Sean Flynn, author Michael Herr and “Dispatches”

25 Jun

Author Michael Herr has passed.(…) Herr was the author of “Dispatches”, a book about the Vietnam war that featured Sean Flynn, the war-photographer who subsequently inspired Dennis Hopper’s character in “Apocalypse Now”.Hopper

Indeed, Michael Herr was tapped by Francis Coppola to write the famous narration for “Apocalypse Now” once the principal photography had finished.
I don’t know if this article has been featured on this site before, but in my search for more information on Herr’s book and Sean Flynn, I found this terrific piece; “The Sean Flynn I Knew”. (…)
One of the most insightful quotes from Sean Flynn regarding his acting career(and his father) is found within; “You see, the movies were obviously something I didn’t like. I won’t say I wasn’t interested. But I always felt—I don’t mind fighting my father. But I realized I was fighting him on his own turf. It came down to that. I was in a false situation. ”

Here is Sean Flynn’s most famous war photograph, a picture that Sean himself said was misunderstood. The Viet Cong sniper was tortured after he killed a little girl.


— zacal


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    June 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    thank you, zacal. I believe Sean could have gone on to be a great movie star if that’s what he had wanted. No one was Errol Flynn, not even any of the other Hollywood immortals, but I believe he could have been great. Here’s Dad pointing the way for Sean.



    • David DeWitt

      June 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      I agree, with some time and seasoning I believe Sean would have become a very good actor. He had the same hurdle Michael Douglas overcame with a world famous father who was bigger than life on the screen. He would likely still be very much with us today …

  2. Gentleman Tim

    June 27, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    A.R. has posted a series of great stuff on Sean. I remember learning from him about Stop Train. Sean definitely had burgeoning talent and tremendous appeal.



      June 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you, Gentlemen Tim! Yes I am a fan of both Flynns, father & son! The news of Herr’s passing means that less people still alive remember Sean from his Vietnam days and the chances that his remains will ever be found becomes even more slim.

      Regarding his film career, I spent five years tracking down his films until I now own all eight starring roles (six in English, two in Spanish) and thanks to Rory and George Hamilton, I was able to verify his appearance in “Where the Boys Are” for the IMDB! (It’s basically a walk by, but it is interesting because he gets an “appreciative” look from Connie Francis.)
      (Just a side note I found his films thru different websites, just before someone uploaded them on YouTube!)

      Any one still interested, I can add another “Flynn and Son Double feature” entry. I have been meaning to post one, when I could find the time, but I wasn’t sure if any one is really interested.—-A. R.

      • David DeWitt

        June 27, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Definately interested!

      • Gentleman Tim

        June 28, 2016 at 2:43 am

        Absolutely, A.R. Those are terrific! In fact, someone should recommend your concept and pairings of Father and Son Flynn films to TCM. That would be very cool -perhaps on Sean’s birthday next year!



        • David DeWitt

          June 28, 2016 at 6:20 am

          I love that idea, too!

  3. timerider

    July 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    “Movie star” I wonder….who are we to say what could have been?Sean was his own man, especially after leaving home and a long time of trying to please his mother and others in going to college and fitting in to the common mold. Like his father he was not really cutout for the “common mold”. Yes, try acting make some money then it’s on to the next adventure! I wold not be able to take the pollution of LA, NY, or even Phoenix as my dear 89 year old mother coughs constantly there. I need fresh air and Sun! Florida was not to bad and still is strong in my memory. My father lived his last 20 years there and I have many cousins still living in Florida and the islands off the coast.Sean died doing what he loved best. That area of the world was raw and simple where adventure is the name of the game! A good journalist and photographer. What could have been? Well maybe a writer later in life or maybe just an adventurer until the books were written.

  4. Gentleman Tim

    July 5, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    More on Herr Page and Flynn:…


  5. Gentleman Tim

    July 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm


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