Fantasy Flynn Films

23 Nov

thief_of_bagdad-Flynn5At a banquet following the premiere of “The Drum”,(starring Sabu) producer Alexander Korda sat across from Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and realized his next film would be a remake of “The Thief of Bagdad”. In this new tale, Sabu would play the Thief but not the love interest. Korda wanted a proven leading man and so devised a new role, that of a Prince who forges a friendship with the young Thief. But who to play the dashing role? Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. seemed obvious but turned it down, not wanting to “ape” his father. Korda soon set his eye on Fairbanks’ heir apparent, Errol Flynn. But would Jack Warner agree to loan him out? The answer, of course, was “yes”… for a price of two-hundred thousand dollars and the rights to distribute the film in the U.S. For his part, Flynn was thrilled to return to England to shoot, though he resented only receiving his normal paycheck when it was his name that Korda was paying for. The resulting film was an instant classic and became the first fantasy film (and first to star Flynn) to win the Best Picture Oscar.


— zacal


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  1. timerider

    November 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I wish I had a computer enhanced DVD of “The Thief Of Bagdad” Doug Sr! All cleaned up and sharp. I just watched an old VHS of the original but it’s really in bad shape. Doug Jr was fantastic in Sinbad. I was not aware of this fantasy film,thanks ZACA~~L!

  2. zacal

    November 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Alas, it is only a fantasy. (Although John Justin bore such a striking resemblance to Errol that you had to wonder if he wasn’t on the filmmakers’ minds.)[img][/img]

    • Tim

      November 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Fantastic, zacal, fantastic!

      And good call on that resemblance! (Looks like Dorothy Lamour could have played the romantic interest, too – something I’m sure her and Errol would have enjoyed, if not Mrs. Fleen.)



    November 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I think it is interesting that Mr. Justin does bear a striking resemblance to Monsieur Flynn, especially since “Thief of Bagdad”, I believe was Justin’s first film role and he would have been a lot cheaper to hire than Warner Brothers top box-office contract player. Also I don’t think WB would have loaned Flynn out to play a secondary lead in what essentially was a foreign production1 But it is fun to speculate!–A. R.