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Errol and Olivia:Ego and Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood by Robert Matzen

Errol and Olivia book coverWe usually don’t write book reviews here at the corner but film buffs will be delighted at this just released coffee table sized book about two of Hollywood’s biggest stars; Errol Flynn and Olivia De Haviland, still going strong in her 90’s.  The author Robert Matzen, is no stranger to Hollywood or Flynn: he wrote a previous book about the infamous house Flynn built in Hollywood,, entitled “Errol Flynn Slept Here”.

The book delves deeply into both stars backgrounds and their encounters both on and off the screen; carefully examining their personal and professional relationships in all their films together, from Flynn’s first starring role in Captain Blood to their last, touching scene in  “They Died With Their Boots On” an historically inaccurate accounting of Custer’s Last Stand.  Along the way, we are treated to some of the best stories surrounding both stars, their squabbles, and how De Haviland has since gone on to become the Grand Dame of cinema.

Matzen treats the reader with great “on the set film stories” involving Flynn and his many romantic conquests, memos from studio moguls about both stars (Jack Warner was not a great fan of De Haviland’s acting abilities) and how everyone coped with Flynn, Hollywood’s infamous naughty boy, bringing new light to some facts about the complicated, tortured soul that turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with his stardom.

The large hardback book is also filled with many new and exclusive photographs that help fill in the stories in the text.  One of my favorites is how Ronald Reagan was upstaging Flynn in “Sante Fe Trail” so Flynn had him place Reagan in the back in one key scene.  Flynn was also jealous of Reagan, as he was spending a lot of time with De Haviland off the set.  Little did Flynn know that they were talking about the Screen Actors Guild and not romancing each other. Reagan countered Flynn’s placement in the scene by piling dirt up with his shoes to make him seem taller.

For anyone who is a fan of the Flynn/De Haviland pictures, as I am, this is a rare treat that you’ll want to welcome to your book collection.  Its a great pick up and read a chapter type book, with enough juicy stories to keep you interested through many readings.  A must have for classic film fans.

Errol and Olivia:Ego & Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood by Robert Matzen

GoodKnight Books Retail Price $39.95

November 2, 2010 - Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , ,

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