IMDb > Golden Boy (1939)
Golden Boy
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Golden Boy (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Lewis Meltzer (screenplay) &
Daniel Taradash (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Golden Boy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 September 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Famous Play.....Now A Great Picture! See more »
Plot:
Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
NewsDesk:
(33 articles)
Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of Barbara Stanwyck
 (From MUBI. 6 December 2013, 11:00 AM, PST)

'Chuck' And 'Smash' Stars Head To Broadway
 (From Huffington Post. 20 May 2013, 9:27 AM, PDT)

Two Movie Toms Up for Broadway Award
 (From Alt Film Guide. 30 April 2013, 5:41 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Dated, But Effective See more (34 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbara Stanwyck ... Lorna Moon

Adolphe Menjou ... Tom Moody

William Holden ... Joe Bonaparte

Lee J. Cobb ... Mr. Bonaparte

Joseph Calleia ... Eddie Fuseli
Sam Levene ... Siggie
Edward Brophy ... Roxy Lewis (as Edward S. Brophy)
Beatrice Blinn ... Anna
William H. Strauss ... Mr. Carp

Don Beddoe ... Borneo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Halton ... Newspaperman (scenes deleted)
Stanley Andrews ... Driscoll, Fight Official (uncredited)
Gordon Armitage ... Fighter (uncredited)
Earl Askam ... Policeman (uncredited)
Al Bayne ... Fighter (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Reporter (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Ill Ringsider Who Won't Leave (uncredited)
Irving Cohen ... Ex-Pug (uncredited)
Eddie Coke ... Photographer (uncredited)

Dorothy Comingore ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Onest Conley ... Jimmy, Chocolate Drop's Brother (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing ... Reporter (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Reporter Wilson (uncredited)

Tommy Garland ... Fighter (uncredited)
Mickey Golden ... Fighter (uncredited)
Alfred Grant ... Daniel, Chocolate Drop's Older Brother (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Fighter (uncredited)
James 'Cannonball' Green ... Chocolate Drop (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Ringsider (uncredited)
Sam Hayes ... Broadcaster (uncredited)
Frank Jenks ... Pepper White (uncredited)
Anne Kay ... Fat Woman (uncredited)
John Kerns ... Fighter (uncredited)

Charles Lane ... Reporter Drake (uncredited)
Al Lang ... Fight Second (uncredited)
Ian McEwing ... Referee (uncredited)
Larry McGrath ... Referee (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Alex Melesh ... Stranger (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Fight Spectator Rapidly Chewing Gum (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Guard (uncredited)
Roy Moore ... Lucky Nelson (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Ring Announcer (uncredited)
Charles Randolph ... Referee (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Extra in Moody's New Office (uncredited)
Clinton Rosemond ... Chocolate Drop's Father (uncredited)
Robert Ryan ... Referee (uncredited)
Syd Saylor ... Ringsider Next to Pa Bonaparte (uncredited)
Cy Schindell ... Fighter (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Reporter Saying 'That's Too Bad' (uncredited)

Robert Sterling ... Elevator Boy (uncredited)
Landers Stevens ... Ringsider with Ill Woman (uncredited)
Jack Stewart ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Referee (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Mickey, Pepper White's Handler (uncredited)
Minerva Urecal ... Grocery Customer (uncredited)
Dave Willock ... Arena Call Boy (uncredited)
John Wray ... Chocolate Drop's Manager (uncredited)
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Directed by
Rouben Mamoulian 
 
Writing credits
Lewis Meltzer (screenplay) &
Daniel Taradash (screenplay) &
Sarah Y. Mason (screenplay) &
Victor Heerman (screenplay)

Clifford Odets (play)

Produced by
William Perlberg .... producer
 
Original Music by
Victor Young 
 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund (director of photography)
Nicholas Musuraca (director of photography) (as Nick Musuraca)
 
Film Editing by
Otto Meyer 
 
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
 
Makeup Department
Hollis Donahue .... hair stylist: Barbara Stanwyck (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gene Anderson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George Cooper .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Donald W. Starling .... montage (as D.W. Starling)
 
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Abe Roth .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
To convincingly portray a boxer who was also a violinist, William Holden took boxing and violin lessons all day every day for a week before production began. He continued to prepare during the 11 weeks of filming by boxing two hours daily and practicing the violin for 1-1/2 hours each night so his fingering of the instrument would be convincing.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Lorna Moon:I'll make him fight.
Tom Moody:[with anger] How?
Lorna Moon:How? Oh, leave it to me Tom.
[pause]
Lorna Moon:I'm a dame from Newark, and I know a dozen ways.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Head (1968)See more »
Soundtrack:
Lullaby (Cradle Song)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Dated, But Effective, 28 March 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

The acclaimed play by Clifford Odets, Golden Boy, ran for 250 performances during the 1937-1938 season on Broadway and as Columbia had now pulled itself into the big leagues of studios in Hollywood, Harry Cohn was able to bid for this much heralded property right up there with Mayer, Zanuck, and Zukor.

The problem was that the one guy who could have played it best, John Garfield, was over at another studio. Garfield was in the original cast on Broadway, but in the role of the brother-in-law Siggie that Sam Levene plays here. Eventually however Garfield did play the title role in a revival on Broadway in 1952, it was the last thing he did.

When I lived in New York, I saw a revival of Clifford Odets's Awake and Sing on stage and the left wing nostrums of the day were dated in the Reagan years of the Eighties. Golden Boy is similarly dated. Yet the performances in the film still hold up to some degree.

When Harry Cohn couldn't get Tyrone Power loaned out from 20th Century Fox, he decided to go for an unknown. Director Rouben Mamoulian while testing actresses for the sister part that eventually went to Bernice Blinn, he spotted a young actor who had just done two tiny bit parts in Paramount features feeding lines to the actress whose test it was. Mamoulian persuaded Cohn to call off the search and William Holden's career was launched.

It's legendary now how Barbara Stanwyck worked and rehearsed with Holden endlessly to make sure he scored a success in his feature film debut. Holden paid a heartfelt tribute to her at an Oscar ceremony and when she got her Lifetime Achievement Oscar she dedicated it to him.

It's legendarily unselfish of Stanwyck to do what she did in a town and industry where egos are gargantuan. Unselfish, but also practical. She knew that if he flopped in the lead the film would have gone down the toilet and it wouldn't do her career any good.

The only player from the original cast on Broadway to come to Hollywood was Lee J. Cobb. And not in the part he played on Broadway, on Broadway he was the neighbor Mr. Carp, in the film he's made up to be older as Cobb often was as Bill Holden's father. This set a pattern in his career.

Two other performances of note are Adolphe Menjou as Holden's manager and Joseph Calleia as the gangster Fusselli who buys into Holden's contract.

This story of a Depression kid who had a choice between a career in the ring and a career playing the violin had to be heavily rewritten for the screen. The adulterous relationship between the married Menjou whose wife we never see and Stanwyck was barely mentioned. And Stanwyck's own character was cleaned up quite a bit, in the original play she's more of a tramp than here.

My guess is that Golden Boy would have to be heavily rewritten if it were updated for today. The critical success, but financial failure of Ron Howard's Cinderella Man which was a true story of a heavyweight champion in the Depression found no audience today.

Though it's dated badly, the sincerity of the performances do come through and it's easy to see why William Holden became the star he was.

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