Dear fellow Flynn fans,
2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of “The sun also rises”, the Darryl F. Zanuck movie version of Ernest Hemingway`s breakthrough novel “Fiesta”.
Errol, who received fourth billing, gave a fine performance as a world dreary old chap much like the Flynn of later years. This earned him a nomination as best supporting actor at the Academy Awards one year later. Here is what he had to say in an interview with EF biographer Tony Thomas in early 1958.
“Errol, the last picture in which we saw you, “The Sun Also Rises”, and even the critics who had not liked you before said that you were wonderful.”
“Well, if the critics said that, you know, it’s a kind word in a hard cruel world.”
“The news has just come through from Hollywood that you have been nominated for an Academy Award.”
“Yes, isn’t that something? I never thought it would happen to me.”
When however his nomination was mysteriously withdrawn with no official explanation given, it was anyone`s guess who had put a banana skin under the Ol` Swashbuckler`s shoe on that slippery slope towards Oscar called Red Carpet.
The five actors who were nominated were (the winner) Red Buttons in Sayonara, Sessue Hayakawa in Bridge on the River Kwai, Vittorio de Sica in A Farewell to Arms, Arthur Kennedy in Peyton Place and Russ Tamblyn in Peyton Place. The last one can be considered as the most likely substitute for our Hollywood hero.
While daughter Rory Flynn attributed the snub job to her father’s involvement with Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution (www.cinemaretro.com…), the book “Inside Oscar” blames the blunder on Twentieth Century Fox for the studio had listed him in their Oscar Campaign ads as Lead Actor, thus thwarting Errol’s effort to get one of those golden boys. The same mishap happened to Roddy McDowell for his role in the sand and sandal film “Cleopatra”.
Maybe it was then and there when Errol coined the phrase: “Hollywood has the utmost respect for the dead, but none for the living.” For once it was “Out and not in like Flynn”.