In Like Flynn review: Errol Flynn biopic a tepid tribute to swashbuckling legend

14 Oct

A review of IN LIKE FLYNN…

I have always said there isn’t any film director or actor that can capture the charm, spirit and lust for living that was Errol Flynn.

I tried to put together a project written by Tony Thomas, we were talking to Vince Sherman as director and I told them all that a younger Kevin Kline could pull it off.  At the time Kline didn’t want anything to do with Flynn. My idea and Vince loved it was to copy Amadeus where you had the older Flynn in Jamaica talking with Conrad as Salieri talking to the priest.  Then we cut to a young Flynn/Kline at differnent parts of his life but not in order.  The idea was to show Flynn as one of the coolest guys to walk the earth.  It would be an acting challange for Kline and I felt that was the only way to get him to play this part. I wanted to end the film with Tony’s narration from the CD Requiem for a Cavalier where Tony talks about remembering Errol Flynn and we show the clip of the end of Robin Hood. So the kids in the theater would see the real Errol Flynn at the end of the film.

I could never get the funds, then Vince passed away and two years later Tony passed away.  Kline didn’t work in film for ten years and he jumped at the role of Flynn in the LAST ROBIN HOOD which he was the only real actor in the whole film. He somewhat captured Errol… I will probably see IN LIKE FLYNN but I’m not expecting too much.

Bung ho!



— Jack Marino


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    October 15, 2018 at 6:45 am

    What a brilliant concept, Jack! That could have been, and still could be, an artistic masterpiece and big box office hit!! Hollywood really missed the boat on that one. They should have leaped at the opportuntity. Instead, they keep missing the mark and ducking it up, over and over and over and over..…

    I wonder how much The Merchant of Venom (Charles Higham) had to do, and to some extent still has to do, with poisoning the well against the making of a big budget biopic of Flynn. I believe very significantly so, even to this day, though less so, thanks to Flynn scholars and champions like yourself who have so nobly and diligently set the record straight

  2. Philip

    October 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    ‘In Like Flynn’ has been getting quite a good release here in Australia. I won’t be seeing it though. I think it’s a missed opportunity by the filmmakers, who have succeeded in continuing on with a storyline that is basically playing up to the Flynn caricature. There was an opportunity to show him to a whole new generation or two of cinema goers here, the vast majority of which would hardly know of Flynn, and all that’s going to be revealed is a one-dimensional caricature. What we needed was a serious portrayal to show Flynn in his reality – the multi-dimensional talent actor, adventurer, womaniser, writer and poetry lover. All of it, revealing the dark and light sides of his persona. That’s what I’d like to see … the truth, not some hammed up movie that for all intents and purposes has Flynn as a cartoon figure. Very annoying as it’s such a rare and difficult thing to not only get a feature film made but then also achieve a good distribution deal to have it in wide release. Audiences could have had the chance to see a compelling drama based on Flynn’s life that would stay with them long after they left the cinema. Instead what they’re getting is matinee adventure fodder that serves only to perpetuate Hollywood mythology. A few years ago I too started writing a story outline set around the pool terrace of the Titchfield with Flynn and Conrad drinking and smoking and Errol’s dark narrative being revealed in flashback … in fact I may just have been be prompt by this discussion to revise that possibility

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

      What a majestic setting Errol’s Port Antonio estate(s) would be for the telling of his life story to Conrad, Phillip. I hope you continue with your writing! … The day will come, and not too far off, when Hollywood properly tributes Flynn’s immortal greatness and worldwide appeal.

      Visiting Port Antonio


      I could kick myself for never meeting Conrad. I lived only about a five-minute walk from where he and his wife lived on Coronado, California. I had no idea he lived there! I traveled with work most of the year, and he apparently kept a very low profile. I even read a couple of his books in the (very small) Coronado Public Library, where I regularly visited. Many years later I learned he used to visit there himself very frequently! Good Lord, talk about missing the boat. I really did on that one!

      • Gentleman Tim

        October 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

        Maybe we can get Chris Blackwell to help fund it, featuring his time with Flynn in the film, also! His witnessing of a Flynn’s waterskiing alone would be great cinema!…

        Let’s ask Chris! He’s a real mover and shaker, including in the entertainment world. Supposed to be a great guy too.

        Here he is with Ursula, (Remember her, Fellas?)


        • Philip

          October 17, 2018 at 12:51 am

          Hi Tim, thanks for your reply. Yes Chris Blackwell a real mover and shaker, and his mother an admirer of Flynn … ‘Errol Flynn, who loved vacationing in Jamaica, became friends with Joseph Blackwell and was infatuated with Blanche. He said later that her laughter was “like the sound of water tinkling over a waterfall” and he would have liked to propose marriage, but Flynn was already married.’

          And … ‘She was asked about her two famous admirers. “Ian was an angel,” she said. “Errol was another angel. Both lovely men–both exceptionally manly and definitely not for domesticating.”’

          That period of late 50s in Port Antonio I can picture as being so rich. A pity the Titchfield no longer exists. Jamaica is one place I’ve never been though I surely have a good excuse to go there to turn over a few rocks in search of Flynn’s past. Meanwhile I’ll have to revisit my Flynn writings and plot a story that reveals his three-dimensionality!

        • Philip

          October 17, 2018 at 12:53 am

          Great photo with Ursula!