The Last of Robin Hood: Errol Flynn's Lolita

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By Christina Duggan By Christina Duggan

The Last of Robin Hood:  Errol Flynn’s Lolita

I have always loved watching Errol Flynn.  What red-blooded female doesn’t?  But I confess complete ignorance when it came to his personal life.  Oh sure, I knew he was a scandalous playboy, a rogue, a rascal but not the details of the social butterfly who died at the incredibly early age of 50.

So seeing the behind the scenes story of Flynn’s last two years was a fascinating trip into Hollywood of yore brought to beautiful life by the amazing Kevin Kline.  I always thought Kline looked a lot like Flynn and trust me this is the role he was born to play.  Though he is 15 years older than Flynn’s age in the movie, I think he pulled off the aging Lothario with extreme believability.  And that no doubt is a great credit to the make-up department and Kline himself as he has not looked this youthful for quite some time.

But looks aside, Kline mastered the very embodiment of a man dangerously loaded with charisma.  It is that very charm that made Flynn so likeable even when he was being a grade A letch!

A chance spotting of a young, cute blonde turns into a two year affair between Flynn and a 15 year old studio dancer named Beverly Aadland.  “The Last of Robin Hood” is their love story as seen through the eyes of their constant companion, Beverly’s mother Florence.   While Florence originally started out as the ultimate stage mother/chaperone, she quickly digressed into more of an accomplice to statutory rape, consenting as it may have been.

Dakota Fanning as the innocent turned teen mistress is luminous!  She captured the wide-eyed frailty of youth while successfully transforming into a tender and loving sex nymph.  Susan Sarandon once again amazes in turning in yet another complex portrayal as mother Florence.  The story alone would have one thinking the pair were the ultimate schemers but in the hands of Fanning and Sarandon, they come off as sympathetic as well as pathetic.

Watching “The Last of Robin Hood”, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a real life Lolita tale unfolding.   How ironic that there should be a scene ripped from true life where Flynn tried desperately to convince Stanley Kubrick to cast him and his protégé in the film adaptation!  But I am rather glad he didn’t as no one could ever be a creepy Humbert Humbert like James Mason!

The 1959 art direction, cars, costumes were all so wonderful to look at and reminded me of the care and love that was behind the fabulous Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea”.  If you are a lover of old Hollywood and those Hollywood Babylon tales of love, lust and scandal you are going to love “The Last of Robin Hood” as much as me!

“The Last of Robin Hood” whips up 4 Red Vines for an interesting trip down memory lane

 


Previews of these movies were provided to me by the studios but it in no way affects my unbiased review.