Golden Boy

Golden Boy

5.0 1
Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Lee J. Cobb

     
 

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Director Rouben Mamoulian often claimed that he'd been inspired to make Golden Boy after reading a newspaper clipping about a recently deceased boxer. While Mamoulian may have genuinely believed that he was the true "auteur" of Golden Boy, he probably wouldn't have made the picture at all had not Clifford Odets started the ball rolling by writing the

Overview

Director Rouben Mamoulian often claimed that he'd been inspired to make Golden Boy after reading a newspaper clipping about a recently deceased boxer. While Mamoulian may have genuinely believed that he was the true "auteur" of Golden Boy, he probably wouldn't have made the picture at all had not Clifford Odets started the ball rolling by writing the property for the stage in 1936. In his first starring role, William Holden plays Joe Bonaparte, a promising young boxer. While boxing promoter Tom Moody (Adolphe Menjou) and Menjou's mistress Lorna Moon (Barbara Stanwyck) urge Joe to pursue a ring career, Joe's Italian father (played with a surfeit of Chico Marx by 27-year-old Lee J. Cobb) wants his boy to become a famous violinist. Moody tells Lorna to romance the boy to get him into the ring. She does so, but regrets her callous actions when she genuinely falls in love with Joe. Having already broken his father's heart, Joe is further devastated when he accidentally kills a ring opponent. In the original play, both Joe and Lorna pay for their "sins" by dying in an auto accident. This would never do in Hollywood, so at fadeout time the chastened Joe returns to his forgiving father, with a tearful Lorna by his side. Clifford Odets' overrated purple prose seems to flow naturally from the actors, though it is obvious that William Holden had a long way to go. Still, Holden is pretty good in his first bonafide lead, a fact that he would ever after attribute to the patience and encouragement of his co-star Barbara Stanwyck; each year on the anniversary of Golden Boy's Hollywood premiere, Holden would send Stanwyck flowers as a sign of his eternal gratitude. While much of Golden Boy seems like a cliche-ridden museum piece when seen today, the film comes to life during the boxing sequences, helmed in exciting montage fashion by the always innovative Rouben Mamoulien.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Golden Boy is mostly remembered today for being William Holden's entry into Hollywood stardom, but at the time of its release it was an anxiously awaited cinematic version of an acclaimed and important drama by Broadway's hot playwright, Clifford Odets. Holden's performance has held up considerably better than the source material, which is filled with dated jargon, oversimplified situations, cliches (including one -- the prizefighter with the soul of an artist -- that it helped popularize) and pasteboard plotting. Fortunately, the basic theme -- what is a person willing to sacrifice to achieve success? -- doesn't grow old, which helps the film enormously. Holden doesn't quite have the acting chops at this stage in his career that the role requires, but he's strong enough and close enough to the right track to make the viewer overlook the occasional awkwardness. Barbara Stanwyck is on the money as the good/bad girl, and the chemistry between the two stars is dynamite. The supporting cast is also good, with the exception of Lee J. Cobb's father, which is played exactly as the stereotype that it is. Otherwise, Rouben Mamoulian handles the cast very well and keeps the pace up. There are relatively few of his trademark visual flourishes, except for the boxing sequences that seethe with a life and vitality that threaten to jump off the screen. Dated it may be, but Golden Boy still packs enough of a punch to make it worthwhile.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2014
UPC:
0683904533470
Original Release:
1939
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mill Creek Ent
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
23,323

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Lorna Moon
Adolphe Menjou Tom Moody
Lee J. Cobb Mr. Bonaparte
Joseph Calleia Eddie Fuseli
Sam Levene Siggie
Edward S. Brophy Roxy Lewis
Beatrice Blinn Anna
William Strauss Mr. Carp
Don Beddoe Borneo
Earl Askam Cop
Don Brodie Actor
Onest Conley Actor
Alfred Grant Daniel
Joe Gray Fighter
James "Cannonball" Green Chocolate Drop
Charles Halton Newspaperman
John Harmon Actor
George Lloyd Gambler
Pat McKee Actor
Bruce Mitchell Guard
Charles Randolph Actor
Sid Saylor Actor
Charles Sherlock Actor
Landers Stevens Actor
Charles Sullivan Referee
Bob Ryan Actor
Mickey Golden Actor
William Holden Joe Bonaparte
John Wray Manager-barker
Charles Lane Drake
Harry Tyler Mickey
Stanley Andrews Driscoll
Robert Sterling Elevator Boy
Clinton Rosemond Father
Alex Melesh Stranger
Minerva Urecal Costumer
Lee Phelps Announcer
Larry McGrath Referee
Sam Hayes Broadcaster
Howard Da Silva Man in audience with Siggie
Frank Jenks Pepper White
Eddie Fetherstone Wilson
Dora Clement Actor

Technical Credits
Rouben Mamoulian Director
Lionel Banks Art Director
George Cooper Sound/Sound Designer
Karl W. Freund Cinematographer
Victor Heerman Screenwriter
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Kolloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Sarah Y. Mason Screenwriter
Lewis Meltzer Screenwriter
Otto Meyer Editor
Nick Musuraca Cinematographer
William Perlberg Producer
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Daniel Taradash Screenwriter
Victor Young Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Golden Boy
1. Chapter 1 [30:07]
2. Chapter 2 [33:39]
3. Chapter 3 [35:00]
4. Chapter 4 [:25]

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Golden Boy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago