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Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

Not Errol’s Nottingham

21 Nov

EMPIRE

To be fair, when you’re dealing with something as culturally ingrained and cliché-ridden as Robin Hood you might as well go for something fresh, and go for broke. But for all its stylistic ambition, and its efforts to reference modern concerns (the Sheriff of Nottingham’s anti-Islamic invective), Robin Hood misfires thanks to a crucial absence of internal logic. This world just doesn’t work.”

NEW YORK TIMES

“The plot is twisty in a perfunctory way, the action predictably explosive, the sought-after exhilaration nonexistent.”

THE GUARDIAN

“This bloated, featureless, CGI-heavy movie is not so much stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, as stealing from Guy Ritchie, Batman, Two-Face and a few others – and not giving back all that much to the audience.”

LITTLE WHITE LIES

It’s a love story devoid of romance, an action flick severely lacking in spark and spectacle, a historical epic filled with flagrant inaccuracies and wrongheaded revisionism. There is nothing particularly fresh or inventive about the film, and, setting aside the wildly incongruous accents, jarringly modern, machine-stitched costumes and ugly CG render of a vaguely medieval setting, it is a simple fact that no one has ever looked cool shooting a bow and arrow while pirouetting backwards off a ledge.”

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“The action here is too phony and mechanically cranked up to believe that anything is on the line. Mendelsohn’s villain is boringly one-note, Eve Hewson’s Marion uses an incongruous Yank accent and always looks as though she’s just stepped out of the makeup trailer, F. Murray Abraham swans around in fancy cardinal’s vestments looking sinister and Foxx seems pissed off that he’s not somewhere, perhaps anywhere, else. As for Egerton, he’s a boy doing a man’s job.”

Ouch.

However, it’s not all terrible news as there are some positive reviews out there, such as in Variety who state it “shouldn’t work, but it’s more honest fun than the Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe versions”.

So there’s that, at least.

All reviews above are quoted in the Digital Spy link below:

www.digitalspy.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Collect Call for Sherlock

21 Nov

“The only perfect screen version of me was the great Errol Flynn.”

“I’faith, there was a man who knew how to swashbuckle.”

— Robin Hood

i.pinimg.com…

www.dailypress.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

In Like Indiana Flynn?

10 Oct

www.theguardian.com…

“GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ENTERTAINMENT”

“A FUN FILM, CONSTRUCTED IN A SMART WAY”

“A DELIGHTFUL (FOUR-STAR) RAPID-FIRE ROMP”

— Gentleman Tim

 

Not In Like Flynn?

09 Oct

A Tepid Tribute? A Wishy-Washy Swashbuckler? A Faux-Flynn Flim Flam? A B-movie Bomb?

www.canberratimes.com…

m.flicks.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

7th Michigan, CHARGE!

01 Oct

Flynn and Custer, a perfect match – brilliant, discipline-proof, dashing, and destined for greatness.

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON
(Benton Harbor News-Palladium, December 29, 1941.)

Monroe- The premier of the motion picture “They Died With Their Boots On” depicting the career of General George Armstrong Custer, was shown here Sunday. Seven members of the Custer family residing here attended the performance. Brigadier-General Custer, slain in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, attended school and married here.

ERROL FLYNN PLAYS GEORGE CUSTER
(Benton Harbor News-Palladium, January 10, 1942)

Custer’s last stand is an epic of the old west, but the rest of Custer’s life is a Michigan story. As shown in They Died With Their Boots On, the new Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland film opening Sunday at the Liberty, George Armstrong Custer’s adventures were intimately concerned with his native state.

He made a name for himself in the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg depicted in the film by leading a series of charges by gallant Michigan regiments. Thrown back time and time again, they kept up the fight under his inspirational leadership and finally turned the tide of battle.

After the Civil War ended, Custer like so many brilliant young officers of the Union Army, was retired. A peacetime Army had no use for the vast number of officers developed by the war. Young General Custer settled down with his wife in their native Monroe, Michigan, to live a life of peace.

