6.9/10
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34 user 12 critic

Golden Boy (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 5 September 1939 (USA)
Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Joe Bonaparte
...
Mr. Bonaparte
...
Eddie Fuseli
...
Siggie
...
Roxy Lewis (as Edward S. Brophy)
Beatrice Blinn ...
Anna
William H. Strauss ...
Mr. Carp
...
Borneo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Newspaperman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Joe Bonaparte's father wants him to pursue his musical talent; but Joe wants to be a boxer. Persuading near-bankrupt manager Tom Moody to give him a chance, Joe quickly rises in his new profession. When he has second thoughts Moody's girl Lorna uses feminine wiles to keep him boxing. But when tough gangster Eddie Fuseli wants to "buy a piece" of Joe, Lorna herself begins to have second thoughts...for that and other reasons. Is it too late? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BETRAYED...by misled ambition...reclaimed by a musician's heart! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'esclave aux mains d'or  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia could not use Richard Carlson, its first choice for the title role, because Carlson was appearing in a Broadway play, "Stars in Your Eyes". The studio then cast William Holden in the part. See more »

Goofs

Joe's chest is completely smooth during the big fight. Immediately after the fight, when he is dressed, he has chest hair visible at the top of his shirt. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Carp: A man hits his wife, and it's the first step to fascism.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullaby (Cradle Song)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played on violin by William Holden and on piano by Beatrice Blinn
Played as background music at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stanwyck and Holden both shine in this 1939 classic.
17 January 2002 | by (Huntsville, Alabama) – See all my reviews

While 1939 has been properly established as a year of many exceptional films of the American cinema, my favorite actor, Miss Barbara Stanwyck, starred in two: The DeMille epic UNION PACIFIC, and this Clifford Odets' play-turned-movie, GOLDEN BOY. While this film is usually recognized as the one that made William Holden a star, equally famous is the story of how he would have been fired from the film during production had it not been for veteran Stanwyck sticking up for him, insisting that they give him a chance, and then helping him to be a success. There were no shortages of established leading men waiting in the wings for this coveted role, so Barbara's unselfish act forged a life-long relationship between them for which Holden thanked her with a gift of roses each year on the anniversary of the film's opening. In one review, Richard Corliss writes, "...Stanwyck godmothered the young William Holden to stardom and earned his lifelong devotion." I'm sure this real life teacher/student relationship is also mirrored in the actual drama that unfolds on the screen. In spite of their difference in age, however, it's not as vast as the Holden/Swanson relationship in SUNSET BOULEVARD, and the chemistry on Golden Boy is more evenly matched and more appealing. Furthermore, the supporting cast of Aldophe Menjou, as the boxing manager, Lee J. Cobb as Holden's dad, and Sam Levene as Holden's brother-in-law is so tightly woven that the movie has all the charm and intensity of the Broadway play on which it is based. A memorable line that Stanwyck delivers when she is luring the golden violin prodigy from practicing his scales to make some extra dough on the side as a prizefighter is, "...you take a chance the day you are born, so why stop now?" When he doesn't at first take the bait, watch out for the dated line, "I'll see you in 1966 when, by then, you may have become somebody..." Of course, thanks to Barbara, it happened in 1939. This is an extremely satisfying film suitable for the whole family.


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