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In (Cuba) like Flynn

31 December 2009
It wasn't just in the movies that he was on the rebel side

Errol Flynn, underground rebel

Just in time for the 51th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, “magbana” at Honduras Oye! digs out the most amazing documentary on Fidel Castro and the overthrow of the Batista regime.    A self-described “simple peace-loving, home-loving, peaceful man with the heart of a child”  Errol Flynn narrates — or wrote much of the narration for  — this 50 minute documentary, apparently put together from material meant for Flynn’s last film (he died in October 1959), Cuban Rebel Girls.

Cuban Rebel Girls, filmed during the revolution with Casto’s cooperation, written by Flynn was the story of an international freedom fighter (played by… not surprisingly… Errol Flynn) fighting with the Cubans for the liberation of the island.  And, as a vehicle for launching a film career for Bevery Aadland, his new girl-friend.  No one has heard of Aadland since, but they have heard of Fidel Castro, who is really the star of both Cuban Rebel Girls and this documentary.

I can’t say it’s modeled on the successful 1914 “Life of General Villa” (released on several different titles) which also had the cooperation of a rebel leader, was filmed during the revolution and included the rebels playing themselves.  Raoul Walsh’s film footage, like Flynn’s, was also used for different productions, and as propaganda.  That’s a tenuous Mexican connection, I know, but Flynn does make mention of Mexico’s active role in the Cuban Revolution, not just providing asylum to Castro and the other leaders, and helping supply the sources (and the Granma) that returned the 81 fighters to the Island, but also allowing Spanish Republicans to train Cubans in guerrilla warfare.

I’m not sure how to embed a “google video” (and it’s much too long for a youtube upload), so go to here to watch. Ok, there’s no good sword fights with Basil Rathbone, but plenty of action, drama and adventure.

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