Hey everyone, I'm back. I won't waste any minute telling how great my vacations were, but I have to tell you that during these days away I finally finished My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Errol Flynn's autobiography.
I simply loved it.
It was really an adventure book in which Flynn tells his life from his childhood to the days in Jamaica in his fifties. He didn't live to see it published, but he managed to write an incredibly entertaining autobiography and share many, many stories about his life in different countries: Australia, New Guinea, England, Spain, Jamaica and America.
The early days in New Guinea, commanding a crew of natives, searching for gold and supervising the copra plantations are told in detail, and they were a surprise. I had no idea about these episodes and had a blast reading about them.
Maybe if you expect a book based only in his Hollywood experiences, you'll be a bit disappointed. Because Hollywood was just one of the many adventures in his life. It contains, nevertheless, many interesting passages about his film experiences and the stars he met.
You read about how difficult was for him to work with Michael Curtiz, or about the days he lived with John Barrymore; the actresses he admired like Olivia de Havilland ("By the time we made The Charge of the Light Brigade I was sure I was in love with her"), Greer Garson ("The popular conception of Greer is that she is a kind Mrs. Miniver: finely bred, the epitome of English cultured womanhood. She is all this, but at the same time a mischievous imp") and Maureen O'Hara ("Never did I see a more dreamlike creature"), his battles with Bette Davis ("The only woman in Hollywood I have ever had any histrionic trouble with") and Jack Warner...and a long list of anecdotes about other actors.
Reading this book, you notice that Flynn loved acting, especially on the stages of London in his early days. He didn't like a lot of his movies (two of his favorites are Objective Burma and Too Much, Too Soon), he ended up hating the swashbucklers and wanting more serious roles. I wish he had got them.
Even when it has some passages that I guess were censored before this uncensored version, it's not a big deal at the end, you get used to them. I was more shocked by some parts like the way he tied some ducks when he was a child, than by his drugs experiences and encounters with dames around the globe. Women are a great subject in this book, of course. At the end you realize that he was bitter about them, especially his ex wives (Lili Damita is portrayed as an evil witch) and the girls that sued him. It's sad, because being a Don Juan that simply couldn't settle with one woman made him lonely.
I don't care if he took liberties while writing, I believe in what he says because I know that everything that he tells, completely true or not, at least is a reflection of his own self. He was an adventurer, with fears like everyone else, with domestic problems like everybody, who loved to laugh and loved the sea, and loved women and also hated them. He wanted to figure it out who he really was, I hope that near his dead he had.
I really enjoyed it and as all the good autobiographies, after I finished it I felt I had lost a friend.---
Hey, be kind and help me to choose my next reading. I have this three books waiting on my desk