Archive for July, 2008

Noyce helming 'Captain Blood' remake

29 Jul


Rex Features

By Simon Reynolds, Entertainment Reporter

Phillip Noyce will direct a remake of 1935 pirate movie Captain Blood, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The Dead Calm director has agreed to steer Warner Bros's long in-development swashbuckler, which made a star of Errol Flynn.

The move throws into question the fate of Tom Cruise's spy film Edwin A. Salt, which Noyce was previously in talks to helm.

Captain Blood tells the story of a doctor who is convicted of treason and escapes to sea to become a pirate.

Filmmakers Jonathan Hensleigh, Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont all tried in vain to get a remake off the ground in the '90s. 

— David DeWitt


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Red Skeleton, Woodsie and Errol before Vancouver…

21 Jul

Special thanks to Stephen Youngkin for this photo!

— David DeWitt


Errol Flynn's Great Big Adventure Book for Boys… the Play!

19 Jul

Note: the ability to insert photos is back!

Errol Flynn's Great Big Adventure Book for Boys by Rob George was first performed by The Stage Company, Adelaide, South Australia in 1978.

From the website:

Performances will be at Princess May Theatre in Fremantle from 11 to 26 July 2008.
Described as “A musical comic book look at the comic book life of Australian film legend Errol Flynn from childhood in Hobart through white slave trader in New Guinea and finally to tragic Hollywood has-been”, the play is “taken almost entirely from official records and Flynn's own writing. (It) explores the love/hate relationship Flynn had with his own screen image, and the way that he was both encouraged and condemned in it”. “Rob George’s excellent script does this with humour, sadness, and rage.”

Princess May Theatre
Rob George
Peter Nettleton

Harbour Theatre presents…

Harbour Theatre, Fremantle's only and original community theatre for over 40 years, is proud to present: “Errol Flynn's Great Big Adventure Book for Boys”
by Rob George

Directed by Peter Nettleton
(A Community Theatre production by Kind Permission of Prospect Productions Pty Ltd)

The West Australian premiere of “ERROL FLYNN’S GREAT BIG ADVENTURE BOOK FOR BOYS” by prolific Australian playwright, actor, director and producer Rob George is Harbour Theatre’s 3rd
season for 2008. Directed for Harbour Theatre by Peter Nettleton, this play was first produced in 1978 by the Stage Company, South Australia 1978 and went on to win the Festival Times Best Play award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1979.

It is a musical comic book look at the comic book life of Australian film legend Errol Flynn from childhood in Hobart Tasmania to white slave trader in New Guinea and finally to tragic Hollywood has-been. Taken almost entirely from official records and Flynn's own writing, the play explores the love/hate relationship Flynn had with his own screen image, and the way that he was both encouraged and condemned in it. Director Peter Nettleton says that if you know nothing about Errol Flynn or want to know more then this is a must see show.

The multi-talented cast features Tony Clarke of Attadale as Errol Flynn and Katherine English of Hilton as Lois Tudor who is attempting to interview Errol during the 1950’s when his shining star was on the wane. As he relates his story various aspects and episodes from his life are re-enacted with the help of John Forde of Mosman Park, Kirstie Chorley of Beaconsfield, Sherrilee Walsh of Ballajura, John Deasy of Fremantle, Norma Holmes of Coolbellup and Matt Cuccovia of White Gum Valley who take on many of the characters that Errol encountered during his turbulent and at times, troubled life. The cast is supported by musicians Geoff Stainton of Willagee on bass, Dave Hale of Melville on drums and Enzo Piscitelli of East Fremantle on guitar.

“Errol Flynn was a very “naughty” boy during his life as detailed in his autobiography “My Wicked, Wicked Ways, says director Peter Nettleton, so expect this play to contain adult themes and strong language. However, there will be plenty of songs and sadness, laughter and gags that were so typical of his life.”

