Samstag, 26. November 2011

Let's watch.. ..Errol Flynn

So - you are interested in history? And you don't care that Hollywood sometimes isn't "that" true to history? Fine! (otherwise Hollywood films about actual historical events will drive you mad..)

So how about:

1854 - shortly before the American Civil War. J.E.B. Stuart (Errol Flynn) and his friends (among them Ronald Reagan as George Custer) have to fight against fanatic abolitionist John Brown (Raymond Massey) and their ex-comrade Rader (Van Heflin) - oh, and of course for the love of Kit Carson Holliday (Olivia de Havilland)...

This film takes actual persons and events and puts them in kind of a fictive story - it's a mixture - and please: If you're going to write a dissertation about American History: Don't take this film for all your background information! ... trust me - this would end quite embarrassing for you..

This was the 7th film Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn did together - and of course the premiere was set in Santa Fe.. Miss de Havilland looks unbelievable cute in this film.. and though her part isn't really a challenge for her - she is great.

Again a film directed by Michael Curtiz - much to Errol Flynn's discomfort. Curtiz' aim was to film as realistic as possible - which meant that the safety of the actors wasn't always given. A fact that should finally drive the professional partnership of them both to an end - after 12 films they did together. In Flynn's own words:

"Nothing delighted him [Michael Curtiz] more than real bloodshed."

Again Alan Hale and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams team up for kind of a comic sidekick duo - what I really love.

Van Heflin does quite a good job in this - and in my opinion Raymond Massey gives one of the best performances in this film - if not the best. (well.. yes.. he is one of my favourite actors.. I wonder how you guessed that..) He
reprised his performance of John Brown in SEVEN ANGRY MEN (1955).

So - even if this film is not very adequate when it comes to historical exactness - it's good entertainment. And that's what films should be, shouldn't they? I for one believe that.

I hope you're enjoying the show!




  1. True, we cannot rely on Hollywood movies for our history lessons. But we can certainly enjoy them just the same.

    I actually think I've seen this one, though since I don't remember for sure, I guess it would be time for a re-watch. (I think I saw it as part of a Ronald Reagan viewing week...my daughter was writing a high school report about him, and we were intrigued to see some of his movies.)

    Hope you're having a wonderful day!!

  2. Pretty good film..nice post Irene. I love that pic of Errol and Olivia!

  3. Thank you, Patti, for your lovely comment! Hope your day was/is a good as mine!

    Thank you, Monty! I love that pic, too..

  4. I often remind my son not to get his theology or history from dear ol' Hollywood. That said, on its own terms, Santa Fe Trail is a good flick. The leads are excellent. Ronald Reagan and Errol and Olivia all have great chemistry together. They were all pals in real life; Errol recommended Reagan for Desperate Journey, and a few years later Olivia, who was a staunch anti-Stalinist, was instrumental in Reagan's becoming a conservative cold warrior. And the rest is history, as they say. Nice post!