It was said, at one time, that if Bette Davis was the queen of Warner Brothers, Errol Flynn was the king. And a king, too, with a lineage that was astounding, to say the least. The Tasmanian-born Flynn spent a few years as a young man in Papua New Guinea holding down jobs as varied (and in some cases illegal) as diamond smuggler, slave recruiter, gold prospector, sheep castrator, and manager of tobacco and coconut plantations, before washing up in the big bad world of cinema. Flynn’s first role was as his own ancestor, Fletcher Christian, a mutineer on the HMS Bounty; two years later, opposite Olivia de Havilland (who was a very distant relative of his), Flynn acted as the pirate Captain Blood—and the king of swashbucklers had arrived.
“The trial of of Leonard Vole for the murder of Emily French aroused widespread interest. In the first place the prisoner was young and good-looking, then he was accused of a particularly dastardly crime, and there was the further interest of Romaine Heilger, the principal witness for the prosecution…” — Agatha Christie, The Witness for the Prosecution
Tyrone Power’s last full-length appearance on screen (he died while filming Solomon and Sheba a year later), Witness for the Prosecution is also one of his most famous films. Surprisingly, not mainly because of Power—his role in it, though pivotal, is actually quite small—but because of the overall brilliance of the film: the excellent acting, Billy Wilder’s direction, and a very good adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s best-known short stories.
Camille was a Bollywood movie made on the other side of the world.
No, really. Everything about it reminds me of 50’s and 60’s Bollywood. Respectable young man falls in love with a courtesan (Pakeezah? Sharafat? Sadhna?). Courtesan returns his love, but is warned off by a relative of the hero’s (Khilona? Pakeezah again?). She figures the hero’s best off without her, and so sets out to make him hate her (Aah? A hundred other Hindi movies?)
Well, you get the idea. But Camille did star Greta Garbo, and that’s enough for me.