The Sun Also Rises is an earnest movie but without
Papa’s text it’s not quite Hemingway. Flynn steals it.
By ’57 he’s not top of the bill, not Captain Blood, no
swash, not much buckle, not Robin Hood, tights too
tight, but a perfect washed-up playboy, boozy, broke,
sagging in the middle. Flynn cared nought for Method,
wouldn’t need it for his Lolita, but died before clinching
with Kubrick, when Beverly was 17 and one month.
A month counts in a teenager’s life when her man’s
gone 50 and he’s got a wife someplace else, and
a heart that’s grown too big, and the old buccaneers
are all paid off, and Marian’s into a matron turned,
and tall ships rot on make-believe’s back lot,
and frost invades the merry glades of Sherwood.
B N Oakman
1 February 2012