In releasing the 1947 Errol Flynn (who is the subject of the new documentary "The Last of Robin Hood") quasi "On the Road" film/dramedy "Escape me Never" on DVD, Warner Archive shows that that leading man can be roguishly charming even without brandishing a sword. As an aside, this film and the 1935 version are based on the Margaret Kennedy play of the same name.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of a few pivotal scenes in "Never" provides an excellent sense of the film and the characters who make it so awesome.
Other great elements of "Never" include setting it in Venice of 1900 and including music that ranges from the contemporary style of that era to more classic compositions. Further, Flynn has two particularly strong actors backing him up.
True Hollywood royalty Ida Lupino plays scrappy down-on-her-luck widowed mother of a baby Gemma Smith. Gig Young, who also has a scene-stealing Oscar-nominated role in the Unreal TV reviewed Archive title "Teacher's Pet," does equally well as classical singer Caryl Dubrok. Caryl is the brother of Flynn's Sebastian Dubrok. The primary musical interest of Sebastian is composing.
A wacky misunderstanding that is worthy of a classic sitcom gets the action rolling in "Never." Struggling artist Caryl has recently enjoyed a special moment with his wealthy special gal Finella MacLean when Gemma is discovered in the private area in the MacLeans' palatial home. On being apprehended, Gemma includes the tale of her relationship with a musician named Dubrok in her sob story.
Mr. and Mrs. MacLean use this circumstantial evidence of infidelity by Caryl to pack up the family for a trip. A very puzzled Caryl soon discovers that his neer-do-well brother Sebastian is the aforementioned companion of Gemma. This realization leads to a family reunion.
The family reunion soon leads to the ragtag trio, who literally must sing for their suppers, hitting the road in pursuit of the MacLeans for the purpose of putting right what once went wrong. The expected bonding occurs on the way.
On catching up with the MacLeans, Sebastian further complicates matters by becoming attracted to Finella. This, of course, affects his already strained relationship with Caryl.
A related theme revolves around the efforts of les freres Dubrok to become respectable for the sakes of themselves and the women whom they ultimately select as their intended. In the case of Sebastian, this involves a real (but still uncertain) chance to have a composition produced.
The good folks at Warner Brothers do their usual excellent job making all of this highly entertaining. The casting is perfect, a proper blend of comedy and drama is achieved, and the directing is flawless.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Never" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.