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Raise your hand if you know Errol Flynn and can name at least a dozen of his movies? Keep your hand up if you know what the phase ‘in like Flynn’ means and how it came about. Mmmm--not too many have their hand up and I suspect they are either over 50 or are film addicts.
Okay let’s ask about another actor--how many know who Kevin Kline is? Can you name the movie he made his debut in? Can you name the movie he won an Oscar for? Can you name the two shows he won Tonys for on Broadway?
I would like to think that many more know Kline as a world wide respected stage and movie actor but because he is basically scandal free I have a feeling more people knew Flynn who wasn’t scandal free and, in fact, had two trials broadcast on radio, television, the latter after 1950, the newspapers and magazines. Possibly because the Internet wasn’t around then he might be famous even today.
In “The Last of Robin Hood” Kevin Kline portrays Errol Flynn during the last two years of his life though Kline at 65 is older than Flynn by 15 years and is a lot thinner and neater looking. Due to alcohol Flynn was quite a mess in 1959 when he died.
When Flynn met, and seduced 15 year old virgin, Beverly Aadland, played by Dakota Fanning, did he know her real age? Was Beverly really in love with Errol or did his stardom blind her? Was her mother, Flo, played by Susan Sarandon, someone to do anything, including acting as a front for the old actor and her teenage daughter or was she the manipulative puppeteer pulling the strings, to get her daughter the fame she, Flo, has always wanted? Flo wrote a book, which the film seems to be based on, while Beverly never spoke about Flynn after his death.
Kline IS Flynn and could step into any role that the latter played on film and, as Flynn did, could play John Barrymore when someone is ready to give the latter his place in the sun.
Dakota Fanning seems miscast, floundering in the role, though it could be due to the directing and screenplay both done by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland who sort of treat her as an afterthought.
Though the film is about Flynn, and his affair with Beverly, Susan Sarandon takes the movie away from everyone involved and, probably, would have been better if it completely revolved around her as the directors/writers seem too timid to bring what was sensational world wide scandal to the screen.
The film takes place in 1958 and 1959 with excellent production values and, I sort of suspect, if you know the work of Todd Haynes, he had a hand in bringing that look together

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