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on January 18, 2018
Most people remember Errol Flynn as the swashbuckling hero of Hollywood films. But few know that he was also a brilliant writer. During one of his real-life adventures in an exotic area of the world, he had time to kill, and he used it to memorize every word of an unabridged Webster's dictionary. Later, his subsequent books reflected the awesome vocabulary that he had acquired. Errol's acting genius was also unsurpassed. One of his movie co-stars, Bette Davis, had at one time underestimated Errol's skill as an actor, and she had a low opinion of him. As a result, during the filming of one scene in the movie "Elizabeth And Essex", she was supposed to slap him. But instead of faking it, she hauled off and really slugged the surprised Errol, nearly causing him to lose his balance. The scene was left in the movie, and if you watch closely, you can see the fury flashing in Errol's eyes as his momentary instinct was to slug her back. Luckily for Bette that Flynn controlled his temper. Years later, Ms. Davis confessed that she had been wrong about Errol, and she admitted that he was indeed an accomplished actor. Unfortunately, Flynn had already passed away, so he never heard her apology. Anyway, I'm sure that wherever Errol Flynn's spirit is today (hopefully not still at Mulholland Drive) he is occupied with new and more exciting things.
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on February 8, 2013
There are currently 3 Errol Flynn Signature Collections available. 2 of them have been on my Amazon Wishlist for several years---simply because their prices were waaay too high! Once the price got to the "I think I can afford this without starving" stage, I bought the 1st one---which includes 5 Flynn Favorites and a 6th DVD with THE ERROL FLYNN Documentary.

Without repeating terms like 'swashbuckler', 'a ladies' man' or the always popular "In Like Flynn"...let's just say that the DVD Biography covers the rise and fall of a star who literally had it all, but threw it away. His film exploits were only equalled by his personal demons. So if you don't know a great deal about the actor, you might want to save THE ADVENTURES OF ERROL FLYNN for last.

The 5 movies...all of which are hosted by Leonard Maltin (in the "Warner Night at the Movies" segment) include:

CAPTAIN BLOOD: The film that set the standard when it came to pirate adventures on the high seas. Captain Peter Blood was also the role that alerted movie lovers to the chemistry of Flynn and his frequent co-star, Olivia DeHavilland. Director Michael Curtiz knew how to get the best out of them well as charactor actors Basil Rathbone (who was actually a better swordsmen than Errol), Guy Kibbee, and Lionel Atwill. It's 2 hours well spent.

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH & ESSEX is another Michael Curtiz directoral work of art. The major differences here are technicolor and a co-star (Bette Davis) who had to love Robert of Essex (Flynn) on-screen, but reportedly loathed him once Director Curtiz yelled "CUT!" Maybe it was poetic justice that the Earl of Essex had a short lifespan? Still...the supporting cast (which includes Donald Crisp, Vincent Price, and Henry Stephenson) and the marvelous Erich Wolfgang Korngold Score bring lots of dignity to the Maxwell Anderson Play.

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON is the fatal story of 7th Calvary led by General George Armstrong Custer (who else but Errol Flynn). I wasn't around when this incident took place, but I kept asking myself if Custer was a hero or an idiot? Maybe he was a combination of both? Once again Flynn's love interest is Olivia DeHavilland. [This was their 8th and final film together]. But Olivia really didn't add much except marquee value. Speaking of which, Executive Producer, Hal Wallis surrounded the 2 leads with terrific character actors including Arthur Kennedy, Charley Grapewin, Hattie MacDaniel, Sydney Greenstreet, and a very young Anthony Quinn! The Max Steiner music...Black + White Photography...and Director Raoul Walsh offer the traditional Warner Bros historical touch. However, I found myself starting to get a little sleepy before the 2nd hour was over. [The film's running time is 139 minutes]. But I've only seen the film once so perhaps I'm due for 'an instant replay?'

