Sunday, December 22, 2013

Seven Things to Know About Errol Flynn

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.

Flynn's character was also shown "alive"
in a flashback.
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 The 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).


  1. David Niven offers a sympathetic portrait of Errol Flynn in his memoir, "Bring on the Empty Horses". He also mentions Flynn's turn as singer in "Thank Your Lucky Stars", a film I've been dying to see ever since I heard about it.

    Thanks for all this interesting info!

  2. A fascinating chap and an interesting actor.

  3. One of the all-time greats. His number in "Thank Your Lucky Stars" is one of the best numbers in the film. Olive is releasing "Adventures of Captain Fabian" on DVD next year. It's not very good, but it's far from his worse.

  4. Well Rick, if I didn't know how ill I've been, I would know from the fact that I MISSED THIS POST! From one Flynn lover to another, I am humbly proud to say that I knew all of those facts. It was fun seeing him spotlighted.

  5. Fun post! it would be awesome to see the footage from "William Tell". I I imagine there are a host of unseen films somewhere. Possibly where those errant socks are that turn up missing from one's dryer?