For Reel

Never Say Goodbye (1946)
December 25, 2014, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: James V. Kern
2.5 Stars
Never Say GoodbyeWatching Never Say Goodbye, one can only wonder why Warner Brothers didn’t peg Errol Flynn in more romantic comedy roles throughout his career. Flynn himself would admit that he wasn’t much of an actor, but to him charm was certainly a natural gift–in his interactions with the young Patti Brady, he rivals Cary Grant as an affable father figure. Given a better vehicle, one could imagine him being talked about alongside some of the better comedic leading men of his era. Here, the gags seems loosely cobbled together from disparate threads. There’s a lengthy set piece involving twin Santas in which Flynn takes a stab at the Marx Brothers’ mirror gag, and later he pulls off an amusing Humphrey Bogart impression (dubbed by Bogey himself). But the very qualities that make a great romantic comedy so effective–the evenhanded bickering between the lovers, the sexuality, and so on–are forgotten about in favor of such tangents. Eleanor Parker is charming as the co-star (one would be hard pressed to come up with a more attractive leading couple), but the film is absolutely stolen by the surprisingly hilarious Forrest Tucker, playing a big ol’ lug with a heart of gold that threatens to take Flynn’s girl away from him. He would go on to be known as a player in serious action films, but here he parodies that imposed image by making a mockery of his hyper-masculine persona.