THE SEA HAWK was made 5 years after CAPTAIN BLOOD. By this time, Errol Flynn had the high seas at his command! This is probably one of his best. Portraying Captain Geoffrey Thorpe, Errol goes from captive to commander during the course of the film. Considering the fact that THE SEA HAWK was made and released during World War II, movie lovers needed a hero to root for. This was Flynn's 10th film with Director Michael Curtiz and it's obvious both star and director were in sync with one another. I'm not quite sure how Flynn ended up with Brenda Marshall as his leading lady? But Claude Rains, Donald Crisp and Alan Hale definitely were perfect in this. Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth? Absolutely Marvellous. Her Queen Elizabeth smacks of dignity. Ditto the terrific music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. This is probably THE BEST of the 5 movies in this collection.

DODGE CITY: That's right, partners, Errol puts on the sheriff's badge and matches wits with cattle rustlers, corrupt hombres, and Ann Sheriden. [This beautiful technicolor feature brings out her firey temper not to mention her lovely red hair]. Trading his sword for a six-shooter, Errol and Director, Michael Curtiz clean up a tough western town with a dash of light hearted humor. And yep...Dodge City is filled with good guys (Frank McHugh and Henry Travers) as well as bad guys (Bruce Cabot and Victor Jory) , a wonderful Max Steiner western music score, and awesome Technicolor.

As I mentioned earlier, Film Critic Leonard Maltin introduces the 'Warner Night at the Movies' segments. While some of the musical shorts are a little lame---Warner Bros has done its best to match some its best cartoons with each Errol Flynn Feature. There are also new featurettes covering all 5 films.

This leaves me with one question: "Will I eventually purchase Volumn 2 of THE ERROL FLYNN SIGNATURE COLLECTION? Guess it's up to the price Amazon places on it? But aside from a somewhat lengthy THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON...I'm totally happy with this collection.
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on February 24, 2017
I treasure this collection of the Errol Flynn Movies so many loved viewing through the 1940's.
Not many character actors could match the heroic characters Errol played.
He was the heroic inspiration of many a man and the movie idol of many a swooning woman.
If you love the charming boldness of a kind but serious actor... Errol Flynn is your man.
These are his heroic movies.
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on August 9, 2016
I really enjoyed this collection and help me to see Errol Flynn as being a fine actor. They chose great movies to be in the collection and I appreciate the quality of the films. I would highly recommend this collection and its follow-up, volume 2. Flynn is great
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on March 25, 2005
Errol Flynn was certainly the most colorful star of Hollywood's "Golden Age", with a devil-may-care swagger hiding the insecurities of an unhappy childhood, reckless lifestyle, and desperate desire to achieve respect as an actor, and not just a swashbuckler in tights. Flynn could be sweet and courteous, an arrogant bully, a roue and bon vivant, a restless adventurer, a loyal friend, or an unreliable "royal pain", depending on who you spoke to (and when). His sexual exploits were legendary, as were his capacities for alcohol and drugs (all of which were truly remarkable, considering the poor health he endured throughout his life, despite his robust on-screen appearance). Ultimately, whether you loved or hated his lifestyle, his film work, during nearly eighteen years under contract to Warner Brothers, includes some of the most extraordinary, entertaining classics ever made, and his charisma continues to enchant audiences!

Sadly, few of Flynn's films have appeared, thus far, on DVD (the best being a superb "Adventures of Robin Hood" DVD, released last year). This new collection, while a mixed bag, does finally give DVD audiences a chance to savor two signature Flynn performances, in "Captain Blood" (his breakthrough starring role) and "The Sea Hawk" (one of the greatest swashbucklers ever made). The rest of the collection lacks the luster of these films, but are certainly worthwhile; "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" teams Flynn with Bette Davis (who despised him, and fought to get Laurence Olivier for Essex), and, with "The Sea Hawk", shows Flynn playing opposite two very different interpretations of Queen Elizabeth; "They Died with Their Boots On", Raoul Walsh's fanciful biopic of George Armstrong Custer, offers a slam-bang, if inaccurate, version of the Little Big Horn, and the last teaming of Flynn and his favorite leading lady, Olivia de Havilland ("Captain Blood" was their first of eight films together); "Dodge City" represented a major gamble, as Warners had no idea if audiences would accept Tasmanian Flynn as a cowboy in the Old West (they did, and Flynn would make seven more westerns, over the next ten years...actually making more westerns than swashbucklers or war movies!). While I'd have preferred seeing "The Dawn Patrol", "The Adventures of Don Juan", and "The Charge of the Light Brigade", in this collection, the choice of films does show Flynn at his most gloriously handsome!

