The Madcap Love of the Errol Flynns
silver Screen, Feb 1937

Hollywood is a moonstruck town, where love runs amuck, and its  citizens view the usual amorous    didoes of the movie people without
          so much as batting a fake       eyelash. And so it is a glowing
tribute to the mad unpredictability

of the rambunctious romance of Errol Flynn and Lili Damita that it has the film world in a highly nervous and jumpy state, and that throngs stand before newspaper offices watching the fever chart that records its ups and its downs.
For the "off ag'in, on ag'in, gone ag'in, Errol Flynn" union of this extraordinarily handsome pair is as colorful and exciting as any Hollywood has ever known. To the mere beholder in the cheap seats it is more thrilling than a cage of Nubian lions in an earthquake.
They love each other like crazy and they hate each other like mad. They part forever -- and the next day hurl themselves into each other's arms, swearing deathless devotion. Sour-faced realists on the sidelines say these two beautiful, willful people should never have dared the married state, and they are probably right, from the standpoint of sanity. But sanity plays no part in such love as that which grips the Flynn and the Damita. Apart, they would have missed glories and agonies such as few know -- and the rest of us would have missed a thumping good show.
The fact is that I do not see how I can keep this story from dating. I had no sooner started to strew rose petals on the grave of this romance than I learned that Lili and Errol, after ending it all, were once more closer than a three-cent stamp on a gas bill, and were about to set off on a European post-honeymoon. Before I reach the end of the chronicle of this passionate adventure I am fully prepared for the news that the couple battled and divided in Budapest, and that Flynn is in Tahiti, Damita in Cannes and Cupid is dead and buried. They can't get along with, they are are miserable without, and if the Flynn kept a diary (which God forfend) it would read something like this --
Jan.3 - Lili is a selfish, silly butterfly. Drives me mad.
Jan.4 - I adore her, the darling!
Jan.5 - Going stark wacky with this routine. Packed and moved out.
Jan.6 - moved in again.
Why is this thus? Why do these magnificent young people hate and worship eachother with alternate breaths? Once they are under the microscope it is easy to understand.
Hollywood, ultra-conventional and strictly patterned for all its external goofiness, has never seen precisely the likes of this Flynn boy.
His own master since boyhood, relentlessly following the main chance, in spite of the buffetings of Fate, Errol Flynn is his own man. He is a Hard Guy, a clear-eyed realist and a thorough individualist. The Gene Tunney of the leaping tintypes, he approached the movies as the handsome boxer did the gentle art of mangling noses.
It offered big money quickly, and everything indicates that the big boy proposes to get his, make a snoot at the studios, and step into the sort of life dearest to the heart of Errol Flynn. He is a movie career man if there ever was one, and to date he has not made a single professional mistake. His business dealings with Warner Brothers have been both keen and successful, proving once more that personal beauty is no handicap to smartness.
Flynn can write, too, and he will not perform for buttons. The kid has an eye for a pay check with a lot of nice figures on it, and if such is not forthcoming he simply covers the typewriter, picks up his marbles and goes away.

Toughened by his boyhood struggles and thoroughly hep to the chicanery of his present profession, Errol Flynn will get what he wants in large, juicy gobs. Nothing, probably not even his Damita-madness, will ever stand in his way.

THE END

go to Article 1 "Adventure's Not an Act" || Article 2 "Gentleman from New Guinea" || Article 4 "Robin Hood Throws a Party"

Article 5 "It Takes Courage" || Article 6 "He Does As He Pleases" || Article 7 "Errol Flynn's Madcap Marriage"

Article 8 "Flynn vs. Flynn" || Article 9 "The Sea Hawk" || return to Gallery menu



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