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The Rock-itt : September 2009
Celebrating Errol Flynn's Centenary He was the greatest action star of his day, and one hundred years after his birth Errol Flynn remains as popular as when he died nearly fifty years ago. In recent years Flynn has undergone a critical and popular revival with the publication of several first class biographies, notably Inherited Risk by Jeffrey Meyers, The Baron of Mulholland by his daughter Rory Flynn, and Errol Flynn Slept Here by Robert Matzen and Michael Mazzone. Warner Brothers has released three DVD box sets with other titles readily available. The demand for Flynn material is high. But in the months preceding his one hundredth birthday on June 20, there was a noticeable lack of interest amongst the film industry in celebrating Flynn's centenary. One man wanted to change that. His name is Jack Marino and he's a warrior filmmaker. I don't bestow that title lightly. Jack has paid his dues and is the first to admit that his conservative views are often unappealing to the liberal Hollywood crowd. But one fact remains clear -- Jack is immensely talented. He is currently enjoying the fruits of his labor with high volume DVD sales of his directorial debut, Forgotten Heroes, a film he made in 1988 but re-released on DVD after acquiring the distribution rights. Jack is an admirer of Hollywood's golden age and wanted to do something to celebrate Flynn's birthday. Jack brainstormed and came to the logical conclusion that he would host an invitation only affair at his home in Burbank. With his lovely wife Louise at his side, Jack began hatching his plan months in advance. His guest list was selective, if not secret. Jack was acutely aware that Flynn fandom was rife with crackpots and dimwits. Only the crème de la crème would be invited. During this period I spoke with Jack numerous times by telephone. E-mails were flying back and forth at a breakneck speed. We quickly determined that discouraging party crashers would be a priority, although we agreed that attractive, full-bosomed women over the age of consent would be admitted even if they lacked an invitation. Meanwhile, In Flynn's birthplace, The Errol Flynn Society of Tasmania orchestrated ten days of events that included visits from Rory Flynn, her son Sean and nephew Luke. These events were highlighted by a film festival, a tour of Flynn's birthplace in Hobart, the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, and a gala ball. Thanks to this group and the centenary committee, this celebration was a rousing success. Jack's party would be the only celebration in the United States. My wife Jan and I arrived two days early and rendezvoused with David DeWitt who maintains the Errol Flynn blog. Joined by Karl Holmberg and his lovely companion, Lorie, we joined Jack and Louise Marino and Trudy McVicker for preliminary celebrations two nights running.