Make-believe, love and regret, Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn

Olivia de Havilland, co-star in eight Flynn films:

on the lot, The Adventures of Robin Hood
on the lot, The Adventures of Robin Hood

“He was a charming and magnetic man, but so tormented. I had a crush on him, and later I found he did for me. In fact, he proposed, but he was not divorced from Lili Damita so it was just as well that I said no.”

Annex - Flynn, Errol (Adventures of Robin Hood, The)_11

“Years later,” de Havilland continued, “I had an unhappy experience in Hollywood. A tall man kissed me on the back of the neck at a party and I whirled around in anger and said, ‘Do I know you?’ Then I realized it was Errol. He had changed so. His eyes were so sad. I had stared into them in enough movies to know his spirit was gone.”

While living in Paris twenty years after the filming of “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” de Havilland saw a rerun of the movie and wrote Flynn a long letter telling him it had brought back fond memories. “It was an apology, twenty years later,” she recalled. “Seeing ‘Robin Hood’ after all those years made me realize how good all our adventure films were, and I wrote Errol that I was glad I had been in every scene of them. But I tore up the letter. I reconsidered, deciding Errol would think I was silly. I’ll always be sorry I didn’t mail that letter. A few months later, he was dead.”

via Errol Flynn – Rogue Hero ||| Quotes.

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  1. November 16, 2013

    Oh now you’ve done it! You made me cry, both you and Olivia made ol’ Lanier weep. I shall forgive you both in an hour. In the meantime that scene is one of the most romantic ever filmed, wouldn’t you agree? And that score just soars right to my heartstrings.

    • November 17, 2013

      They just sizzled together and that score, lush and romantic, and with a name like the composer’s, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, that seems something of a marvel — but he was known for sweeping scores and he won an Oscar for The Adventures of Robin Hood.

      • November 17, 2013

        He won my heart with that score too. I really think that in the 30’s Warner Bros. had the best composers.

      • November 17, 2013

        Oh yeah, do you have the score from Far From Heaven, by Elmer Bernstein? I think you would love it!

      • November 17, 2013

        Do I have it? LOL but of course I do, and you know what? It is very derivative or inspired by his score for The View From Pompey’s Head in the 50’s. I used it in my faux credits for one of my Imperium International films.

      • November 17, 2013

        Of course you do! Gorgeous and I love A View From The Hill.

      • November 17, 2013

        Hee Hee Hee!

  2. November 16, 2013

    Awww, such a sweet, romantic scene.

    • November 17, 2013

      They had screen CHEMISTRY…and I suspect there was a lot between them in real life as well.

  3. Heather in Arles
    November 17, 2013

    *pitter pat pitter pat* Be still my heart!!!

    • November 17, 2013

      I didn’t know why I watched all those movies with Olivia and Errol with such rapt attention when I was little…but now I think I can figure it out. They were some hot tamales!

  4. November 17, 2013

    They really did have a LOT of chemistry, didn’t they? What a sad story she told, of writing then tearing up the letter. Just goes to show that you should always tell people you appreciate them, because you never know…

  5. November 17, 2013

    I just saw this Robin Hood for the first time and I finally understand the magic of the R.H. legend. Now I can’t imagine anyone but Flynn embodying that dashing folk-hero. And I love every moment with De Havilland, but especially the banquet in the woods where they first fall in love over legs of mutton, compassionate charity and lively revolt . Perfect
    Your DeHavilland excerpts are poignant and wonderful. Its a thrill to know that chemistry was really real!

    • November 17, 2013

      Even when I was young and saw that for the first time it made my heart flutter.

      And, the banquet scene — you’re so right — especially vivid, even in memory.

      I suspect the chemistry was even more real than Ms. de Havilland lets on, but she’s 97 so we’ll let her have her secrets.

      • November 19, 2013

        I suspect you’re quite right 🙂

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