Errol Flynn Movies: Olivia de Havilland & 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'

Errol Flynn Olivia de Havilland The Charge of the Light Brigade
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Errol Flynn movies: Errol Flynn would have turned 103 on June 20. In celebration of his birthday, this Wednesday Flynn is Turner Classic Movies' star of the early morning/afternoon. Inevitably, movies include a couple of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn pairings: The Charge of the Light Brigade and Santa Fe Trail. But there are quite a few more. (See further below Errol Flynn movie line-up.)

In fact, the interesting thing about TCM's choice of Errol Flynn movies is that the vast majority are lesser-known titles such as Green Light, Rocky Mountain, The Warriors / The Dark Avenger, and The Master of Ballantrae. Of these, I've seen three: Green Light, Northern Pursuit, and The Master of Ballantrae.

But first … The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), the second Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn pairing – and the second time the couple worked under the guidance of Michael Curtiz. The period actioner, which has little in common with the actual titular charge, is set in India, where the British are loyal, honorable, brave, and quite handsome (Flynn, Patric Knowles). The Charge of the Light Brigade is a great-looking movie (cinematography by Sol Polito) and some will find it entertaining despite its conventional storyline. Olivia de Havilland's acting consists of looking colorfully pretty in black and white.

Errol Flynn: American doctor & Canadian spy + Scottish nobleman

The slow-moving but intriguing melodrama Green Light (1937) has Flynn cast against type as a scalpel-buckling doctor. Frank Borzage, who made a career directing sentimental dramas, handled the proceedings. The angelic blonde Anita Louise and reliable Warner Bros. contract player Margaret Lindsay are Flynn's leading ladies.

Northern Pursuit (1943) isn't considered one of Errol Flynn's finest movies – except, perhaps, by me. Directed by Raoul Walsh, the gripping Northern Pursuit stars Flynn as a Canadian Mountie who infiltrates a Nazi ring. The super-handsome Helmut Dantine is one of his targets.

Released in 1953, The Master of Ballantrae stars a much aged Errol Flynn, whose contagious joie de vivre had by then left him. Just as tired is the movie itself, based on a Robert Louis Stevenson tale. Anthony Steel and Roger Livesey, the latter not inclined to restrain himself when there's some scenery to chew on, are the chief supporting players. William Keighley, with whom Flynn had seen better days (The Adventures of Robin Hood), directed the period adventure.

Errol Flynn Movie line-up on Turner Classic Movies

3:30 AM GREEN LIGHT (1937) An idealistic doctor sacrifices his career to protect an elderly surgeon. Dir.: Frank Borzage Cast: Errol Flynn, Anita Louise, Margaret Lindsay. Black and white. 85 min.

5:00 AM NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943) A Mountie tracks a downed Nazi flyer through the Canadian wilderness. Dir.: Raoul Walsh Cast: Errol Flynn, Julie Bishop, Helmut Dantine. Black and white. 93 min.

6:45 AM THE DAWN PATROL (1938) A flight commander in France almost cracks under the pressure of sending men to their deaths. Dir.: Edmund Goulding Cast: Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, David Niven, Donald Crisp, Barry Fitzgerald. Black and white. 103 min.

8:30 AM THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936) Two brothers love the same woman at a perilous Indian outpost. Dir.: Michael Curtiz Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Henry Stephenson, Nigel Bruce, Donald Crisp. Black and white. 116 min.

10:30 AM SANTA FE TRAIL (1940) Romantic rivals get caught in the battle to stop abolitionist John Brown. Dir.: Michael Curtiz Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey, Ronald Reagan, Alan Hale, William Lundigan, Van Heflin. Black and white. 110 min.

12:30 PM THE WARRIORS (1955) The “Black Prince” of England remains in France to guard the lands taken by his predecessor-father. Dir.: Henry Levin Cast: Errol Flynn, Joanne Dru, Peter Finch, Yvonne Furneaux, Patrick Holt, Michael Hordern. Color. 85 min.

2:00 PM ROCKY MOUNTAIN (1950) A Confederate troop makes a last desperate attempt to build up an army in the West. Dir.: William Keighley Cast: Errol Flynn, Patrice Wymore, Scott Forbes. Black and white. 83 min.

3:30 PM THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (1953) A Scottish lord rebels against the British by taking up piracy. Dir.: William Keighley Cast: Errol Flynn, Roger Livesey, Anthony Steel, Beatrice Campbell, Yvonne Furneaux, Felix Aylmer. Color. 89 min.

Schedule (PT) and synopses from the TCM website:

Errol Flynn Movies: Olivia de Havilland & 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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3 Comments to Errol Flynn Movies: Olivia de Havilland & 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'

  1. Alan Anderson

    Used to sneak out of my bedroom to watch it on late night tv. Mom always caught me. Flynn was and is my favorite actor. Great action star. Lived hard died young, very cool guy. Film began my interest in history but is certainly flawed historically. Oh well, half a league, half a league onward!

  2. Joe Hollingsworth

    Good film, I highly recommend. Though many flaws in story, particularly geographical, nobody seemed to notice anyway(but I). The grand finally was awesome. Many new cliches were born here. It made the rest of the show worth while. Max Steiner was the real star of this picture. His first really great score since King Kong. And like Kong, it had all entirely original arrangements. It is and will retain immortality.

  3. Susan D'Amigo

    ERROL FLYNN! He was the crush of my youth. He was a fine actor, his movies were great and he's was quite a looker. The SANTA FE trail was my dad's favorite. I love TCM.