April 7, 2007

John Flynn, 1932 - 2007.

Rolling Thunder / The Outfit
John Flynn, director Rolling Thunder (1977) and The Outfit (1973), among others, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday. Both films got great responses at last year's Best of QT Fest (notes here and here). I don't like writing obits, so I'll just say that if you haven't seen these two movies (both of which really need to be released on DVD), I'd highly recommend checking them out.

Micah at Reel Distraction, who heard via the Grindhouse Film Festival, where, as Jerry Lentz notes, Flynn introduced Rolling Thunder just the other night.

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Posted by dwhudson at April 7, 2007 12:20 PM


I'm so sad for the passing of any filmmaker I grew up on liking his films. John Flynn is one of them. The problem with us, we film lovers and critics (which I'm one, though in a foreign language) is that we don't appreciate them enough when they are alive. We kind of follow certain unwritten rulling that indicates to us that directors who didn't -for one reason or another- made a little splash on the intellect mark, may not be that worthy. I'm talking about Ralph Nelson, Richard Sarafian, Don Medford, Lamont Johnson, John Flynn and many others.
I think that we, actually, played the minimum role in getting them appreciated by the public, by the studios or on any real large scale. Kind of hypocrisy on our side, as critics, when we love any film directed by the Coens, Wenders, Almadovar among many moment stealing directors, regardless how un-even their films are, and let go real film people who knew how to put together films that talks to the mind as well as to the eye. Thinking directors who practiced their issues with a very well-built entertaining film language.
Look, some of these directors are still alive (come to mind Jerzy Schatezberg) but not only Hollywood is not here for them.... we, are not here for them either.
Bye Mr. Flyn. And thank you for the fine films you gave us.

Posted by: M. Rouda at April 8, 2007 4:58 PM

Sorry, I wrote name of direcotr Jerry Schatzberg. I woke up in the middle of the night and the first thing that struke me is that I misspelled his name.

Posted by: M. Rouda at April 9, 2007 1:44 AM

John Flynn was born in Chicago IL, March 14th 1932 and Died April 4th, 2007 in Pacific Palisades CA. He was 75.

Posted by: John Flynn (cousin) at April 10, 2007 1:11 PM

Thank you!

Posted by: David Hudson at April 10, 2007 1:51 PM

I loved and respected John Flynn I will miss him but never forget him. A very funny man who could always make me laff.

Posted by: Will "joe" Powell Friend at April 11, 2007 7:23 PM

John was a great man with an incredibly giving heart. He loved his kids, loved what he did and deeply cared for those around him. He will be truly missed.

Posted by: Gail Berman Horton at April 12, 2007 4:30 PM

This news was just given to me, and I am so saddened by it, because John Flynn was one of the Good Guys in a town where that's mighty hard to find. I wrote a screenplay that John was attached to as both director and producer, and although it was never set-up, what I learned from working with John, and his great in-put on the script, was pure gold. Although we kept in touch off-and-on, we weren't reunited until a screening of ROLLING THUNDER at the New Beverly Cinema and I was tagged to do the impromptu Q&A; John and I had a ball, and grabbed lunch the following week and we brought each other up to date. As always, he was encouraging and interested in my work and was a source of inspiration to me because he was always so decent and kind. I'll always be sorry that our film didn't happen, but I am sorrier that John is lost to all of us.

Posted by: Courtney Joyner at April 13, 2007 9:09 PM

Dearest John, There is a big void for me because you're not with us anymore. I miss you and wish I could tell you right now what a special human being I think you are in so many ways. I say "are" because in my mind, you are alive and always will be.

Posted by: Kitty Mora at April 20, 2007 2:35 PM