GOLDEN BOY (1939) B/W 99m dir: Rouben Mamoulian

w/Barbara Stanwyck, William Holden, Aldolphe Menjou, Lee J. Cobb, Joseph Calleia, Sam Levene, Edward Brophy, Beatrice Blinn, William H. Strauss, Don Beddoe

From The Movie Guide: "Not strictly faithful to [Clifford] Odets [who wrote the play the film was based on], but GOLDEN BOY nonetheless captures his drama's spirit of proletarian angst, propelled by the extraordinary performances of Barbara Stanwyck and William Holden in his first major role.

"Joe Bonaparte (Holden), a gifted violinist, is forced by poverty to enter the ring, where he proves to be a talented boxer even though he seemingly pulls his punches, afraid of damaging his musician's hands and ending the dream for which his immigrant father (Lee J. Cobb) has sacrificed so much. Lorna Moon (Stanwyck), the girlfriend of Joe's manager (Adolphe Menjou), is given the task of persuading Joe to give up his musical aspirations. ...

"The film manages to reveal a silver-lined ending than is far more upbeat than Odets's suicide finale. Just the same, Rouben Mamoulian does a wonderful job of retaining the essential story and basic character, building beautifully on both through his careful scenes; his direction of the brutal but realistic fight scenes adds much to the film's power. Menjou and Cobb offer excellent support, but this film belongs to Stanwyck and to Holden, the 21-year-old unknown who was chosen for the part over John Garfield who created the role in the original Group Theater production."

GOLDEN BOY was nominated for an Oscar for Best Score (Victor Young).