WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Continuing the TCM Spotlight Collection, Warner Bros. has collected five World War II adventure films starting Errol Flynn in a new box set. Watch Flynn take on the Nazis across Europe, in the cold as a military hero in “Desperate Journey” (1942), “Edge of Darkness” (1943), “Northern Pursuit” (1943), “Uncertain Glory” (1944) and “Objective, Burma!” (1945).
WHAT I LIKED
Most people who aren’t into classic films will immediately think of “Robin Hood” when they think of Errol Flynn. After all, that was probably his most historically defining role. But there was so much more to the man as an actor.
This collection, like many other installments in the Warner Bros. collections of classic films, give audiences a chance to experience Flynn as an adventure hero outside of tights and Sherwood Forest. This group of five films also taps into the overall historical jazz of the World War II action film. There will always be something irresistible about pop culture from that time, with a defined external enemy with such a dastardly plan.
Even if you’re not into old movies, these adventures are well made and hold up to today’s standards. They can be humorous (like “Desperate Journey,” which teams Flynn up with future American President Ronald Reagan) or they can be tragic (like “Edge of Darkness,” which puts Flynn at ground zero as a guerilla fighter). Either way, these films are a real treat and stand up as forgotten treasures. Here’s what you can get from each one (blurbs taken from the box descriptions)...
“Desperate Journey” – Allied airmen shot down over Germany fight their way back to England. Errol Flynn leads Ronald Reagan and other flyboys in a rousing wartime spirit-lifter.
“Edge of Darkness” – They’re everyday citizens, and extraordinary heroes. Flynn and Ann Sheridan rally Norwegians against the Nazi occupiers of their once-peaceful village.
“Northern Pursuit” – Icebound wilds and ice-blooded Nazis! Canadian officer Flynn infiltrates a cadre of Nazi saboteurs, pretending to guide them toward their destination while unraveling their scheme.
“Uncertain Glory” – The Gestapo decree; 100 Frenchmen will die if a resistance leader fails to turn himself in. Condemned French prisoner Flynn volunteers to pose as the wanted man. Powerful heroism!
“Objective, Burma!” – Pinned down in the jungle, and fighting back! Flynn commands a stranded paratrooper patrol in this gritty, volatile tale noted for its battlefield authenticity.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I have to say that there really wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this collection of films. Any flaws are a sign of the times in which they were made, but the fact that these were all World War II films made in the midst of World War II make the not just enjoyable films, but also historical landmarks.
Each film comes with the “Warner Night at the Movies” viewing mode, which offers approximately an hour of additional material strung together in the spirit of the movie presentation of the 1940s. You can see vintage trailers for other Warner Bros. films, vintage newsreels about the war effort, short subjects that have been all-but-lost in the public’s eye and Warner Bros. cartoons, all leading to the feature presentation.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Errol Flynn fans and World War II buffs.