”OBJECTIVE BURMA” (1945) Dick Erdman interview on Errol Flynn.

13 Mar

OBJECTIVE BURMADick (Richard) Erdman (born on June 1, 1925)
”Actor Richard Erdman Remembers Errol Flynn, An Interview” (March, 2010).
Q: One of your most famous war films you made is ”Objective, Burma!” (1945).
A: Yes. That was one of the first really brutal war pictures; it broke a lot of ground. Raoul Walsh directed it.
Q; I like it because there’s not a lot of phony Hollywood drama crammed into it. It’s a very nuts-and-bolts procedural about infantry tactics and combat operations. You could almost run it for troops today as a training film.
A: I remember it was a miserable shoot. We did most of it during the summer up on that hill overlooking Warner Bros., and a swamp out in Pasadena on Lucky Baldwin’s old estate. We were out there, up to our necks in goddamn slime, carrying those guns through that swamp… it was awful. Two guys got killed on that shoot. One of them fell off a parallel, and another backed into—I can’t remember what—but it broke his spine and killed him.
Now Errol Flynn was a terrific guy; I liked him a lot. When that guy fell off the parallel, somebody said they should take his body to a hospital, but this unit manager we had—this son of a bitch—growled, “We’ll get this last shot, and take care of him when we go to lunch!” Errol said, very politely, “No, we stop shooting right now. Get that man to a hospital.” …and he walked off the set!
I remember the very first day, they brought us these awful lunches—powdered eggs and stewed tomatoes—just a shitty, awful lunch… and they served Errol the same thing! He took one look at that, and had it sent down to Jack Warner’s office, with a message: “We get decent food up here by two o’clock, or we stop shooting.” There was an actor named Frank Tang, who had a restaurant downtown called Tang’s. He said to Flynn, “You want Chinese food?” Thirty minutes later, they were unloading it for us. Flynn took the bill… and gave it to Warner!
Q;He took care of his men. Just like in the film. Thank you Mr. Erdman!

— Kevin Wedman

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  1. Gentleman Tim

    March 16, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks, Frank Tang

    (I hope Jackass Warner paid you!)