In today’s guest post, Rick Armstrong reveals some fascinating secrets about the life and career of Errol Flynn that you may not have known!
1. According to Errol’s autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, he once worked on a ranch where he castrated sheep…with his teeth.
2. It has been rumored that Errol was a descendant of Fletcher Christian of Mutiny of the Bounty fame. Errol played Christian in his film debut in the low-budget In the Wake of the Bounty. Actually, he was not related to Fletcher Christian, but his mother was an ancestor of Midshipman Young, who was Christian’s chief aide.
3. Flynn played a corpse in The Case of the Curious Bride, a 1935 Perry Mason B-movie starring Warren William as the crime-solving attorney. The film was the first teaming of Errol Flynn and director Michael Curtiz — they made Captain Blood that same year. As for portraying a dead body, Flynn once wrote: “Some people claim it was my best role.”
4. In 1953, he tried to produce and star in The Story of William Tell, to be directed by famed cinematographer Jack Cardiff. However, Flynn’s Italian backers ran into financial difficulties and the production folded after several weeks. Supposedly, there is 15-30 minutes of finished footage…somewhere. You can read more about Errol’s unfinished film by clicking here.
5. Some people claim his bestselling autobiography was penned by a ghost writer. I don’t believe it. Earlier in his career, he wrote the autobiographical Beam Ends, about a voyage from Australia to New Guinea, and a novel called Showdown. He also wrote the screenplay to Adventures of Captain Fabian (though I don’t recall the resulting film being very good).
6. Errol met his second wife, Nora Eddington, during his infamous trial for statutory rape. The nineteen-year-old Eddington worked behind the cigar counter at the courthouse where the trial took place.
7. Errol Flynn as a musical star? He sang “Lily of Laguna” in Let’s Make Up (aka Lilacs in the Spring), a 1954 British musical starring Anna Neagle. He also sang “That’s What You Jolly Well Get” in the Warner Bros. all-star, Hollywood Canteen fund-raiser Thank Your Lucky Stars (see photo on right).
Rick29 is a film reference book author and a regular contributor at the Classic Film & TV Café . He’s a big fan of MovieFanFare, too, of course!
What’s your favorite Errol Flynn film role? Let us know in the comments!