The Illustrated Life Chronology of Errol Flynn!

01 Mar

At long last a new and long awaited book about Errol Flynn! Awaiting reviews from those who have the book. Amazon reviews are very positive

— David DeWitt


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  1. Karl

    March 15, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    I have been working my way through this AMAZING book- trying to collect my thoughts as to just what to say about it when I remembered a quote and also- found a MOST fitting tribute to this EXTRAORDINARY effort.

    Accordingly, I’m going to let the words of a couple other “reviewers” speak to my thoughts (and then some):

    “Wow! What a book!” ~ Katharine Hepburn*

    And from reviewer Patrick Hernandez on Amazon:

    “5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark work and a stunning book !
    Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2022
    Verified Purchase
    “He was one of the wild characters of the world, but he also had a strange, quiet side. He camouflaged himself completely. In all the years I knew him, I never knew what really lay underneath and I doubt if many people did.” -Ann Sheridan
    “He was a charming and magnetic man, but tormented. I don’t know about what, but tormented. I had a crush on him, and later I found out he did for me…there are no words available to express my feelings for Errol Flynn.”- Olivia de Havilland
    Robert Florczak’s “Errol Flynn the Illustrated Life Chronology” jumps to the top of the list on books about the actor. It is a stunning work of art! Everything is here, diaries, letters, interoffice memos (Warner’s demanded that everybody WRITE everything down about their current movies in production), pictures, litigation missives, travel itineraries, etc. that give the reader a feel for a man who was the enigma of enigmas. I have seen no book on a figure from the “Golden Age of Hollywood” this detailed and excitingly readable. The most comprehensive writing on Flynn is McNulty’s biography and the most sensitive are the Tony Thomas books and Chapter Six of David Niven’s “Bring on the Empty Horses.” (They both knew Flynn). And, of course, ” My Wicked, Wicked Ways”, (to be taken with a liberal grain of salt) But there is nothing like this!
    Flynn is presented as a living, breathing human being, faults and all. Niven’s quote,”. he was not a kind man.” and Thomas’s quote.,” he was an incredible man, but not an admirable one.” are more than apparent in the interoffice observations within the Warner Brothers studio communications. And honest words. Errol Flynn was a very difficult man to work with and treated his movie stardom simply as the vehicle to earn the money needed to live the lifestyle he wanted to live. He made no bones about his philosophy of life-the mission was explore life in all its offerings and aspects and modes and he did! There within lie the mass of contradictions. Flynn was capable of gestures of generosity and tenderness, but could turn around and be selfish, tactless, and self-destructive in the next breath. How could a man who was cultured and erudite, who wrote numerous magazine articles and two novels as well as dictating his autobiography to a ghost writer, an art collector and lover of classical music and living proof of his love for sailing and the open seas allow himself to be destroyed by alcohol and narcotics? Robert Florczak does an unmatched job of presenting Flynn’s life.
    It all came too easy for Flynn-an international movie star after 10 minutes of screen time and with Captain Blood-BOOM!. Warner’s gave him great directors like Michael Curtiz and Raoul Walsh, such brilliant film musical scoring composed by the likes of Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner, Technicolor and everything a studio could give a “star” and Flynn made the studio millions of dollars when the price of a ticket was 10-25 cents. If only Flynn could have had the professionalism of a Wayne, a Cooper, an Astaire; but his fatal flaw was his lack of discipline. He never could never step up to their level as life was more fun having fun than working for him . ( Warners kept giving him raises and signing new contracts with Flynn. Why? It is amazing that they didn’t dump Flynn after the rape trial just on the morals clause in every actor’s contract, let alone the uncooperative, diva-like attitude and the constantly debilitating illnesses on the part of Flynn.)
    The 1942-43 rape trial sent Flynn on the slide down the tubes and destroyed him emotionally. His highly visible indiscretions and disdain for conformity came back to roost with a vengeance. The drinking increased and narcotics usage destroyed his ability to act as well as function in life. He spent the last ten years of his life escaping alimony and taxes by being “a floating bum” on his yacht, and yet he still worked in the movies. At heart, Flynn was an insecure man who could not live up to the heroic image he portrayed on screen-what movie star didn’t have the same predicament? Tony Thomas repeated a quote about Flynn responding to why he became an actor,” I don’t know. I suppose most of us act all our lives. We have a facade, a front. We imagine ourselves to be what we’re not, don’t we?’ Robert Florczak captures all this in a stunning tour de force of scholarship and writing. Flynn deserved the negative vibes he earned by his lack of professionalism towards his occupation and his treatment of the people who loved him-“I wish I could hate him, but I can’t. He could charm the birds out of the trees”.-Patrice Wymore, Flynn’s third wife.
    Yet, at the end of the day, no actor could touch Errol Flynn at what he excelled at. He was the most beautiful man to ever appear on a movie screen and the excitement and sheer joy he generated in real life just jumps off the screen to a viewer of his films. He was so much fun and so exciting and so poetic at what he did in the movies in his prime. Jack Warner (who gave the eulogy at Flynn’s funeral) sums Flynn up in an eloquent manner-“.. in fact, he was a mediocre actor. But he showered an audience with sparks when he laughed, when he fought, and when he loved.” Robert Florczak has created an beautiful work of art! This book must in the library of every Flynn fan and students of his work.”

    *HER review of “The Film Encyclopedia”

  2. Claudia

    March 23, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I finally received the book yesterday – had to order it from the U.S. as it isn‘t available in Germany so far. I spent only about three hours with it last night and haven‘t gotten very far yet but I‘m already amazed. I can‘t even fathom how much work it must have been to collect all the Info and pictures. An absolute must for every fan!