Errol rides again at EFF
We’ll be bringing the greatest swashbuckler of them all back to Northampton and the cinema named in his honour on Sunday 4 August, with a screening of The Adventures Of Robin Hood at Errol Flynn Filmhouse.
The 1938 classic, co-starring Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains, was made eight years after Errol Flynn‘s tenure at Northampton Repertory Theatre, and cemented his status as a matinee idol. Flynn’s charismatic performance overshadowed Douglas Fairbanks’ earlier portrayal, and his Robin is still thought of as definitive. The film’s magic remains undimmed by age – in fact, its Technicolor glory is more striking than ever today. The great critic Roger Ebert praised its ‘sublime innocence and breathtaking artistry’, and the sword-fights in particular – choreographed by fencing master Fred Cavens, who had previously coached Flynn in 1935’s Captain Blood – are still thrillingly convincing in an age of green screens and body doubles.
‘It is timeless’, says Errol’s daughter, Rory. ‘Robin Hood was the film I grew up watching over and over again, with family and with friends. It is the ultimate in fun, adventure, and romance. My friends would come over to the house and my Dad would put us in the projection room and start with Bugs Bunny cartoons, as all little kids wanted to see cartoons first before the main movie. My mum would be making popcorn for us all. That is how we spent a Saturday afternoon at home. There will never be a better Robin Hood than my Dad.
‘I will never forget the time I took my 7 year-old son to the famous Alex theatre in Pasadena where they were having a special screening of Robin Hood. The curtains went up and the movie started and as my dad swung into the frame and announced “Welcome to Sherwood” my son’s mouth dropped open and he started to stand up and point to the screen, and everyone in the audience heard him say excitedly “That’s my grandfather!” As everyone laughed he sunk down in his chair, clearly embarrassed as he had forgotten he wasn’t alone…and yes, this made me cry a little, as I wished I still had my dad with us right then to share the moment.’
The Adventures Of Robin Hood is screened at 5pm on Sunday 4 August.
Author of the memoir The Baron of Mulholland: A Daughter Remembers Errol Flynn, Rory Flynn lives in the Hollywood Hills, where she works as a stills photographer for the film industry, following a successful modelling career. Her son Sean is carrying on the family business as a film and television actor. Rory runs In Like Flynn, a website dedicated to her father’s memory.