Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Stanwyck may headline Golden Boy, but it's William Holden who shines the most.
Another golden film from that golden year of 1939 is Golden Boy, starring Barbara Stanwyck (my classic movie goddess of the month) and introducing William Holden in his first major starring role as boxer/violinst Joe Bonaparte. And what a performance Holden gives. He is truly electrifying as the hot tempered but music loving Joe who is torned between boxing, which he is really good at, and playing the violin, which he is even better at. Enter Tom Moody (played by Adolphe Menjou) as his boxing promoter, who decides to put Joe into a fight when his regular fighter is injured during a practice bout with Joe ironically enough. Moody is not really game to do it, until his long suffering girlfriend Lorna Moon (Stanwyck) convinces him otherwise. Lorna sees Joe as her meal ticket to win some fights and make Tom some money, so he can finally divorce his wife and marry her. The plan is going well until Joe's father gets wind and doesn't like the fact that Joe has all but given up on music. The father is played by Lee J. Cobb, who gives a strong performance as well.