's boss, Jack L. Warner, after the costumer had seen James Cagney in the movie A Midsummer Night's Dream and, charmed by watching Cagney bouncing around a forest with a gang of merry men in the Shakespearean comedy, thought the studio's feisty star would make a wonderfully offbeat Mr. Hood. An intriguing idea it was, too, one that spearheaded the jaw-droppingly good 1938 classic The Adventures of Robin Hood, which we'll be showing on April 5. Thankfully, however, it does not star Mr. Cagney; he soon dropped out of the equation because of a contract dispute with the studio. Instead, Robin stars the perfect Hood, our Star of the Month Errol Flynn. And rarely has any actor fit a role better. As Robin, the 28-year-old Flynn is incredibly dashing, athletic, charming, heroic and, most remarkably, he even looks comfortable wearing green tights as he swashbuckles among the foliage.
"Flynn's screen career had already exploded three years earlier with 1935's Captain Blood, but it was his term in Sherwood Forest that made him a genuine superstar before that term even existed. But little did anyone know then, and few realized later, that (a) he was a much better actor than he was ever given credit for being, (b) he took his career very seriously, at least during the early years, and (c) in spite of his screen image, he was in poor physical health and pain most of his life - suffering, often at the same time, from a heart problem, recurring malaria, tuberculosis, acute hepatitis, a severe back injury from a fall plus the effects of chain smoking, inordinate drinking and a later addiction to morphine. (When he died in 1959, the coroner expressed genuine surprise that Flynn had made it to the age of 50.)
"Thanks to the wealth of our TCM library, we're able to do something this month that's never been done before - show you almost the entire Flynn catalog, from his very first appearance in a Hollywood project (as a corpse in a 1935 Perry Mason mystery, The Case of the Curious Bride) as well as all his later swashbuckling classics and beyond, including the film he considered his own personal favorite, 1949's That Forsyte Woman, which he particularly liked because, for once, he didn't play a gallant hero or get the girl. We'll also be premiering an excellent new TCM original documentary called The Adventures of Errol Flynn in which, among the numerous highlights, his daughter Deirdre speaks of him as a loving father and available parent, and his frequent costar Olivia de Havilland discusses what an underrated and caring actor he was. Colorful, he was, too, and a man with many appetites (that term 'in like Flynn' wasn't coined without reason). So if you spend some time with us this month on TCM, you'll not only have a whale of a good time, you'll also understand why his name still stirs so much interest and enthusiasm today. As the late Ann Sheridan once said, 'Errol Flynn was one of the wild characters of this world. He was also quite unforgettable, beautiful and a hell of a lot of fun to be around.'" --- Robert Osborne