Adventures of Don Juan
|Adventures of Don Juan|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Vincent Sherman|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
|Written by||Herbert Dalmas
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Edited by||Alan Crosland|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|December 1, 1948|
|Box office||$5 million|
Adventures of Don Juan, known in the United Kingdom as The New Adventures of Don Juan, is a 1948 American adventure Technicolor romance film made by Warner Bros. It was directed by Vincent Sherman and produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by George Oppenheimer and Harry Kurnitz based on a story by Herbert Dalmas, with uncredited contributions by William Faulkner and Robert Florey.
The film was originally to be scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, however, production of the film was postponed until 1947, by which time Korngold had retired from scoring motion pictures. He was therefore replaced by Max Steiner.
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Late in the reign of Elizabeth I of England, Spanish noble Don Juan de Maraña (Errol Flynn) is repatriated from London to Madrid after a serious diplomatic scandal caused by his affair with the British fiancée of a Spanish duke. The Spanish ambassador in London, Count de Polan (Robert Warwick), sends a letter of recommendation to his friend Queen Margaret (Viveca Lindfors), asking her to provide an opportunity at the court to rehabilitate Don Juan after the gossiping and rumors about his multiple illicit love affairs. He is thus hired as a fencing instructor at the Spanish Academy.
He secretly falls in love with Queen Margaret but remains a loyal subject to her and her irresponsible and weak husband, King Phillip III (Romney Brent). Don Juan discovers the treacherous plan of the Machiavellian Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas), who is plotting to depose the monarch, usurp power in Spain and declare war on England. With the support of his friends, Don Juan defends the Queen, the King and the loyal Count de Polan against Duke de Lorca and his henchmen.
- Errol Flynn – Don Juan de Maraña
- Viveca Lindfors – Queen Margaret of Spain
- Robert Douglas – Duke de Lorca
- Alan Hale – Leporello
- Romney Brent – King Phillip III of Spain
- Ann Rutherford – Dona Elena
- Robert Warwick – Don Jose, Count de Polan
- Jerry Austin – Don Sebastian
- Douglas Kennedy – Don Rodrigo
- Jean Shepherd – Donna Carlotta (as Jeanne Shepherd)
- Mary Stuart – Catherine
- Helen Westcott – Lady Diana
- Fortunio Bonanova – Don Serafino Lopez
- Aubrey Mather – Lord Chalmers
- Una O'Connor – Duenna
- Raymond Burr – Captain Alvarez
- Nora Eddington – young woman asking for direction
- Tim Huntley – Cecil, Catherine's husband
- Leon Belasco – Don de Cordoba
- David Leonard – Innkeeper
- Barbara Bates – Innkeeper's daughter, Micaela
- Monte Blue – Turnkey
- David Bruce – Count de Orsini
The film was originally meant to be directed in May 1945 under the direction of Raoul Walsh but was postponed for two and a half years due to script problems and industrial unrest in Hollywood after the war. Warner Bros were encouraged in 1947 by a successful reissue of The Sea Hawk and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Shooting eventually started in October 1947. Errol Flynn was physically well past his prime, suffering allegedly from a mild heart condition and recurrent bouts of hepatitis. According to film historian Tony Thomas, he drank heavily during the making of the movie. Filming was frequently halted due to Flynn's physical condition and by frequent changes and replacements in production personnel. In the famous leap from the head of a long staircase, Flynn was doubled by stunt expert Jock Mahoney. In the 1926 silent film Don Juan, Flynn's idol John Barrymore performed a similar leap without a stunt double.
At the end of the film, the young woman in the coach asking Don Juan for directions is Flynn's wife, Nora Eddington.
The film is the last of 13 in which Alan Hale appeared with his close friend Errol Flynn. Hale died on January 22, 1950, just over a year following this film's release.
Parts of the film's score were adapted later by composer Ian Fraser for the George Hamilton 1981 comedy Zorro, The Gay Blade. A portion was also used in two scenes in the film The Goonies, although in the first scene, it accompanied a TV broadcast of the earlier film The Sea Hawk.
The chase scene early in the film used recycled footage from the 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood, and is then followed by a grand procession with recycled outtakes from the 1939 "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex", both starring Errol Flynn and Alan Hale. As mentioned above, this would be their final film together.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color (Leah Rhodes, Travilla and Marjorie Best) and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Color (Edward Carrere, Lyle Reifsnider).
The film was very successful in Europe but less so in the US and struggled to recoup its large budget. From this point on, Warner Bros would reduce the budget of Flynn's films.
It recorded admissions of 3,763,314 in France, making it the 7th most popular movie in the country that year.
- Glancy, H. Mark. "Warner Bros film grosses, 1921-51." Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. March 1995.
- Jean Shepherd
- DVD scene 7, at the inn called La Casa Rosada over the gate
- Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer & Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969 p 156-157
- "NY Times: Adventures of Don Juan". NY Times. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- 1948 French box office information at Box Office Story
- Adventures of Don Juan at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Adventures of Don Juan at the Internet Movie Database
- Adventures of Don Juan at the TCM Movie Database
- Adventures of Don Juan at AllMovie