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My Forgotten Man (1993) Online

My Forgotten Man (1993) Online
Original Title :
My Forgotten Man
Genre :
Movie / Biography / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Frank Howson
Cast :
Guy Pearce,Steven Berkoff,Claudia Karvan
Writer :
Frank Howson,Alister Webb
Type :
Time :
1h 35min
Rating :
My Forgotten Man (1993) Online

A biographical movie on the film star's early life before Hollywood fame.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Pearce Guy Pearce - Errol Flynn
Steven Berkoff Steven Berkoff - Klaus Reicher
Claudia Karvan Claudia Karvan - Penelope Watts
John Savage John Savage - Joe Stromberg
Wendy Matthews Wendy Matthews - Nightclub Singer
William Gluth William Gluth - Professor Flynn
Nicki Paull Nicki Paull - Marelle Flynn (as Nicola Paull)
Tim Hughes Tim Hughes - James Dickson
Adrian Wright Adrian Wright - Harold Watts
Jan Friedl Jan Friedl - Deidre Watts
Andrew Stephard Andrew Stephard - Young Flynn
Doug Bowles Doug Bowles - Charles Chauvel
Sue Jones Sue Jones - Elsa Chauvel
Reg Evans Reg Evans - Hobo
Bruce Venables Bruce Venables - Barman

User reviews



One wonders how FLYNN could have failed so badly as a cinema release in 1997 with Guy Pearce aptly in the lead role. It is not often that the casting of someone so famous is so exactly right. FLYNN was a stumbler at the box office and did not end up on cinema screens in Australia...even after LA CONFIDENTIAL...! From a dazzling nude scene in the first few minutes (presumably by Guy Pearce) FLYNN gets off to a fairly robust and interesting start. Sadly, FLYNN runs out of steam after about the first 35 minutes and with the entrance of hammy Steven Berkoff in a detour to New Guinea, (looking and acting like he wanted the Klaus Kinski role in FITZCARRALDO) the film starts to resemble a tele movie rather than a major cinema biography. Believe it or not, by about the 70 minute make, it is boring and you are glad to see it over. But such promise! Pearce IS Flynn! But the movie caused a mutiny at the box office and unlike The Bounty, sank without trace.


Guy Pearce almost looks like Flynn, and this resemblance is the only one this film can claim. Nowhere in Flynn's autobiography is the Klaus Reicher character mention, the homosexual encounter is speculative fiction, and the movie's claims that Flynn treated native labor badly are groundless. Director Frank Howson hasn't made any memorable films, and I find it lame for him to groundlessly slander Flynn to further his unremarkable career.


This film takes a lot of liberties with the known historical facts.Even little things like Flynn licking one stamp after another, when he almost certainly would have used a moistened sponge, is one of the annoying things. Flynn was never tried of manslaughter or murder. He is not known to have caught his mother making love to another man, and is not known to have had an homosexual relationship with anybody, and he did not end up on skid row in Sydney. He did not get his twopenny-halfpenny role in In the Wake of the Bounty by imposture and this role did not turn him into a well-dressed film star.

This is just a mediocre film where the name of Errol Flynn has been tacked on just to sell more tickets and more videos.


I can only think of one reason this movie was released. To capitalize off the upcoming fame of Guy Pearce. This movie has no merit at all and needlessly trashes Errol Flynn's memory. The homosexual encounter was pure speculation. The disdain shown for Flynn in this movie is palpable. An easy way to slander an actor who died years ago. Horrible and embarrassing. Very disappointing. Don't waste your time on this utter trash. Watch My Wicked wicked ways if you want to learn about this fine actor or read his autobiography. This movie is NOT the way.


Hollywood's most notorious Golden Age star, Errol Flynn, will undoubtedly be the subject of a major motion picture, someday. Laborer, jewel thief, gigolo, ship's master, slave overseer, hobo, boxer, repertory actor, movie star, writer...an astonishingly handsome 'bad boy' whose sexual prowess was legendary (even landing him in court on rape charges, more than once), and whose physical 'perfection' in his prime hid malaria, heart problems, severe alcoholism, and drug addiction. That he died at fifty wasn't as surprising as the fact he lived THAT long! Beneath everything, however, was a shy, tortured romantic, who never felt himself appreciated for more than 'superficial' things, like swinging a sword, riding a horse, or looking at ease in tights (He once tried to convince Clark Gable to make a dramatic film with him, and Gable laughed in his face). In time, Flynn would give up much of his ambition, and settle for simply playing the roué that audiences expected, while squandering his health and fortune. But rarely an opportunity to really act would appear, and Flynn proved he was far better than people realized.

That was the 'real' Errol Flynn...but THIS "Flynn" manages to ignore nearly all of it, offering, instead, a callow youth (pre-stardom Guy Pearce), whose unhappy childhood and early sexual misadventures leads him to robbing his 'true love', gold mining in New Guinea, becoming sexually involved with an older German man, killing a native, being convicted of murder, and fleeing to Sydney, where, in desperation, he assaults and robs a male lover, takes another man's identity, bluffs his way into an audition for "In the Wake of the Bounty", becomes a STAR, overnight, then journeys to Hollywood and 'legendary' status. All of which is, fundamentally, pure hokum!