It was from the same Monroe that Custer had gone before the Civil War to become the most discipline-proof cadet that West Point had seen in years.

According to the film, the most famous song of Custer’s Seventh Regiment, the Gary Owen, was taught to the General in Monroe by an English soldier who was a Union veteran. When the regiment rode forth in battle on the Little Big Horn, the song Custer learned in Monroe, sped them on their way.

George Custer was only 37 when he died. Life in Monroe had bored him. In order to get back into active Army service, he accepted colonel’s rank. He was sent to the most dangerous territory in America, Sioux Country. The Indians called him “Long Hair.” The tribute they paid him in his last stand shows the esteem in which he was held, even by his enemies. Every man killed in the battle was scalped – except Custer.

GENERAL CUSTER AFYER 45 YEARS
(Detroit Free Press, June 27, 1921)

It has been remarked that George Armstrong Custer’s chief contribution to the history of his country was his personality. Such a statement looks like a truism, but in his case it was more peculiarly true than in most. An operose, impetuous spirit, his tepidity, his dash, his verve, has passed into legend while there are still people living in these states who thrill to the memory of the day when Custer fell, who remember the clash of opinion that arose before his gallant blood had cooled.

The forty-five years that have passed since June 25, 1876, have not settled the argument. Was Custer’s death with his three brothers, his nephew, and all of the old fighting Seventh Michigan Cavalry , due to mis-wisdom, an untutored impetuosity, or were the trap and the barbarous slaying inevitable? How much of the mistake can be placed on the two commanders under him, Benteen and Reno, and was the natural indignation of the country justified? The exact facts are obscure, for we are unwilling to accept the only evidence which came from an Indian.

The significant thing now is that Custer’s story is not allowed to die – it is too romantic, too fraught with the perilous spirit of the frontier days which have rapidly dimmed and receded. The story has been woven into pageants, it has been vividly acted before the camera in its own historic setting. Today, out in Hardin, Montana, it is being commemorated again, re-enacted with Indians, some of whom are from the fierce tribe of Sitting Bull. Tamed now and submissive, forgetting the hot rage of the warrior, they are acting for the pleasure of the conqueror and perhaps for the lost glory of their tribe, scenes which were part of the destructive tide that swept them from their last entrenchments in the badlands of the prairie.

What history will do with Custer a hundred years, hence it is impossible to judge; it is probably that no matter what the historian of the future makes of his case he will be handed along in the legends which gave the thrill to cold facts as the perfect cavalry type, the temerarious General of Horse. The nation will remember him as Edward Clark Potter has pictured him when in that significant moment during a lull in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, he spurred forward from the line, and hat in hand, his golden curls flowing from a head thrown back, he stood for a moment surveying enemy lines. His striking uniform, his youth, his daring, combined to make him a glorious, a charmed figure.

The nation will remember him too, however much they may doubt his judgment, as the general who immensely brave, immensely daring, overpowered twenty to one, stayed with his men and died fighting in place. They will honor him as the Sioux honored him, Sitting Bull’s warriors who killed him but held his body inviolate because he was a warrior of whose prowess they stood in awe.

CUSTER’S LAST GUIDON

— Gentleman Tim

 

All Time No. 1 Swashbuckler

26 May

www-independent-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org…

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

“Has there ever been a movie so perfectly cast and executed with so much conviction, professionalism, and joie de vivre? Shot in ravishing Technicolor, with magnificently authentic sets, The Adventures of Robin Hood encapsulates the magic of cinema, bringing 12th-century England to Hollywood with sunny California glades standing in for Sherwood Forest in a wonderful blend of action, drama, romance and humour that has rarely been bettered.

Errol Flynn is at the peak of his roguish charm as the silver screen’s greatest Robin Hood and is once more paired with Olivia de Havilland as an impossibly beautiful Maid Marian.

Claude Rains purrs insidiously as Prince John, and Basil Rathbone as his sidekick is fated yet again to fall to the hero in the wonderfully choreographed and brilliantly executed swordfight with Flynn on the castle staircase, their shadows dancing on the walls – and yes, that is Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger in an early supporting role as Maid Marian’s mount.