Best of all, TCM has produced "The Adventures of Errol Flynn", a long-overdue biography, which is included in the package. Along with interviews with his family and friends, including extensive interviews with de Havilland, wives Patrice Wymore and Nora Eddington (in archival footage), and daughter Deirdre, it offers 'behind-the-scenes' footage, private home movies, and material never before seen by the public (including footage from the never-completed "William Tell"), which makes this a 'must' for Flynn fans.

While it will probably be years before all of Errol Flynn's films reach DVD, this collection offers an excellent introduction to a true Hollywood "Original", and is well worth owning!
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on May 8, 2005
Okay, here it is. Strait up. I adore Errol Flynn. Always have, always will. Can't remember which of his films I saw first on television years ago (though my little grey brain cells keep whispering "They Died With Their Boots On"), but whatever it was, it made me instantly a Flynn junkie and I have remained so ever since. It is hard to say which of the "Tasmanian Devil's" movies I like the best, though I'm inclined to believe it is a toss-up between "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (this awesome film amazingly MISSING from this "signature" collection...and it's unfathomable absence the priciple reason I have rated this collection as only 4 stars instead of 5). How does one have an Errol Flynn "signature" collection with "Charge of the Light Brigade" so glaringly unincluded? Boggles the mind. One would hope Turner Classics would produce a "Volume II" to this, a follow-up that would feature "Light Brigade", "The Dawn Patrol", "Gentleman Jim","Adventures of Don Juan", and one of Joanne Woodward's favorites, "That Forsyte Woman" from MGM (or else "Uncertain Glory" or "Edge of Darkness").

It is good to see Flynn coming back "In" again (to play on the old "In like..." expression). He took a major hit some two decades ago with a most worthless book that became a bestseller ("The Secret Life of Errol Flynn" by Charles Higham )and smeared his name and reputation mean-spiritedly. This author, Higham, termed Flynn a traitor and Nazi spy and pedophile homosexual, supposedly using "credible" witness tesitimony and "classified documentation" to bolster his outrageous claims. He had Flynn doing all sorts of things to further the cause of the Reich and hooked him up with secret meetings all across Europe and in the Caribbean with his "Nazi intelligence controllers". Among his claims were that Errol used his influence to have secret aerial shots of Pearl Harbor filmed during the production of "Dive Bomber", which he funnelled to German Intelligence ("Abwehr"), and thence to the Japanese to help plan their attack.

He also had Flynn at a secret nazi confab in the Bahamas with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and other British traitors. These were only two "for instances" of this kind of thing. Then he had Flynn "spy controlled" by Dr. Julius Erben, a low-level Abwehr agent....with documents (supposedly) to "prove" it.

In short order, all Higham's claims came crashing down in the face of REAL research by REAL researchers digging up REAL facts.

All the times Higham had Flynn meeting with "Nazis" in Europe, he could not have done so, as all the Warner Brothers' shooting logs still exist and Flynn's whereabouts can be tracked meticulously. Higham hadn't counted on that when he began his smear campaign. In fact, on the very day when Highman had Errol "conspiring" in the Bahamas with the Windsors, the actor was, in fact, standing on a log across a stream in Chico. California, facing Alan Hale with a quarterstaff while William Keighly directed the meeting of Robin Hood and Little John for "The Adventures of...". And, as for "Dive Bomber", the Japanese ALREADY HAD their Pearl Harbor mockups built (courtesy of Honolulu spies)and were preparing for the raid WHILE "DIVE BOMBER" WAS IN PRODUCTION....AT SAN DIEGO...NOT PEARL HARBOR!!!!

