Sunday, February 2, 2014

Errol & Olivia Ego & Obsession In Golden Era Hollywood by Robert Matzen

From the moment Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn were first paired together in Captain Blood the chemistry between this on-screen couple was electric. His wild, sex appeal, and her delicate elegance set the silver screen on fire. They would star together in a series of eight films, mostly grand, romantic, adventure-filled costume pictures, including The Adventures of Robin Hood, They Died With Their Boots On, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Off-screen there was an attraction as well. But Olivia, a young, career-driven actress, held herself aloof, even though he admittedly stirred her, and sometimes she had to fight herself not to give in, she knew that Errol Flynn could never be faithful to anyone, not even himself. Though he wooed her, Olivia was determined to be more than just “Errol Flynn’s girl” and a damsel in distress. She felt that their on-screen pairing typecast her. She had to fight for the good roles, including Melanie in Gone With The Wind.

This book is an excellent, photo-filled joint biography of one of the movies’ legendary romantic couples. The author even hints, albeit discreetly since Olivia de Havilland is still alive and could possibly sue, that the two might have succumbed to temptation and, for a brief time, been lovers off-screen as well. If you love classic movies, and have enjoyed the pairing of de Havilland and Flynn, and are curious about their lives, and the possibility of a love affair that might have lept, however briefly, off the silver screen, this is definitely a worthy addition to your library.

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