Errol Collapses on the Set of The Last Man

18 May

May 18, 1943

Syracuse Herald Journal


Hollywood, May 18 – Actor Errol Flynn was recovering today at Hollywood Hospital after collapsing on a Warner Bros. set.

he was expected to remain in the hospital for at least a week. His physicians, Dr. Carl F. Stevens and Thomas W. Hern, said Flynn suffered “a recurrence of an upper respiratory ailment” which he has had for some time.

Flynn collapsed yesterday while working on To the Last Man. Action will be shot around him until he returns.

Northern Pursuit was originally known as To the Last Man and was based on a magazine story. A.I. Bezzerides wrote the first screenplay under the supervision of Jesse L. Lasky. William Faulkner later worked on the script.

According to Tony Thomas:

“During the production of Northern Pursuit, Flynn took ill in May 1943, collapsing on the set and being hospitalized for a week. The studio released information indicating he had a “upper respiratory ailment,” but he was battling tuberculosis.”

Errol was said to have collapsed soon after the filming of this scene from To the Last Man, later renamed Norther Pursuit..

Errol was also reported to have “collapsed on the set” the year before, in Gentleman Jim, as discussed here and below.

This video review by Richard Brody of the New Yorker, shows the great fight scene (against Ward Bond playing John L. Sullivan) after which Errol is said to have collapsed, beginning at about 2:00. Also featured in this review is EFB’s own world champion biographer of Flynn, Tom McNulty, who wrote:

“Flynn collapsed during one of the boxing sequences and was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital. He was diagnosed as having experienced a mild heart attack. He was then flown to Baltimore and admitted to the Johns Hopkins University Hospital where physicians conducted a thorough physical examination. Their assessment was grim.”…

02:00 There’s something special
02:10 about the character of Corbett.
02:12 He seems peculiarly modern,
02:13 in fact, even more modern than Walsh imagined.
02:17 Unlike the other boxers he faces,
02:18 he isn’t just a brawler, he’s a dancer,
02:21 he’s a master of fancy footwork.
02:23 And with his fancy footwork comes high-flowing verbiage,
02:27 the ability to use taunting to get
02:29 under his opponent’s skin and,
02:31 with his confection of his public image
02:32 and his careful attention to his appearance,
02:35 Corbett seems nothing less
02:36 than a precursor to Mohammad Ali.
02:39 [boxing bell rings]
02:41 [crowd cheers]

— Gentleman Tim


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  1. Selene Hutchison-Zuffi

    May 18, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Mmm…gentlemen jim was filmed in 1942..he collapsed july 15th..
    This is from northern pursuit..he collapsed and was hospitalized for “upper respiratory problems” later confirmed as TB.

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    • Gentleman Tim

      May 18, 2020 at 7:19 pm

      Please keep in mind, Selene that I research, write and edit 95% of all I post on my semi-smart cell phone, often making it necessary for me to review and edit my initial post, after I can see all my often rather extensive cut and pasting. So, please give me some time to look at my initial post for errors and mistypes, etc. Thanks

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  2. Gentleman Tim

    May 18, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    You’re too quick/immediately responding while I’m still editing, Selene. I’ll have to change my usual method for you, i.e. edit completely before posting. I’ll finish this up now.

    If you have any newspaper clippings, please post. You will probably recall that I posted the 1942 articles very recently, to which you commented.

    Errol “Off to Hospital(s)” — May 6 and July 16, 1942

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