Errol Flynn at the Palace

24 Jan

January 24, 1957

Bosley Crowther
New York Times

THERE is something excessively familiar about Universal’s “Istanbul,” which came yesterday to the Palace, and it isn’t just Errol Flynn. Mr. Flynn, looking heavily enameled about the eyes and the jaws, is a clearly familiar figure out of the not too distant past, but the script of this color picture goes away back into the years.It is, to put it briefly, one of those pictures about some missing “jools”—the same being $200,000 in diamonds that Mr. Flynn, a transient in Turkey, has stashed away. They have fallen into his hands by purest accident; but, once he has them, he sees no reason why he should turn them over to some crooks who want them or to the customs men. Neither does he see any reason why he should part with Cornell Borchers, a very tasty bit of Germanic femininity, with whom he is madly in love, when she loses her memory in a fire and marries another man. The lady is almost as important as the “jools” to him. However, he does give up the baubles (when it looks as if he is going to be caught with them, anyhow) and is prepared to give up Miss Borchers. Then her husband, Torin Thatcher, sees that there’s no point in trying to foil love, and he commits the lady reluctantly but manfully to Mr. Flynn.There is nothing to distinguish this production. The color is good and the CinemaScope inserts of the city by the Golden Horn are nice.

The Cast: ISTANBUL, screen play by Seton Miller, Barbara Gray and Richard Alan Simmons; based on a story by Mr. Miller; directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Albert J. Cohen for Universal-International. At the Palace.Jim Brennan . . . . . Errol Flynn; Stephanie Bauer . . . . . Cornell Borchers: Karen Fielding; Inspector Nural . . . . . John Bentley; Douglas Fielding . . . . . Torin Thatcher; Charlie Boyle . . . . . Leif Erickson; Marge Boyle . . . . . Peggy Knudsen; Mr. Darius . . . . . Martin Benson; Danny Rice . . . . . Nat (King) Cole; Paul Renkov . . . . . Werner Klernperer

A version of this article appears in print on Jan. 24, 1957 of the National edition with the headline: The Screen: ‘Istanbul’; Errol Flynn Appears in Palace film.

With his friend, the Great Nat King Cole,performing this stunningly beautiful version of ‘When I Fall in Love’:

And with his gorgeous co-star. Cornell Borchers:…

— Tim


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  1. Ralph Schiller

    January 24, 2021 at 2:06 am

    Thanks Tim, Bosley Crowther was not imagining his sense of ‘deja vu’ regarding “Istanbul” (1957). Universal was notorious for re-makes of old property and this one is no exception. :Istanbul” is a remake of “Singapore” (1947) which was shot in B&W and starred Fred MacMurray and Ava Gardner. Only the exotic location was changed! You can decide which version was better!

  2. David DeWitt

    January 24, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I just love seeing the older Flynn in these potboilers. His life in later years is fascinating too many of us, and this gives us an image of him to apply to that interest. How I wish things had turned out differently for the old boy …


    January 26, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Yes, “Istanbul” is one of my favorite films of the more mature Errol Flynn, along with “The Big Boodle”. Also “Istanbul” has one of my all-time favorite singers, Nat King Cole, singing one of his signature songs, “When I Fall in Love”. So, Bosley Crowther may not have been able to appreciate the movie, so it just goes to show one cannot always depend or agree with critics.–A. R.