As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Errol Flynn was one Warner Brothers biggest stars in the Thirties and early Forties. Who do you think inspired the World War II-era expression, In Like Flynn?
He didn’t live long (dying at age 50 in 1959) but managed to pack 65 movie and tv credits over a 26-year career. Today, he is often remembered — with a touch of nostalgia. There’s a small plaque on the Warner’s lot commemorating the site of a stage for one of his films.
How did you fare on yesterday’s Monday Quiz? (For the questions, just scroll down one blog.) We always try — gently — to trick you but we have long ago realized our readers are an extraordinarily alert group. So much for the (genuine) flattery, on to our answers:
1) Answer: This was a bit of a trick question. Flynn was born in (d) Tasmania, the small island state south of Australia. It’s part of Australia, which in turn is a British Commonwealth country. But when Flynn was born, it was all considered British.
2) Answer: b) David Niven.
3) Answer: b) False. The prevailing notion early in Flynn’s Hollywood career was that he was not a heavyweight in the acting department — “He Can’t Act His Way Out Of A Paper Bag.”
4) Answer: d) Lili Damita, Flynn’s first wife whom he married in 1935. The union lasted seven years and produced a son (Sean) over whom the couple battled long after the divorce. Damita, an actress known as “Tiger Lil,” was born in France, and is described in Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon as a “sultry, bisexual.” (Flynn was married three times; Aadland was not one of his wives.)
5) Answer: d) Olivia DeHavilland. She and Flynn costarred in eight movies including 1935’s Captain Blood.
6) Answer: According to DeHavilland, Flynn would (c) pop erections during their more affectionate onscreen encounters. He liked her well enough but she claims she never fully returned his affections.
7) Answer: b) Jude Law in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 outing The Aviator, about early vintage Howard Hughes. As Flynn, Law engages among other things in a boisterous brawl in a night club.
8) Answer: b) Bette Davis, Flynn’s costar in 1939’s The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. In late life interviews, Davis said she had underestimated Flynn’s performance as the Earl of Essex initially but admired it more and more at subsequent viewings.
9) Answer: a) and b), Michael Curtiz and Raoul Walsh. Nearly 20 Flynn vehicles were directed either by one or the other. Interesting note: Curtiz was married for a year to Lili Damita, Flynn’s first wife.
10) Answer: a) In Like Flynn was inspired largely by details that emerged during the actor’s early Forties trial on rape charges filed by two young women. After the lengthy trial, the actor was acquitted.