A winner of three Oscars, including one for the majestic score from Erich Wolfgang Korngold, which sets the tone of the film from the rousing opening fanfare and then vividly illustrates every thrust and parry of Flynn’s sword, every arrow thudding into its target, every winsome glance from de Havilland.

The Adventures of Robin Hood at 80 years old, remains the perfect example of Hollywood’s supreme artistry in the days of the much maligned studio system, not just the best of its kind, but one of the greatest films ever made.”

— Gentleman Tim

 

CHARGE!

24 Apr

At the TCM Classic Movie Festival

Friday, April 27, 2018

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE(1936)

Of the eight films co-starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, this romantic epic is one of the least seen, mainly due to complaints about the mistreatment of horses in the thrilling climactic charge inspired by Alfred Tennyson’s poem. In their second film together, Flynn is a British officer in India engaged to de Havilland only to learn she is in love with his brother (Patric Knowles). Departing liberally from history, the film suggests that the love triangle, as well as an act of betrayal by an Indian sultan, are inspiration for the famous charge that took place in 1854. The picture was also inspired by the success of Paramount’s The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), which forced the production to add The Crimean War scenes at the end in order to avoid charges that they were just aping the earlier film. The picture was shot on a grand scale, with the construction of an entire British garrison in the California desert where the cast worked in severe weather conditions during the massive battle scenes. The use of trip wires led to the deaths of 25 horses, causing a fistfight between the passionate horseman Flynn and director Michael Curtiz. The result of the deaths kept Warner Bros. from reissuing the film and brought about stricter control from the U.S. government over animal use in filmmaking. (d. Michael Curtiz, 115m, 35mm)

filmfestival.tcm.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Mail Bag! French Curtiz Bio & Film Book!

16 Apr

Dear Sir,

For all those who love Curtiz and read French, I found this book. He presents an excellent biography and analyzes each of his films including his pre-Hollywood production.
Best – Erik Anzi
Thanks, Erik!

— David DeWitt

 

The Ides of Flynn

15 Mar

Eighty-Five Years Ago Today (Sydney Time), on March 15, 1933, Errol Appeared Live AND On Film at the Prince Edward Theater in Sydney.

Errol was paid £2 to stand on stage in what he later described as a bad wig and bizarre naval uniform, appearing more like “an elderly keeper at a [Sydney brothel] than Fletcher Christian. The Ides of March ended bad for Caesar, but great for Flynn. It signaled the birth of Errol’s acting career.

A superb assembly of contemporaneous news articles by EFB Author “Isabel Australis”:

“In the wake of the bounty” 1933

An intriguing history with some Errol and errors:

books.google.com…

And here’s the cinematic Flynn himself, just as he appeared at the Prince Edward Theater, eighty-five years ago today, March 15, 1933 – On the Ides of Flynn:

— Gentleman Tim

 

Tribute to Tony Thomas

20 Feb

Reminded recently by Jack Marino of his friend, Tony Thomas’s, preeminent contributions to the history of Flynn here is a recollection of his great work:

THE FILMS OF ERROL FLYNN

“This book is a complete record of Errol Flynn’s career from his first starring role in Captain Blood until his untimely death at fifty. All of his 58 films are here, with synopses, casts & credits, reviews of the more important vehicles, and hundreds of photos.”

ERROL FLYNN:THE SPY WHO NEVER WAS

Author of 30 books about movies and movie stars, Thomas here defends Flynn (1909-1959) against the charge made by Charles Higham in Errol Flynn: The Untold Story (1979) that the Hollywood swashbuckler, who played Captain Blood, Robin Hood, the Earl of Essex and Don Juan, was a Nazi spy. Thomas’s detailed examination of Higham’s evidence (including interviews with many original sources) convincingly shows that Higham quoted documents selectively, twisted witnesses’ words and made a flawed case based on guilt by association.

— Gentleman Tim