Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cuban Rebel Girls 1959 with Errol Flynn

Clip from Flynn's last film-- Cuban Rebel Girls.
Errol Flynn (born June 20, 1909 in Tasmania) may have been one of Hollywood's favorite leading men in the 30's and 40's but by the fifties he was washed up, living out of the U.S. as a tax exile having lost most of his money in three expensive trumped up trials (for having sex with jail bait), several divorces and plain old high living. At the time he basically lived on his boat, at one point in his final years washing up in Cuba, Flynn was taken with Castro's revolution and wrote and starred in this hard to find classic-- Cuban Rebel Girls. Flynn plays a correspondent reporting on the revolution who ends up helping Castro and his rebels. It's kind of a low budget, nutso version of Graham Greene's The Quiet American. It would be Flynn's last film. Errol Flynn would die in October of '59, from a heart attack, his body weakened from years of hard drinking (he actually died in the Vancouver, B.C. apartment of Glen Gould's uncle, or so the story goes). I assume you've all read his incredible autobiography My Wicked Wicked Way (latest edition Cooper Press, 2003), if not, you need to. Once recent bio of Flynn claimed he had Nazi sympathies during WWII, but Cuban Rebel Girls which remains the only political statement of his life seems to gives us a glimpse of where his true feelings were. By the way, I'm still on vacation.
Addendum: We're leaving Lake Como for Milano today, anyone know of any good used record shops or flea markets in Milano?
Addendum #2: Flynn's son Sean Flynn (born May 31, 1941) was a celebrated photojournalist who disappeared in Cambodia on April 6, 1970 (he was legally declared dead in 1984) while covering the Viet Nam war. One theory has it that he was taken prisoner by Pol Pot's brutal Khmer Rouge guerrillas in the jungle of eastern Cambodia. He was last seen on a motorcycle along with fellow journalist Dana Stone. If so, his final days were probably quite grim. Sean Flynn is one of the main characters in Michael Herr's classic Viet Nam war novel Dispatches (Knopf, 1978). Sean Flynn in real life was as dashing a character as the one his father played in the movies. Herr's book was one of the main inspirations for Stanley Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket (Herr wrote the voice over dialogue and several scenes from the movie are right out of the book). Last March some human remains that may have been Sean Flynn were discovered in a mass grave Cambodia.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I still remember John Peel playing the Panther Burns song of the same name about 20 odd years ago. At that time it was the only song Tav Falco had ever writen.

Donna Lethal said...

Yes, in fact when The Hound dug this clip up I sent it to Tav!

That's Beverly Aadland in the beauty salon scene.

mally said...

To be accredited with the saying alone 'in like Flynn' is good enough. But his book is a great read & one of my favourite parts and proably his also is when he stops off in what i think is Macao and has a bit of a smoke and falls in love with some dragon lady. I think he says it the only time he ever truly fell in love.

Gramercy7@yahoo.com said...

"You came in like the wind, like Errol Flynn/You changed my life." -- Bob Dylan, from "You Changed My Life."
Weirdly, the "you"refers to Jesus.

The Hound said...

" I sent it to Tav!"

Is Gustav still in Vienna? I may have a job there in the fall....

Brendan said...

When I moved to NYC in 1981, the very first live r'n'r show I ever saw "in the city" was Tav Falco's Panther Burns at... what was the name of the club on the west side of 5th Ave. at around 12st
(Peppermint Lounge?)? There were less than 10 people in the audience as I recall. I don't believe Alex Chilton played guitar on that show but I could well be mistaken.

Donna Lethal said...

Yep, he's based in Vienna but goes back and forth to Paris. He's working on a photo book of all his pix.

Doc Cowboy said...

I read "My Wicked Wicked Ways" when I was 12 or 13. Having grown up when those movies were still being shown quite a bit on tv, those old Warners films captured my imagination like many of the big 70's films could not. That being said, I loved his bio and think it was the first great rock and roll/beatnik/existentialist book i ever read...even though it wasn't really any of those things. It was funny as hell too, and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of a life well fucked up. As for the Charles Higham book you speak of, his speculation seems flimsy at best, mostly running towards BS. Flynn was by most accounts a lifelong lefty.

You know... if it wasn't for all those old B&W reruns I watched as a kid, I don't think I would have ever gotten half of Lenny Bruce's bits or mid 60's Dylan song references for that matter...

Retreat From Oblivion said...

Errol Flynn was also the unlikely namesake for a notorious east side Detroit street gang (and dance!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Errol_Flynns

The Hound said...

"Errol Flynn was also the unlikely namesake for a notorious east side Detroit street gang (and dance!)."

I remember hearing about that back then, but as a rule I would't trust winkipedia, I'm always making up stupid shit and posting it on there for my own amusment.....

muebles madrid en stok said...

Pretty effective info, thanks for the post.

www.lugo-3d.com said...

The guy is definitely just, and there's no doubt.

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