Flynn’s Film? Errol’s Oscar?

27 Feb

Was Norman Maine based in part on Errol Flynn?
(and/or perhaps John Barrymore and/or Norman Kerry?)…

Was Errol offered the role, but rejected it?…

Would Errol have been a better Norman Maine?…

Or, did Jack Warner “blackball” him from getting it?……

Was this Errol’s best chance to win an Academy Award for Best Actor?

— Gentleman Tim


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Darn that James Mason – first “A Star is Born” and then “Lolita”. I think Errol would have been great in A Star is Born – I wonder how well he and Judy would have gotten along?

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Norman Maine would have been a great role for Errol Flynn and he would have come through with flying colors. Would he have been better than James Mason who was outstanding as Maine? We’ll never know. Jack Warner didn’t blackball Flynn the role. We forget that Flynn had left Hollywood and spent several years making films in Europe. In 1958, Jack Warner offered him the John Barrymore role in ‘Too Much, Too Soon’ when was in far worse shape than he was in 1954. However somehow he gave the performance of his life but was ignored by the industry. Ralph… Read more »


Hi all, The only reference I’ve seen to this is in the bio of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke – ‘Get Happy’. He mentions that Flynn was one of two actors who wanted the role (I can’t recall who the other one was) and quotes from a telegram that Errol sent (presumably from Europe) to WB Head Office – the quote was something like – “Heard you want me for Star”. Not too sure about the status of Flynn’s contract with WB at that time. But if this is true he did seek the role – although it appears he… Read more »

It was always my understanding that Norman Maine was based on John Gilbert, who was a huge star when he co-starred with the unknown Greta Garbo and they fell in love. Sound films killed Gilbert’s career and he drank himself to death, dying of a heart attack at the age of 36. As for “A Star Is Born”, I remember reading that Cary Grant was the original choice for the remake and did, in fact, read for Cukor, who begged him to play the part. But Grant declined. When Barbra Streisand remade the film in the 1970’s, she tried to… Read more »