Situations like this...CONNIVANCES....turned up everywhere in the Higham book. And the "documentation" he offered turned out to be edited out of context, and, in some cases, the blacked out names didn't relate to Flynn at all...Higham just CLAIMED they did. But originals obtained under the Freedom of Information Act proved the distortions here as well. And Dr. Erben? Well he WAS a German agent, but he only knew Flynn briefly, and ,interviewed before his death, he affirmed that Errol had NEVER been a German agent, that he...Erben...had used Flynn's celebrity to gain him access to people, but that Flynn himself never realized he was being used in this manner. It should also be noted that the Abwehr, under Adm. Wilhelm Canaris, worked secretly more AGAINST Hitler's Nazis than FOR them. aided in the assassination plots AGAINST Hitler, and, by war's end, had been disbanded and taken over by the SS and its leaders executed. In fact there is strong reason to believe Abwehr may have been half-connected to the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. So even if Flynn might have UNKNOWINGLY been "associated" with this ANTI-Nazi German intelligence organization, that might not have been such a bad thing after all!

As to the homosexual pedophile stuff, none other than Flynn's old arch-enemy BETTE DAVIS stepped forward to declare that a "crock". Said that sounded like Orry-Kelly malarkey, Orry-Kelly being a Warner's costumer in "the day". According to Davis, Kelly delighted in spreading nasty, vicious, hurtful rumors about people who "crossed him"...and Errol did that from time to time.

To have "Queen Bette" the Flynn-hater come to his defense was astounding enough, but then the OTHER shoe dropped. JOAN CRAWFORD, Bette Davis' OWN arch enemy, came out BACKING BETTE!!! Crawford, who'd once called Flynn "The most beautiful man who ever lived", said the gay stories sounded EXACTLY like something that would come out of Orry-Kelly; that if you'd ever worked at Warners you'd have picked up on it immediately.

An amazing happening. Bette Davis defending Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford backing her up. Shades of the Apocalypse.

Though now totally discredited among those who KNOW, many uninformed people still are under the impression this hog swill was true.It all needs to be set right. The DVD "Adventures of Errol Flynn" in this collection attacks the old tale, Tony Thomas in "Errol Flynn, The Spy Who Never Was", demolishes it handily, as does Flynn's stunt double Buster Wiles in "Errol & Me". The Walt Disney movie "The Rocketeer" unhappily plays with the smear job, featuring Timothy Dalton made up as Flynn (though called "Neville Sinclair") and casts him as the dastardly villain Charles Higham worked so to make him appear(and the "why" of it has never been learned). I am a fan of the "Rocketeer" movie but this aspect of it has always distressed me.

But it looks like Errol's turn is coming around again. This "Signature Collection" puts him center stage again and he deserves the limelight. "Elizabeth & Essex" lets him act, and "The Adventures of..." outlines his life. But "Captain Blood", "The Sea Hawk", "They Died With Their Boots On" and "Dodge City" show perfectly what it was he did...and how he did it...that let him charm America and the world.
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on May 21, 2007
My favorite here is "They Died with Their Boots On". Yes, the history is all wrong, but watch as Flynn takes Custer from a prankster West Point plebe to a brave and focused military leader. de Havilland's acting is, again, superb. Her entrance scene shows her great comic timing. The chemistry between de Havilland and Flynn is jarring here, as each must have felt this was to be their final pairing on screen. Flynn's climb to her balcony and their embrace is reminiscient of their love scene in "Robin Hood." Watch how de Havilland and Flynn look at each other during the train ride scene. The Custer-Libby farewell is almost painful to watch. The intimacy of that scene makes me think I should not be watching such a private moment. As de Havilland (Libby) places his belt around Flynn's (Custer's) waist, he looks at her with such longing and sadness. Flynn as Custer to de Havilland's Libby:"Walking through life with you, ma'am, has been a very gracious thing." This is more than acting, as this pair brings their film and personal relationship full circle. The haunting love theme written by Max Steiner underscores the passion of Libby and George Custer.