Pearce is no substitute for the 6'2", robust young Flynn, and he resorts to nearly caricatured posing (particularly late in the film). While the portrayals of his parents are somewhat accurate (although there is no record of Flynn, the child, 'catching' his mother cheating on his father), his short academic career was more likely the result of wanderlust and poor academics than being caught making love to a local wench on campus.

Flynn did, in fact, journey to New Guinea to make his 'fortune', but he worked in a variety of (legal and illegal) jobs, while there, before his father paid his way back home. If young Flynn had killed anybody, it would have been the screenwriter who concocted the whole sequence! As for homosexual encounters...it has long been a subject of controversy, but has never been proved.

As for the "Bounty"...Flynn (who was NOT starving on the streets at the time) was recommended BECAUSE he was Fletcher Christian's descendant, and the movie, despite being the first full-length Australian feature film, barely made a ripple, anywhere else. Flynn, himself, called his performance 'completely wooden', and decided to leave for England to study stage acting. It was while there that he caught the eye of Warner Brothers, who brought him to America as a 'contract player'...

As a time-killer, "Flynn" is passable...but don't expect to find the 'real' Errol Flynn in it. THAT film hasn't been made, yet!


Even though he only made his debut film in Australia and left for Great Britain and then America to continue his career, Australians will tell you that the greatest film star they ever produced was Errol Flynn. I'm not sure he ever even went back to Australia after his breakout success in Captain Blood. Still I attribute this film to the well known Aussie irreverence for trashing the reputation of one of their own.

Part of the problem in telling Errol Flynn's life story was that he told enough tall tales in his life right up to the very end in his memoir, My Wicked Wicked Ways. I could see that a lot of the film was based on that and upon reading between the lines of that book.

His mother's infidelity to his father was not written, but could have been inferred in reading My Wicked Wicked Ways. He didn't particularly like the woman, that is clear from a few sources.

I wish the film had dealt more with his New Guinea adventures, that to me was the most interesting part of My Wicked Wicked Ways. As for his street fighting in the Depression, I tend to disbelieve that. Even if he had been successful at it, I guarantee that enough of that would have ruined his looks and he would never have had a career as a leading man.

Still the folks down under seem to think the atmosphere of Sydney during the Depression was captured well and Guy Pearce is a charismatic Errol Flynn. American audiences know him best as the uptight, but honest Lieutenant Exley in LA Confidential which came out the same year as Flynn.

But LA Confidential was a far better film.


I have no idea how accurate the portrayal of Flynn appears in this film but even as a work of fiction it is one of the worst films I have ever seen.

The script is all over the place and leaves you wondering how he got from one scene to the next - you are just not given the minimum information needed to keep some continuity and understand his present situation, and it is difficult to understand Flynn's and other characters' motives behind some of their behaviour.

Add to that a series of silly and implausible situations and you have film that comes across as one of your dreams that seems to make sense while you are asleep, but when you wake up and you try to remember it, it is just strange, disjointed and totally unrealistic.

There are many long, boring musical sections of the film that to me are either bad direction or a bad director trying and failing to be artistic.

None of the characters are even likable and the Flynn character comes across as a self serving liar, thug, thief, robber, murderer, bear fist fighter, gigolo and impostor who will do anything and step on anyone to further his own dreams, and somehow, despite all that, great opportunities just seem to miraculously fall into his lap.

This film is not entertaining nor satisfying in any way and by all accounts not even historically accurate, so why even watch it? To rub salt into the wound, the DVD had one of the worst transfers I have ever seen, it wasn't even in wide-screen or Dolby 5.1, it had terrible telecine wobble and many, many artifacts from what looked like a film reel that had been gathering dust and scratches somewhere.


Guy Pearce might have a vaguely similar face to Errol Flynn, but this small-framed and rather reserved actor was very miscast as the muscular, barrel chested, beefcake Errol Flynn. He wasn't convincing and the film was unconvincing in general.

The acting is on a par with that of a daytime TV soap-opera and I can only put that down to poor directing as Pearce, Steven Berkkoff and others are certainly not without talent.

For a film depicting someone who lived so much in the fast lane, it is remarkably dull and slow moving, with quite a number of pointless musical interludes.

To its credit it, it did touch on the Flynn's same sex encounters, instead of trying gloss over that aspect. Despite what some reviewers here have said, it is well known that Flynn had sexual relations with both men and women, and a lot of them - it's where the phrase "in like Flynn" comes from.

However, if you are looking for anything resembling an accurate portrait of the man, don't bother with this frippery.


Spoilers herein.

A dreadful film, but there is something interesting. Hollywood's machine is desperate for matter, and the easiest route is material about films and filmmaking. Here we have the simplest form of that self-reference: an actor playing an actor.