6.9/10
1,494
37 user 13 critic

Golden Boy (1939)

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

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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:
... Lorna Moon
... Tom Moody
... Joe Bonaparte
... Mr. Bonaparte
... Eddie Fuseli
... Siggie
... Roxy Lewis (as Edward S. Brophy)
... 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:

A Famous Play.....Now A Great Picture! 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:

El conflicto de dos almas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Rouben Mamoulian wanted the play's author Clifford Odets to write the screenplay. Odets refused, because years earlier Mamoulian, when directing a play in New York, had refused to give Odets a part in the play. 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

Siggie: You can't insult me; I'm too ignorant!
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.89 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Funiculi, Funicula
Traditional Italian song
Music by Luigi Denza
Lyrics by Peppino Turco
Played on piano by Beatrice Blinn
Sung by Lee J. Cobb, William H. Strauss, William Holden and others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
GOLDEN BOY (Rouben Mamoulian, 1939) ***
29 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

Notable for being William Holden's debut (he was just 21 and looks almost like a schoolboy!), this dated melodrama was adapted from a popular play by Clifford Odets dealing with a young man conflicted about which path to take in his life: a respected artistic career playing the violin and the more alluring celebrity (which also reaps instant monetary rewards) as a prizefighter. His Italian immigrant father (Lee J. Cobb, whose mannered performance has been especially criticized) obviously wants the boy to follow his musical instincts, but the pull of the ring is too great – more so because through it he meets and falls for Barbara Stanwyck, actually his manager (Adolphe Menjou)'s fiancée. Though initially acting under the latter's instructions, she eventually tries to dissuade him from fighting, particularly when gangster Joseph Calleia (another fine showcase for the Maltese character actor) takes Holden under his wing. The climax sees the hero winning the championship bout but at the cost of his black opponent's life and his own left hand; with the help of Stanwyck (realizing she really loves the boxer, Menjou relinquishes her) the "Golden Boy" stands up to his new boss – interestingly, Calleia lets him off rather too easily here when compared to similar films of later vintage! The film is pretty good (with equally solid support from Sam Levene as Holden's struggling cab driver brother-in-law) though betraying its stage origins by relegating the boxing matches to only a brief montage until the not very imaginatively handled finale; in hindsight, it's curious to find this cinematically lacking given the involvement of Mamoulian and his reputation as one of the most creative directors of the early Talkie era!


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