In "Dodge City" Flynn and de Havilland make us forget they were ever Peter and Arabella or Robin and Marian. As Wade Hatton, Flynn is the softspoken - but strong- gentleman cowboy with manners and demeanor that would charm your great-grandma. I can understand why de Havilland was so unhappy with this assignment-her part is the generic love interest. HOWEVER..she gives it her all, delightful and believable as the intelligent, determined Abbie Irving, and she looks gorgeous. The scene between Flynn and de Havilland in the newspaper office has the spark we expect from these two great stars. Only complaint -not enough scenes of them together. And Flynn should have kissed her in the last scene when she agrees as a new bride to take the next wagon train west so he can clean up another lawless town. Alan Hale is terrific as Flynn's sidekick. Steiner's music is again stirringly beautiful.

"Captain Blood" is fascinatingly wonderful. To watch Flynn burst onto the international scene as a very handsome 26 year old is so much fun. Hard to believe de Havilland is only 19. She holds her own with Flynn and many experienced older actors. And, oh, the way Errol looks at Olivia. In his biography he writes he started to fall in love with her during the filming of "Captain Blood." Watch as he does, then look again at "They Died With Their Boots On." The spark between these two can not be denied.

Why doesn't Warner Brothers release these movies- especially THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD - to the big screen instead of the slasher movies that are released every year between the Oscar broadcast and the summer block-busters? I think they would bring in a large, multi-age audience.

An excellent addition to any video library.
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on May 2, 2017
Great collection of some of the best of Flynn's movies - great action video. Hasn't lost anything over the years.
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on July 4, 2009
I have ordered many things from Amazon and have been very satisfied in the past. This time however was an experience I do not want to repeat. I like the old Errol Flynn movies;Robin Hood,Captain Blood,Sea Hawk I ordered this set expecting everything to be fine but it wasn't. The first two DVDs I tried locked up or pixelated every few seconds after 2 minutes or so into the movies. I then put them back in the box and proceeded to try to find a telephone number for customer service for Amazon, can anyone tell me where that is? It is not apparent on the website anywhere so I had to Google to get a phone number (which was dead) and finally found an email link that worked, because I got a return email with another email link and a phone number. The man who answered had an Indian accent so strong I could barely understand anything he said and he must have thought I was dumb for not understanding my native language which he thought he spoke well. I am sure his english is much better than my hindi! Anyway, it was very frustrating communication but he tried his best to give good customer service. I received good copies of my requested DVDs within three days of my phone call but was very irritated when I had to pay return postage on a substandard product. I had already paid postage once before and now I am paying it again? Talk about adding insult to injury! It was never explained to me that I would be credited the shipping once it was returned (that would have placated me for the moment)I repeat this was my first (and hopefully last)bad experience with Amazon. Amazon did make good on the product which is very good and a clear replication of the original. They did make good on refunding my second time postage charge and I am satisfied with my purchase but would not wish the return experience on anyone. In fairness to Amazon, I have probably spent a few thousand $$s on their products and this is my first bad experience.
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on February 1, 2009
I recently was introduced to Errol Flynn in "Robin Hood" and loved him. I decided to venture further into his filmography, so I purchased this collectors set. Not only am I convinced that Errol was an incredibly underrated actor, but I think he is one of the greatest male stars of all time. "Captain Blood" and "The Seahawk" are exciting swashbucklers that make you want to venture back to another time,and Flynn pulls off the heavy task of these period pieces gallantly. "Dodge City" I found to be both funny and highly entertaining, especially with the over the top bar brawl scene. "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" is my least favorite, but it is still fascinating to watch because you can sense the animosity between Flynn and Bette Davis and it proves to be more of a show than the actual movie. "They Died with Their Boots On" is a touching ending to the long relationship between Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn, who gives one of his best performances in this (not exactly historically accurate) film. If you love adventure and old movies, or just being entertained, I highly recommend the set, especially if you are looking for an introduction to Flynn. He is an incredible and a fascinating man, as proved in the also included documentary. It makes you long for a male star today who can match his charm and ability.
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