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That zone is a compelling place, and often emotionally potent. The earliest (1942) of the films is also the lightest in tone: Walsh's Desperate Journey has a joshing attitude that belies its title. Flynn plays the Aussie leader of a multinational bomber crew that crash-lands in Germany (where the Germans actually speak German) and must make its way across hostile territory to safety--a suspenseful setup that allows for some derring-do and wisecracking on the trip (although Flynn and Walsh are adept at shifting gears from comedy to heroism at a moment's notice). Ronald Reagan plays a flippant US flyboy and enjoys one of his best moments on screen with an engaging scene of double talk.
Edge of Darkness, directed by Lewis Milestone, is an extraordinarily powerful 1943 film about a defiant band of resisters in a small seaside town in Nazi-occupied Norway. Serious and stirring, with messages aplenty about the importance of solidarity and sacrifice during wartime, the movie goes all the way and then some. Flynn tamps down his usual jocularity, folding himself into a remarkable ensemble (we're talking at least a dozen significant roles here) that includes Walter Huston, Ann Sheridan, Judith Anderson, and Ruth Gordon.
By comparison, Northern Pursuit is tame, with Flynn in snowy Canada, escorting a Nazi (Helmut Dantine) to custody… or is he? The question mark is about the only interesting wrinkle in this far-fetched picture, although Flynn doesn't embarrass himself. Ah, but our man slips into fine form in 1944's Uncertain Glory, a crackerjack premise that allows Flynn to exude his more roguish charms. His character is a convicted killer scheduled for the guillotine, and he and his guardian (Paul Lukas) contemplate the possibility of the doomed man falsely turning himself in as a wanted saboteur; the Nazis are holding 100 locals hostage to slaughter if the real saboteur doesn't turn himself in, and after all, wouldn't a Nazi firing squad be preferable to the guillotine?
Much larger in scope, and a demonstration of Walsh's talent for dynamic compositions and irresistible narrative flow, is Objective, Burma!, a tough battle epic in which the soldiers get realistically grimy. Flynn's platoon parachutes into Burma for a mission--but the real challenge is trekking back out again. Harrowing in both its suggestion of Japanese atrocities and its willingness to kill off characters you didn't expect to see die, this film must surely have been an influence on Saving Private Ryan. Flynn--who was 4F during the war, for various physical ailments--acquits himself nobly, proof that he was more than a swashbuckler.
The only commentary track comes with Objective, Burma!, while the other discs are filled out with fun Warner Night at the Movies shorts and newsreels; you won't want to miss the surreal "Borrah Minnevitch and His Harmonica School." --Robert Horton
It is clear from these films why Flynn was a super star. He doesn't show any exceptional acting, but he does turn in solid performances in a variety of roles. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Clarence E.
As an avid movie buff, especially when it comes to classic films like these, a definite welcome to my large and growing home library collection. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Wa2oosy
A seldom shown classic movie by Errol Flynn. Excellent acting and very well staged. A typical propaganda movie bolstering the allied war effort. Read morePublished 23 days ago by breachplug
if you are a flynn fan this is a great collection. exceptional value also.Published 1 month ago by dennis foran
Great movies!!!! Errol Flynn was enjoyable actor in his many different roles.Published 3 months ago by S. R. Sullivan
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|When is this going to be released on DVD. It's been MONTHS!!!!||
I agree wholeheartedly that this needs to be out on DVD. I have not heard any news on that front as of this date. Have you? I have it on VHS but would love to have it on DVD. Thanks.
Jan 18, 2008 by Scout's Dad | See all 4 posts