Marc Janssen: ‘Expressions of Errol Flynn’

Expressions of Errol Flynn

Sweeping above the Technicolor knights
On a vine-disguised rope
From the crook of a 300-year-old oak
To lightly land on the naked peak vivid red, purple, yellow and white-flower-dressed boulder
Somewhere near Tarzana California.

“Welcome to Sherwood, M’Lady.”

Olivia de Havilland with her virginal bedroom eyes
Turns from haughty to kind.
Basil Rathbone snarls his line;
Alan Hale in perfect Midwestern syllables chides Eugene Pallette about his weight;
And Claude Rains in measured tones plots his plots;
While Erik Wolfgang Korngold’s ascend from manuscript to strings.

Eventually the camera closes in on Flynn
Wearing a wig, hat
Small but distinct pencil moustache and anchor goatee
Places his feet, arms balled at his hips, or gripping his sword, or on Olivia’s shivering shoulders
Configures his eyes, mouth, forehead
To love, determination, anger, joy

Sitting in the dark
When the strings cue and Richard is restored,
Bright colors disappear behind closing doors,
A smile and a sense of loss.

Marc Janssen

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