6.9/10
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39 user 17 critic

Golden Boy (1939)

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

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

Lewis Meltzer (screenplay), Daniel Taradash (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 William H. Strauss ... Mr. Carp
Don Beddoe ... Borneo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Halton ... 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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El conflicto de dos almas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play originally opened in New York on 4 November 1937 and had 250 performances. Luther Adler played Joe Bonaparte, Frances Farmer played Lorna Moon and Roman Bohnen played Tom Moody. Lee J. Cobb was also in the play as Mr. Carp. See more »

Goofs

After posing for a number of publicity photos with his chest hair in its natural state, William Holden was forced to undergo body waxing before appearing in the bare-chested fight sequences, even though the publicity photos had already received wide distribution. See more »

Quotes

Siggie: You can't insult me; I'm too ignorant!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A video version in Argentina was lifted from a 16mm print from Columbia Pictures, in English with Spanish language subtitles. The credits of this version are translated in Spanish. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Stanwyck and Holden both shine in this 1939 classic.
17 January 2002 | by allidesireSee 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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