Flynn would go on to sing El Comandante's praises on talk shows, eventually producing and starring in the ridiculous Cuban Rebel Girls shortly before his death in 1959.
But there was one unreleased documentary he was involved with, completely forgotten until fairly recently, sporting the grammatically-challenged title The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution. And while the credits promise "Reported by Errol Flynn", anyone with ears will immediately realize it was as truthful as the concept of Cuba being a worker's paradise.
Not that it's a total lie, however. As the movie begins, Flynn bounds into camera range as if being chased by an angry husband or a member of the vice squad. Clenching a cigarette holder in his teeth, the swashbuckler-turned-reporter introduces the documentary we're about to watch.
|Flynn needs to steady himself on the world.|
|"Yo, who's the fat gringo stinking of rum?"|
But just as we've gotten used to the sorry sight in front of us, The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution abruptly switches to newsreel footage of the revolution -- and this is where the real bullshit starts. The narration, allegedly by Errol Flynn, is actually someone else speaking with a (possibly) phony British accent who sounds nothing like him -- maybe because Flynn was Australian.
|Errol Flynn's version of "Goldilocks": The mother's too old, |
the girlfriend's too young -- but the other two are just right.
Was Flynn sleeping off a bottle of Bacardi the day of recording the narration? Had he died before the script was finished? Whatever the reason, from this point on, The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution becomes impossible to take seriously.
|Batista (right) looks forward to being overthrown|
so he doesn't have to go through this crap anymore.
|What every child wants to see under the Christmas tree.|
|Che receives a psychopath's welcome by his fans.|
And of course, no hagiography of the revolution would be complete without an appearance or two by the homophobic, rock & roll-hating, mass executioner,
t-shirt icon Che Guevara. He must have known that his trademark beret set him apart from the others, as if he was determined to be the babe magnet of the bunch. That is, when he wasn't shooting people who didn't agree with him.
As if eager to show off his incompetence, producer Victor Pahlen recycles egregiously inappropriate sound effects over the silent news footage. Whenever there are people applauding, we always hear drunken women laughing -- even when there are no women in sight. Got a shot of people holding a meeting? Throw in the sounds of silverware on dinner plates, indoors or outdoors. There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to the dubbing. Come to think of it, yes, there is a rhyme and reason -- Pahlen is failin'!
|Castro needs to wear glasses to|
make sure he's talking to Errol
Flynn, and not W.C. Fields.
Say, what other Cuban leader does that sound like? I'll tell you who -- the hombre that Errol Flynn earlier said had "grown big in the hearts of men who love liberty and humanity."
No doubt Batista was ruthless leader, however. And nowhere is that more evident when his troops destroy entire towns -- killing innocent civilians -- in an attempt to rout the rebels. Havana, Aleppo -- decade after decade, history uses the same script, only in a different language.
|"I got laid in Cuba, and all I got was this lousy scarf."|
At least the real Errol Flynn makes two more appearances. Once, in the middle when he shows off a scarf with the rebels' emblem, sewn by their hembra sidekicks. And then, at the end, when he states his hope that the sacrifices made by the Cuban populace weren't made in vain. Keep hoping, pal.
Flynn then bids us farewell, as he pays tribute to Cuba "where freedom and democracy and all the things that men live by are a reality." Turning the charm up to 11, Flynn adds, "And I believe that. You believe it, too."
To which your only possible reply to the preceding 49 minutes is, I. Don't. Believe. It.
The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution's one known screening was at the 1959 Moscow Film Festival -- of course! -- where it was undoubtedly received with open arms at the point of a rifle. Five decades later, it can be seen for the piece of propaganda claptrap that it is. Fidel might have had good intentions, but, like Errol Flynn on a night on the town, he didn't know when to stop. If only it had been Castro who died at 50, and Flynn at 90.
But then, he wouldn't have been Errol Flynn, would he? Viva Captain Blood! Viva Robin Hood! And pass that mojito, comarada.
During my brief sojourn at The Weekly Standard, I wrote about Errol Flynn's final movie, Cuban Rebel Girls. You can read it here.
Flynn talks Castro on Canadian television here.