Sean Flynn in Book

29 Jan

The book entitled “Death Valley Superstars” by author Duke Haney has an excellent chapter on the life and death of Sean Flynn. It is also one of the saddest to read in a great book filled with many sad chapters. Has anyone else here read it? Ralph Schiller

— Ralph Schiller


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  1. shangheinz

    February 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I can`t wait for you to elaborate more on this book, Rushstreet Ralph. Meanwhile I came actoss another chapter on Sean.…
    This of course is the source for Stanley Kubrick`s FULL METAL JACKET- movie.
    I will write on this Kube Connection very soon, too.

  2. Daryl Haney

    July 9, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Hi, Ralph: I’m the author of “Death Valley Superstars,” and just wanted to thank you for your comment after seeing it today. The essay about Sean (which debuted at an online magazine over seven years ago and was discussed briefly here at this blog) is the one, out all the essays in the book, cited most often to me as a favorite by readers. One reader identified the “mystery man” who opens and closes the essay, but by first name only, so that was a happy development; I’ve wondered about him ever since our encounter at the LA courthouse, and without that encounter I would never have thought to write about Sean. For that matter, there probably would be no “Death Valley Superstars.” I hope all is well with you and yours during these trying times — oh, and I hope the same for you, David DeWitt, should you read this. I remember you speaking kindly of the piece years ago, and I rewrote it (and, I trust, improved it) for the book. Skol!

    • Gentleman Tim

      July 9, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Great trailer with video clip of Sean, too.
      Thanks, Duke!…

      • Daryl Haney

        July 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm

        It’s I who should thank you, sir. Possibly you recognized the shot of Sean, which is from his last film, “Five Ashore in Singapore.” Only after the book was published did I read somewhere that it was Lili Damita who financed “Five Ashore in Singapore” in the hope of distracting Sean, permanently, from combat photography, but I don’t know that what I read is accurate. It seems an awfully expensive strategy and one with little chance of success, as Lili would have to have been aware, since she was close to Sean, who was never really interested in being an actor. It was said in the same account that Sean intended to abandon photojournalism after his fateful assignment in Cambodia, but Sean was something of an adrenaline junkie, so that he would surely have sought risk even if he had taken up a different occupation. Ah, well; he disappeared a little over fifty years ago now and mysteries would linger even if his remains were finally found.