Clip from Flynn’s last film– Cuban Rebel Girls.
Errol Flynn (born June 20, 1909 in Tasmania) may have been one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men in the 30’s and 40’s but by the fifties he was washed up, living out of the U.S. as a tax exile having lost most of his money in three expensive trumped up trials (for having sex with jail bait), several divorces and plain old high living. At the time he basically lived on his boat, at one point in his final years washing up in Cuba, Flynn was taken with Castro’s revolution and wrote and starred in this hard to find classic– Cuban Rebel Girls. Flynn plays a correspondent reporting on the revolution who ends up helping Castro and his rebels. It’s kind of a low budget, nutso version of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. It would be Flynn’s last film. Errol Flynn would die in October of ’59, from a heart attack, his body weakened from years of hard drinking (he actually died in the Vancouver, B.C. apartment of Glen Gould’s uncle, or so the story goes). I assume you’ve all read his incredible autobiography My Wicked Wicked Way (latest edition Cooper Press, 2003), if not, you need to. Once recent bio of Flynn claimed he had Nazi sympathies during WWII, but Cuban Rebel Girls which remains the only political statement of his life seems to gives us a glimpse of where his true feelings were. By the way, I’m still on vacation.
Addendum: We’re leaving Lake Como for Milano today, anyone know of any good used record shops or flea markets in Milano?
Addendum #2: Flynn’s son Sean Flynn (born May 31, 1941) was a celebrated photojournalist who disappeared in Cambodia on April 6, 1970 (he was legally declared dead in 1984) while covering the Viet Nam war. One theory has it that he was taken prisoner by Pol Pot’s brutal Khmer Rouge guerrillas in the jungle of eastern Cambodia. He was last seen on a motorcycle along with fellow journalist Dana Stone. If so, his final days were probably quite grim. Sean Flynn is one of the main characters in Michael Herr’s classic Viet Nam war novel Dispatches (Knopf, 1978). Sean Flynn in real life was as dashing a character as the one his father played in the movies. Herr’s book was one of the main inspirations for Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket (Herr wrote the voice over dialogue and several scenes from the movie are right out of the book). Last March some human remains that may have been Sean Flynn were discovered in a mass grave Cambodia.