Adventures of Captain Fabian. 1951. USA. Directed by William Marshall, Robert Florey (uncredited). Screenplay by Errol Flynn, from a novel by Robert T. Shannon. With Errol Flynn, Micheline Presle, Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Victor Francen. 35mm. 100 min.
The author of two novels as well as the notorious (and quite well-written) autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Flynn also tried his hand at screenplays, though this was his only solo credit. The title may reference Flynn’s character, but the film’s central figure is a fiercely ambitious Creole woman (a strong performance by French star Micheline Presle, who was the wife of producer William Marshall) who claws her way to the top of 1860 New Orleans society by using and abusing a series of men (but mostly Vincent Price, as a sniveling representative of the city’s ruling class). The film was a complex international co-production filmed partly in France, and although it isn’t clear how deeply involved director Robert Florey was (at some point, he was fired and replaced by Marshall), the film is replete with the lovingly articulated spaces and expressive blocking that suggest Florey’s hand.