“The Last of Robin Hood” is a new film scheduled for a fall 2014 release about Errol Flynn’s late-life affair with teenager Beverly Aadland, which was a major Hollywood scandal in the latter days of the golden age. Kevin Kline plays Flynn, with Dakota Fanning as Aadland and Susan Sarandon playing her mother.
After the film played at the Toronto Film Festival in the fall of 2013, Vanity Fair published this tick-tock of the affair:
• A stage mom through and through, Beverly’s mother does not seem remotely alarmed when Flynn invites her daughter to an “audition” late at night, despite the fact that Flynn has a reputation as, to use Beverly’s father’s terms, “a walking penis.”
• Although Beverly is unimpressed by Flynn, she eventually succumbs to his charm. Flynn, convinced that Beverly looks like a wood nymph, gives her the pet name “Woodsy.”
• Flynn is able to woo Beverly’s starstruck mother and even encourage her to tag along on their dates as a third wheel because, as he tells her, he does not want the press to allege something unsavory.
• After Beverly’s mother discovers that her daughter is sleeping with Flynn, Flynn is able to calm her nerves by promising that he will facilitate an acting career for Beverly. He takes her to an audition for Lolita, where he tells director Stanley Kubrick that he and Beverly are “a package deal.” (Obviously, this negotiation tactic does not work out.)
• In addition to drinking round-the-clock, Flynn begins using I.V. drugs to settle his back pain following a trip to Africa.
• At Beverly’s 17th birthday party, Flynn announces to friends and family that he and Beverly will be married.
• He produces a movie in Cuba so that Beverly can star called Cuban Rebel Girls. While filming, he falls ill and dictates a living will to Beverly so that she is taken care of in the event of his death.
• About a year later, while leasing his yacht in Canada so that he can fund his final divorce and marry Beverly, Flynn complains of back pain. Beverly escorts him to a doctor’s home in Canada.
• Alerted that Flynn is en route, the doctor and his wife invite guests over. Upon arriving, Flynn opts to amuse the crowd instead of be treated, regaling them with a story about the time his friends stole John Barrymore’s corpse from the mortuary and deposited it in Flynn’s living room as a prank.
Moments later, Flynn leaves the room saying, “I’ve never felt better,” to get some rest. When Beverly checks on him, she finds him dead.
• The will Beverly transcribed for Flynn is deemed invalid because it does not have a signature. She does not inherit anything from the late actor.
Beverly’s mother is arrested for public drunkenness afterward and as a consequence, Beverly is put into a juvenile home. Her mother is found guilty of contributing to her daughter’s delinquency and put in jail for 60 days.
• Beverly ultimately makes amends with her mother, who wrote The Big Love against Beverly’s wishes, on Florence’s death bed.