ERROL FLYNN: A Memoir by Earl Conrad


Email this review


Conrad ghost-wrote My Wicked Wicked Ways, Flynn's (barely) posthumous autobio, and this wearying ""recollection-study-regalement"" rakes over their three months of collaboration in Jamaica and tries to take the fading Flynn myth for yet another ride. Here, once again, are Flynn the Lolita-loving womanizer (""women at his feet and his crotch""), Flynn the drinker (vodka for breakfast), Flynn the athlete (risking his life deep-sea diving)--and Flynn the frustrated, what's-it-all-about Deep Thinker: rambling excerpts from his diary on Faith and politics. None of this goes anywhere, so we're left with some instant psychology (called his mother ""the cunt,"" feared castration), with a glut of Flynn trivia (""His penis was unremarkable""), and with Conrad's attempt to project their relationship, which seems to have consisted of Flynn's jokes and Earl's toadying: Earl felt ""good"" when Errol killed an annoying dog with a rock--""we were really very much alike,"" because, for instance, ""I was deep into the English tradition of letters, so was he."" We're also left with the feeling that Lionel Godfrey (p. 899) may have been quite right about the astounding number of falsehoods in My Wicked Wicked Ways, since Flynn could hardly have found a more gullible scribe than Earl Conrad, who passes on each utterance of this ""modern Ulysses"" as if it were written on stone instead of forgotten sand.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1977
Publisher: Dodd, Mead