from “HOLLYWOOD”, January 1937
“News Scoop for January”
“Why Errol Flynn is Fleeing Hollywood”
In Charge of the Light Brigade Errol Flynn plays another dashing, adventurous role. Finished with this and two other pictures, Flynn is deserting Hollywood. Read why in this article!
To Some Mortal souls on this earth the call of the South Sea islands is greater
than any other thing in the world. To them the Song of the Islands is more than
a beautiful tune, a romantic interlude. It is a call to adventure in unknown places, an urge to move restless feet toward the mystery of antiquity, a willingness to dare uncharted reefs for the beckoning things beyond.
Errol Flynn is one of these souls, forever restless, forever in the pursuit of
adventure. For him there is no glamour in the present, not even in glamorous
Hollywood. The restless, haunting look you see in his eyes is not from clever
acting. The Errol Flynn of the screen is Errol himself, a man of the far horizons
who refuses to linger long in one place. And lately he has heard the call of distant lands.
Errol was just completing work on Another Dawn for Warner Brothers when
we talked with him about the mysteries of Tahiti, and other islands so remote that they remain nameless to this day.
“I guess the South Seas would lure most anyone,” he told us, pacing up and down the sound stage floor as the cameraman worked for new shooting angles. “I don’t think I’m much different from anyone else. We’d all go down there if we could. I guess the only difference is that I am going just as soon as I wind up this picture.”
And there the difference is, as plain a fact as you could ask for. The lure of big
money as a dashing movie star, the adulation of fans all over the world, the peacefulness of serene security — these things mean nothing at all to Errol Flynn.
You doubt that?
Then consider the facts. Errol has been in pictures only a brief year. He was
discovered” while the studio was testing for the lead in Captain Blood. It needed a dashing young man full of the spirit of adventure. Fate gave Errol that particular screen test, and overnight he became one of Warner’s most triumphant personalities.
Years of adventure in the South Seas made Errol Flynn a husky, stalwart adventurer. He’ll stack up nicely with Atlas anytime!
The studio knew its man all too well. It deciphered that faraway look in Flynn’s
eyes and sent out an order that might well have read like this:
“Attention all producers: we have a marvelous hit in Errol Flynn. But he is
a natural born adventurer who is hard to hold in one spot. Maybe we can keep him
inside Hollywood for a year, but not much longer. Do things fast with him.”
Of course they didn’t send out that exact order. But it is a fact that Errol, in that brief year, completed not only his first picture, but leads in the following master-pieces: Charge of the Light Brigade, An- other Dawn and Green Light.
All of these pictures are top notch productions. Most stars would consider it good fortune to do only one of these in a year. With the exception of Green Light, all of the films are costume pictures. And in Green Light Errol plays the role of a doctor who flees misfortune, battles spotted fever amid the backwoods roughness of Montana. So you see he is fundamentally the adventurous type of man in all three films.
Captain Blood made such a hit that they ran it many months longer than usual.
Charge of the Light Brigade’s release was held up for that reason. Last month we previewed the latter picture. It will make your masculine or feminine heart pound. Adventure is here in copious quantities, and romance too. It is another tremendous Errol Flynn hit. Soon you will be raving about the picture, and it seems destined for as long a run as Captain Blood.
That means only one thing: it will be many months before both Another Dawn
and Green Light are released to the theaters, and it is during these months that Errol will venture into the South Seas to get some of that restlessness out of his system.
Something to Think About
Warner Brothers might well worry about this trip. Why? Because, Errol Flynn being what he is, might decide never to return to Hollywood and motion picture fame. Just like that — with a cool snap of his fingers. But he will come
back. Warners are sure of that. They gave him a good reason for returning from the land of beyond.
Several months ago Errol joined Fawcett Writer William Ulman, Jr. in writing
a story on some of the actor’s personal adventures before he became a star. The
title of that picture is The White Rajah. The idea came about during a lazy week- end in Palm Springs when Ulman was visiting Flynn, gathering material for a series of stories for Movie Classic.
Out there in the desert the two reminisced together. Errol talked about a picture he would like to do, a picture full of the nostalgia of the South Seas, of thrilling incidents from his own life.
“Why don’t we get together and turn that story into a scenario?” Ulman asked
Errol after several hours discussion.
It was a deal. They worked it out, and sold the opus to Warners for a princely
sum. And that’s why the studio is sure that Flynn will come back!
Flynn ‘s itinerary is the kind you love to speculate about. He will take the last
scheduled steamer run to Tahiti and em- bark from there. (After this trip all regular ships will dispense with making Tahiti a port of call, there not being enough business to make it worth while.)
What he will do in Tahiti is still as much a mystery to Errol as to anyone else how he will leave Tahiti for other islands is a matter for fate and time to decide.
But by and by a tramp steamer, a fishing schooner, or some wandering ship will drop anchor off the dreamy shores of Tahiti, and Flynn will find his time to move has come.
While restlessness is perhaps a prime factor in luring Errol away, he has a
couple of real objectives in his Odyssey. Among the countless islands of the South Seas mandated to Japan is one particular lump of land that catches his fancy. He calls it The Lost Island, although of course it technically is nothing of the sort.
On this strange Lost Island, Japan is said to have secret fortifications. And
Nippon is usually extremely reluctant to allow visitors within the sacred precincts. Nevertheless, the intrepid Flynn will visit that island shortly, with the official permission of high Japanese dignitaries. And all because Errol, in one of his previous adventures, developed a close friendship
with a son of one of these influential officials.
A Lost World
What Errol wants to see is not any secret military outpost, but to delve into the
mysteries of a lost civilization which once flourished on the isle. Here, under the perpetual shade of dense palm groves, are the ruins of another era, said to rival even the mystical Mayan ruins of Central America.
That spells adventure to Errol. He is taking with him a 16 mm. camera with a
supply of natural color film. When he returns he hopes to have adequate proof
of another Yesterday in human existence.
From the Lost Island the actor will swing down to the East Indies, a familiar
sight to him, for it was here that he had some of his most exciting adventures
before he climbed the heights of Hollywood.
This country is the background of his White Rajah story. So somewhere along
the line he will pick up a professional cameraman likewise afflicted with wanderlust, and film familiar scenes as a basis for the actual production. Didn’t we tell you there was a good reason for Errol to come back to Hollywood?
Yes, Errol will come back, even if it wouldn’t surprise anyone that he didn’t.
He will make White Rajah and perhaps by then he will be willing to settle down for awhile. One cannot make any accurate predictions regarding his future. Errol is forever independent. And he loves the region “down under,” where he had his first mad adventures with life.
Here’s Errol Flynn in a scene from Green Light, due for spring release. The
faithful dog is an important character in the film adaptation of Lloyd C. Douglas’s
— Gentleman Tim