Burning Daylight

19 Feb

1st edition (Macmillan 1910 – US)

February 18, 1939

New York Times Headline


Errol Flynn Chosen for Lead in ‘Burning Daylight’

Burning Daylight by Jack London, one of Errol’s favorite authors. Published in 1910, it was London’s best-selling book in his lifetime. The novel takes place in the Yukon Territory in 1893. The main character, nicknamed “Burning Daylight” was the most successful entrepreneur of the Alaskan Gold Rush. The story of the main character was partially based upon the life of Oakland entrepreneur “Borax” Smith. The novel was adapted for American films in 1914, 1920, 1928, and 2010.

Here is the 1928 Version with Milton Sills and Doris Kenyon.

As it turned out, it wasn’t until 2010, 92 years after the 1928 silent, that another version was filmed.

The 2010 version concentrated on the second half of the book, set primarily on Wall Street.

— Tim


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  1. Karl

    February 19, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    As always, Lord Tim, you go beyond the usual 6 degrees of separation and come up with even MORE interconnections!

    It is not entirely unhelpful [given that Errol ultimately did not appear in London’s classic and best seller (of all time)] to give a little attention to another Errol Flynn of his time.

    Milton Sills is not an unfamiliar name to the Flynn film c.v. Sills, who went from being a professor of psychology and philosophy (at U of C: Ralph territory), to stage, and ultimately a matinee idol of the 1920s!

    In 1924, he starred in Raphael Sabatini’s novel, The Sea Hawk, “fairly faithful to Sabatini’s original plot.” The lead character’s name, in this version was Sir Oliver Tressilian.

    The 1940 version, where the more familiar name of Jeffrey Thorpe comes to mind, also has this additional twist: “originally planned as an adaptation of the novel, but an entirely different story was substituted under the same title. Still a swashbuckling tale, however, the film used some footage taken directly from the 1924 adaptation.”

    Was successfully transitioning into sound when, as an avid tennis player tragically suffered a heart attack and passed at 48 in 1930.


    • Gentleman Tim

      February 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you for that great info, Karl. Errol has more intersections than either Francis Bacon or Kevin Bacon. Speaking of Sir Francis, I was in St. Augustine this weekend when you posted. That other Sir Francis (Drake/aka Geoffrey Thorpe) is still remembered very prominently in the Colonial Quarter, though very few are aware of the Flynn/Sea Hawk connection to “America’s oldest city”, i.e. the first city founded by Europeans in the New World.

      Here, as imagined and created by the great zacal, is Errol as Drake: