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Golden Boy (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  5 September 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,247 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 13 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Golden Boy (1939)

Golden Boy (1939) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Joe Bonaparte
Mr. Bonaparte
Eddie Fuseli
Sam Levene ...
Edward Brophy ...
Roxy Lewis (as Edward S. Brophy)
Beatrice Blinn ...
William H. Strauss ...
Mr. Carp
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Newspaperman (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Famous Play.....Now A Great Picture! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'esclave aux mains d'or  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Clifford Odets wrote his play, he had John Garfield in mind for the Joe Bonaparte part, but the Group Theatre company chose Luther Adler instead. Shortly afterward, Garfield left the Group Theater and was Hollywood bound. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in Cheers: Golden Boyd (1989) See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

"I'm my mothers girl"
15 April 2002 | by (Corrales, NM) – See all my reviews

Well-written and well-acted vehicle serves as William Holden's entree to stardom. He was just 21 and is easier to recognize in his opening scene by his voice rather than his boyish looks and longish hair. Regardless of what it took to get him to give this performance, it is one that will be long remembered. Barbara Stanwyck plays the tough cookie who discovers she has a heart of gold, reminiscent of her role later perfected in "Meet John Doe." When asked if she was Adolphe Menjou's girl, Barbara replies "I'm my mother's girl." Great cast of supporting character actors add to enjoyment of a solid production whose best scenes involve family and not the ring. Good camera work, especially of those fight scenes, excellent sets, and great direction make this a surprisingly good night's entertainment. I avoided it for years thinking this was just another fight movie -- it is not -- and am now sorry that I waited.

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