The Cruise of the Zaca!

19 Nov

The short documentary produced by Warner Brothers was about Errol Flynn’s Cruise of the Zaca which took place in 1946.  The Cruise of the Zaca was a special engagement presentation at the 2021 Coronado Island Film Festival. (CIFF)  The well attended film was shown at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall Theater on Saturday morning November 13, 2021. 

At the conclusion of the showing, film historian and renowned movie critic, Leonard Maltin acted as moderator of a panel that included Errol Flynn’s daughter Rory Flynn and Academy Award Winner Actor and Flynn family friend, Richard Dryfuss.  By the way, Dreyfuss received the Coronado Island Film Festival 2021 Cultural Impact Award.   

Maltin shared his perspective of Errol Flynn’s career and personal life.  He summed it all up by stating that “Errol Flynn was an underrated actor who wasn’t given due credit for his acting ability and made “Good Copy” for the way he lived his life, both on and off the silver screen.”   

Just prior to the showing of the film, Rory Flynn shared background with the audience about her father as a slideshow showcased a number of photos with Errol Flynn as a toddler right up to the height of his career.  She told stories about her father, her mother Nora Eddington and her grandfather, who were all shown onboard the Cruise of the Zaca. 

Richard Dreyfuss shared his love and admiration for Errol Flynn’s acting ability and career.  He remarked, “How damn good looking Errol Flynn was.”  

The Cruise of the Zaca is a 17 minute film about a voyage taken by Errol Flynn, Errol’s wife Nora Eddington, Errol’s father, Professor Theodore Thomsom Flynn(who was an renowned marine biologist), painter John Decker, actor Howard Hill, director Charles Gross, cameraman Jerry Corneya and Professor Carl Hubbs and several scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California.  The purpose of the trip was to give his father and members of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography the opportunity to research rare endemic plant life and animal species.  The trip started in August 1946 travelling south along the Mexican coastline  before stopping in Acapulco for a short stay.  The Zaca was used for the movie, The Lady From Shanghai which starred Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.  Once filming was completed on the Zaca, Errol Flynn continued the cruise traveling through the Panama Canal and ending up in Jamaica.

David Rocco

David Rocco and Richard Dreyfus


 Rory Flynn with David Rocco

— David DeWitt

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  1. shangheinz

    November 22, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    David I & II, I wonder if the other documentary on sailing starring Errol and Anthony Quinn has been a topic during the film festival? The missing masterpiece was called “A Yacht Race between San Francisco and Los Angeles” and supposedly filmed by Sterling Hayden.

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