Cast (in order of appearance):
Errol Flynn: Tony Clarke
Lois Tudor: Katherine English

Supporting characters played by: John Forde, John Deasy, Matt Cuccovia, Kirstie
Chorley, Sherrilee Walsh, Peter Nettleton

Stage Manager: Brian Mahoney
Singer: Norma Holmes
Drums: Enzo Piscitelli
Guitar : Dave Hale
Bass: Geoff Stainton

The Princess May Theatre
Fremantle Education Centre
Cnr Cantonment & Parry Streets Fremantle, AU
(next to Clancy’s Fish Pub).

July 18th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th & 26th 2008.
Doors open at 7.30pm, with curtain up at 8:00pm sharp.

MATINEE: Sunday July 20th, commencing at 2pm

PARKING: Please allow sufficient time to secure parking before the show to avoid disappointment as you will not be allowed into the theatre once the curtain is up.

BOCS Ticketing: (08) 9484 1133 /….au
Fax Bookings: 9486 1711
Outside Metro Area: 1800 193 300
NOTE: Transaction Fees Apply when booking through


— David DeWitt


We Welcome new Author Stephen D. Youngkin!

11 Jul

Photo retouched by Michael Pieper

The Errol Flynn Blog is happy to announce our newest author Stephen D. Youngkin has joined the Errol Flynn Blog! Asked what brought him to his interest in the famous Swashbuckler, Stephen replied:

Growing up in a small mid-western town, I had no access to old movies.  Local stations must have subscribed to the smallest and most inexpensive picture packages because they aired no classics.  It wasn’t until I was well along in college that I heard of Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Errol Flynn et al.  I caught their films on television and attended screenings (usually four-six films per star, genre, etc.) at the university and local library. 

It was Flynn’s films that provided the most enjoyable respite from my studies.  What a break that was.  There were no videos or DVDs in those days, so I studied the TV Guide for listings.  An old book dealer friend (and someone who grew up with Flynn’s first showings) turned me on to My Wicked, Wicked Ways.  Flynn’s autobiography, however over the top, fueled my interest in who I now think of as one of the most interesting men of the 20th century. 

I moved on to Beams End and Showdown, not to mention whatever bits and pieces I could pick up.  There wasn’t much written about Flynn until The Films of Errol Flynn came out in 1969.

Despite Thomas, Behlmer and McCarty’s pioneering work, the public perception of Flynn seemed to be rather one-dimensional, e.g. in like Flynn, etc.  This disturbed me because I felt he was a much under-appreciated actor.  And as much as I enjoyed his swashbuckling and western adventures, I thought his forte was comedy (and later, drama). 

It struck me that Flynn’s hidden depths were screaming to come to the surface in his writing, which is very good indeed.  If only he’d had a better editor on Showdown, but that is another subject.  (And if only he’d had the discipline to sit behind the typewriter.)    I broached the idea to Earl Conrad of working on a book about the writer Flynn.  We bounced it back and forth.  At that time, he was working on his own memoir.  Anyway, I dropped the idea. 

During the course of my research on The Lost One:  A Life of Peter Lorre (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2005), I interviewed roughly three hundred of the actor’s family, friends and co-workers.  When you’ve arranged to speak with someone about a particular subject, it’s wise to stick to the point. 

Some interviewees, such as Vincent Sherman, were happy to talk about Flynn.  Sherman gave a pretty consistent voice to his stories about Flynn and others.  Still, I was glad to get to him before these anecdotes became somewhat formatted.  I would like to have talked Flynn (once we had exhausted Lorre) with others, but on several occasions when I did veer off, my interviewee said, “Weren’t we here to talk about Peter Lorre?”  Corralling your sources is always a challenge.  In this case, I had been lassoed.  Still, it was wonderful to hear fresh Flynn stories from firsthand sources. 

I’d like to commend Tom McNulty on a superb biography of Flynn.  Nothing against MacFarland, but I think his book deserved a bigger press and a much wider distribution.  It’s the definitive work and explores all aspects of Flynn’s very complex personality.  Biographer Jeffrey Meyers once told me that a reader might wish a biographer was shorter, but never longer.  Not true with McNulty’s work.  I only wish he would coordinate The Collected Letters of Errol Flynn. 

What insight that would provide!

Best, Stephen D. Youngkin

— David DeWitt


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