Unrequited love and Errol Flynn

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox / Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans

“Odd, isn’t it? The things you most want to touch in life don’t want you to touch them.” Pining for raven-haired lady of the evening Juliette Gréco and with more than a tinge of true life undercurrent, best pencil mustache winner Errol Flynn is seen in a natty pale blue shirt with rolled up sleeves as Major Forsythe, a self-destructive, alcoholic British military officer hoping to redeem himself in the sweltering heat of French Equatorial Africa. The Roots of Heaven was distributed by 20th Century Fox on October 15, 1958, and directed by maverick Oscar-winning filmmaker John Huston [e.g. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen].

Starring Trevor Howard as a conservation-minded outdoorsman hell-bent on saving elephants from slaughter, The Roots of Heaven was the archetypal swashbuckler’s penultimate movie before his dreadful Z-grade screenplay Cuban Rebel Girls, actually filmed with the support of Fidel Castro who had forcibly seized leadership of Cuba only months earlier. Routinely savaged by critics — how could he be acting when his devil-may-care persona seemed so effortless — the Tasmanian was gone only a year later at age 50 shortly after arriving in Vancouver to sell his beloved yacht the Zaca. The culprit was a massive heart attack, exacerbated by a myriad of health, financial, personal, and career setbacks. But Flynn never gave up.

© Jeremy Roberts, 2019. All rights reserved. To touch base, email jeremylr@windstream.net and mention which story led you my way. I appreciate it sincerely.

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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