MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 958 this week

Golden Boy (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  5 September 1939 (USA)
6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,226 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 13 critic

Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 210 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 12 Mar 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 07 Jul 2014
 
list image
a list of 43 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Golden Boy" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Golden Boy (1939)

Golden Boy (1939) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Golden Boy.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After one member of their group is murdered, the performers at a burlesque house must work together to find out who the killer is before they strike again.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Michael O'Shea, J. Edward Bromberg
Shopworn (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A poor but honest and hardworking waitress from way across the tracks meets and falls in love with a college student from the upper-stuffy class, but the Mama of the intended objects to the... See full summary »

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Regis Toomey, Zasu Pitts
Union Pacific (1939)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff
Drama | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A 100-year-old pioneer woman tells her story in flashbacks.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy
Tight Spot (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sherry Conley, a street tough and cynical woman with an unhappy family background, is taken from prison to a hotel, where the DA tries to convince her to testify against a mobster. Sherry ... See full summary »

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Edward G. Robinson, Brian Keith
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Shelby Barrett (Barbara Stanwyck) rides show horses for wealthy widow "Nicko" Nicholas (Genevieve Tobin)and meets Johnny Wyatt (Gene Raymond), scion of a once-wealthy Long Island Family, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Raymond, Genevieve Tobin
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori
Stella Dallas (1937)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A low-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In his first film, young Dr. Kildare helps a female ex-con find her child.

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Lloyd Nolan
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman must decide between two men - one she loves, the other she admires and respects.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Herbert Marshall, Ian Hunter
Edit

Cast

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

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:

The romantic stage success that captured a nation... is now a great motion picture See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden was knocked unconscious one day while boxing on the set with James 'Cannonball' Green. He thought the footage of the knockout would be spectacular but director Rouben Mamoulian said it couldn't be used because it didn't look real. Holden recalled that, real or not, his head ached for a week. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Eddie Fuseli visits the new office, Lorna is seen sitting on the desk with a half-smoked cigarette although she had no cigarette earlier in the scene. At the beginning of the scene, she was holding a snifter and shot glass. Then Siggie gives her a roll of money. Eddie walks in, Lorna sits on the corner of the desk holding the cash with both hands. 48 seconds later Eddie looks at Lorna, who is holding the money in her left hand and cigarette in her right hand which looks like it must have been lit for at least a minute when compared to the length of Eddie's just lit cigarette. Lorna was not shown getting off the desk and nobody walked over to give her a cigarette or even to light it. A moment later, Eddie and Lorna are standing next to each other and Eddie's cigarette is shorter than Lorna's even though his was lit after or at the same time as Lorna's. See more »

Quotes

Joe Bonaparte: [Last Lines] Poppa, I've come home.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Boxing at the Movies: Kings of the Ring (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

We're in the Money Now
Sung a cappella by Adolphe Menjou to the tune of the traditional
nursery rhyme "The Farmer in the Dell"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A golden boy plays a golden boy
28 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Clifford Odets' play about a musician turned boxer was a natural for Hollywood, which has always loved boxing movies. Perhaps subliminally, Odets was inspired by the Fannie Hurst "Humoresque," first made into a film in 1920. When "Golden Boy" was done in 1938 as a production of the Group Theater, John Garfield hoped to play the role of Joe Bonaparte and was disappointed when the lead went instead to Luther Adler, with Garfield relegated to the role of Siggie. Garfield rectified this in 1952 when he played the lead on Broadway and also had his chance to play a boxer in "Body and Soul" and a violinist in "Humoresque." Tony Curtis is another who did the part of Joe as a young actor before going to Hollywood.

There are two ways of casting this role - the Garfield way - the streetwise fighter who happens to be a gifted violinist, or the reverse

  • the gentle violinist who just happens to be a gifted fighter. The


latter is more interesting, as the audience is then able to see how the fight world changes an artistic soul.

Columbia took this route and chose 27-year-old Richard Carlson for the role, but he was appearing on Broadway at the time. After testing nearly everyone, the studio put 21-year-old William Holden in the role. His was a new face and a pretty one - he certainly didn't look like a fighter. A part like this for someone who had two uncredited film appearances had to have been like winning Scarlett O'Hara and just as daunting; were it not been for the help and intervention of Barbara Stanwyck, who played Lorna (originally done on stage by Frances Farmer) Holden would have been fired.

The theme of following your heart, so often explored by Eugene O'Neill, is another overriding theme in this story, with the character of Joe Bonaparte torn between his love for playing the violin and the appeal of making money as a fighter and being somebody. Joe comes from an immigrant family who all live together - seen so often in films from the '30s and '40s -- again, "Humoresque" comes to mind. This immediately dates the film and puts it right into its period. The other thing that dates it is the over the top performance of Lee J. Cobb as Joe's dad. Cobb was in the original play on Broadway but as another character; he would repeat his role as the father in the Garfield production. Undoubtedly this characterization worked better on stage and definitely worked better for a '30s audience.

William Holden gives a tender performance as Joe, an artist at heart who falls for his manager's girlfriend. Like Glenn Ford, he had one of those faces that changed so totally that he isn't even recognizable as William Holden in this film - even his voice is different. He's young, beautiful, with an unlined face and a higher voice. His performance opened up light leading man roles for him. It wasn't until 1950 that he had his second breakthrough film, "Sunset Boulevard" - which vaulted him into superstardom. That William Holden was virile, rugged, and handsome. It's an amazing transformation. Stanwyck is perfect as Lorna Moon - tough, sexy, and a marshmallow underneath. Her chemistry with Holden is excellent. He never forgot how much she helped him, and sent her roses each time she started a new film.

"Golden Boy" was turned into a Broadway musical as well - there's something enduring about the story of a man's struggle to find his true destiny. This is as good an example of that struggle as you'll find anywhere.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
21 y.o. Bill Holden emailtb-1
WHERE'S THE BOXING?!?! wbs5
Real life gangster - Irving 'Big Gangy' Cohen lb2121
DVD: 11/13/07 Wailmer1990
Discuss Golden Boy (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?