Title: Adventures of Don Juan (1949)
Classic Movie Man - July 14, 2005 05:53 PM (GMT)
By this time, Errol Flynn's offscreen life had colored the public's view of him, and this wry, semi-satirical swashbuckler was designed to exploit his reputation for debauchery. William Faulkner and Frederick Faust (Max Brand) were among the writers whom the Warners producer, Jerry Wald, brought in to work on various drafts of the screenplay, which was finally credited to George Oppenheimer and Harry Kurnitz. Flynn looks far from his best, and the whole lavish production has a somewhat depressed tone. The story has Juan saving Queen Margaret of Spain (Viveca Lindfors) from a traitor's skulduggery. With Romney Brent, Ann Rutherford, Alan Hale, Robert Warwick, Robert Douglas, Helen Westcott, Raymond Burr, Una O'Connor, Fortunio Bonanova, and Monte Blue. Those with keen eyes may spot bits of footage lifted from THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. The director Vincent Sherman's work is no more than adequate. (Pauline Kael Review)
What do you think of this movie ?
EMB - July 22, 2005 02:08 AM (GMT)
It's fun, and yes, wry....though it's also kind of wistful in its fashion. Flynn had aged rapidly from his halcyon days as Robin Hood or Captain Blood. He looks tired(though not nearly as tired as he would seem in so many dud '50s films), but was game for this one last real romp. Of course the film lifts some footage from ROBIN HOOD, as kind of an in-joke/budget issue, and it is a well cast and mounted film...yet I suspect when it was released in '49, it seemed something of an anachronism even then. The time of this sort of swashbuckler were past as much as Fairbanks' was, which was proven in a few '50s movies(like KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE). Such films starring Flynn's insoucient, dashing rogue were passe, and despite everyone's hard work, this film must have been instant nostalgia for many who loved the '30s stuff, and it does have a certain charm.
Jane03 - February 14, 2006 09:59 PM (GMT)
What can I say about this Movie? It was very tounge-in-cheek, poking fun at Errol's image. That is why he wanted to do it.
It was originally to be filmed four years earlier with Raul Walsh Directing. There was a writer's strike at that time and it was put on hold. When they finally got around to filming it Errol and Walsh had had a falling out. Sheriman was pick to direct because Errol's friend Ann Sheridan worked with him a couple of times, liked him and recomended him to Errol. He was a little hesitante about working with Errol due to Errol's reputation. Errol asured him that he really looked forward to doing it and would be on his best behavior, which he was for awhile. While they were filming it Escape Me Never came out and got a bad review. Errol read it and the next day he was back to his old nauty ways.
Sorry this post is so long. I just couldn't resist telling the story.
DBronx - February 16, 2006 11:20 PM (GMT)
Full disclosure...back in 2002, my wife and I won in auction (Sotheby's) the vest that Flynn wore in the final scene of The Adventures of Don Juan, where he and Alan Hale meet with with Nora Eddignton in her coach.
I'm writing this at work, but I have a picture of the vest saved on my home computer. As I'm still learning the site, is there somewhere I can post that photo for everyone to see?
As for the film...I find it very bittersweet. There are moments where you can see that he's so tired of the tights and swords, yet there are other moments where you just know that he knows that no one else could do it better.
The use of so much stock footage from "The Adventures of Robin Hood' and "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" is kind of funny to an experienced Flynn viewer, but I guess that's a reflection of Flynn's condition during filming, and possibly Warners controlling the purse strings.
If you go from "Blood" to "Don Juan," it makes for a pretty good arc of Flynn's career, I think.
Classic Movie Man - February 16, 2006 11:47 PM (GMT)
Probably Kevin can help with posting that Steve, it would be interesting to see.
On the film I've always quite enjoyed this one. Yes it is a pity about the used footage but there is some good stuff in this too, I quite liked Flynn playing up his image a bit. The actor playing the villain the Duke D'Lorca (sorry about the spelling) was really good and there was a little guy giving comic relief.
Yes I believe Flynn was a bit of a naughty boy during filming and there were quite a lot of delays. Reusing the footage I believe was a cost-cutting measure as well as perhaps the fact Flynn wasn't quite as agile as he used to be. You can definitely see in his face that Errol had become Don Juan both offscreen and on. A documentary I have says Flynn and Alan Hale had to be propped up on their horses they were so sozzled they would have fallen off otherwise. I believe the lady at the end was Flynn's wife around that the time : Nora Eddington.
Its a good movie and looks handsome in Technicolor. A DVD release of this is overdue I think : hopefully a Vincent Sherman commentary is in the can. Prints of this have always looked great to me.
3 out of 5 is my score.
dmkb - February 19, 2006 07:13 AM (GMT)
This film always reminded me of Douglas Fairbank's The Private Life of Don Juan (1934) -- another underrated film in which a former screen swashbuckler parodies his career/image.
pktrekgirl - February 5, 2007 04:19 PM (GMT)
This is an old thread...but I ran across it and thought I'd post my thoughts.
IMO, this is one of the most underrated Errol Flynn films around.
In short, I think this film is HILARIOUS. And say what you will about Errol Flynn - the man could laugh at himself...as is evidenced by his intentionally over-the-top performance in this picture.
I've seen alot of Flynn pictures in my day...but this one, despite it's relative lack of popularity, is up in the top 5. I think it is just fabulous! :laugh:
Hopefully, the DVD release in the upcoming second boxed set will bring this film the attention it deserves.
blackhangman - February 5, 2007 05:55 PM (GMT)
I've always enjoyed this film (although not as much as ELIZABETH AND ESSEX or ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD). Flynn does look a bit tired, but he has his moments in the movie, and Robert Douglas is superb. Nice to see Raymond Burr in a small part and huge kudos to Jock Mahoney for that dangerous stunt-leap down the staircase. He was the only stuntman in Hollywood who would tackle it and that's saying something with guys like Dave Sharpe and Tom Steele around.
Phil1970 - March 6, 2007 03:31 PM (GMT)
Whilst not quite up there with Robin Hood, Captain Blood or The Sea Hawk, I do have a soft spot for Don Juan.
Flynn obviously older and beginning to feel the effects of his private life, still gives a worthy energetic performance, with plenty of charm, and occasional glint of his younger days. One thing that I respect about Flynn (as Pktrekgirl points out) was that he was never above laughing at his screen/private image. Don Juan is full of tongue in cheek humour, it's a charming film.
fxpettijohn - July 7, 2007 05:32 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Classic Movie Man @ Feb 16 2006, 11:47 PM)|
hopefully a Vincent Sherman commentary is in the can.
I hope so regarding Sherman as i'm sure I read he passed away a couple of months ago .
Does anyone know if there is a Sherman commentary available with this
blackhangman - July 8, 2007 12:41 AM (GMT)
Just a bit of trivia on this one. The great leap down the staircase near the end of the film was turned down by just about every stunt man in Hollywood until Jock Mahoney agreed to do it. A very dangerous gag that he made look easy.
David Alp - July 9, 2007 10:59 PM (GMT)
It was on TV about two weeks ago here in the UK and I copied it to DVD. Not watched it yet though.
kitkat - July 12, 2007 10:01 PM (GMT)
No question Flynn excelled in this type of film. I feel he really deteriorated in the late '40s. In CRY WOLF, he is bloated in parts. It's not a very good film except for Stanwyck.