MOVIE REVIEWS

Golden Boy

6/10 NR 01hr39 min

September 5, 1939

Share your thoughts. We appreciate it!

Write Review

Golden Boy in film form is almost brilliant.

Joe Bonaparte is a gifted violinist, but poverty bites hard and he tries his hand at the noble art of pugilism, he proves to be a natural and a career at the top beckons, but does he risk damaging his hands and ending his interest in another noble art?

Angst abound as this Rouben Mamoulian adaptation of the Clifford Odets play hits a dramatic spot, whilst simultaneously firmly being only of its time. It hasn't aged well, its dialogue and character portrayals quite simply would be scoffed at now, but this is 1939 and one really has to have the fortitude to appreciate the late 30s sensibilities to enhance the viewing experience.

We follow Joe Bonapart (a wonderful and fresh faced debut from William Holden) as he is torn apart by those closest to him, family pressures, love interests and spurious heavies, all combine to pull him from pillar to post. It makes for a riveting viewing, yet after two thirds of intense character build up I found the film to be something of a let down entering the final round. Those familiar with the stage version of Golden Boy will be aware of a vastly different ending to the one we get on film, and it's a shame that the makers here wasn't brave enough to give what I believe to be the ending the film deserves. Another irritant to me was the performance of Joseph Calleia as Eddie Fuseli, where there should be menace from this gangster type fellow, we instead get over the top spivery that ultimately is way too much.

Still the direction from Mamoulian perfectly frames the main characters, and Barbara Stanwyck adds a touch of class to the proceedings as the duplitious Lorna Moon. Also of note is the score from Victor Young, whilst the production value is very high indeed. Golden Boy is a film I certainly recommend to friends interested in classic cinema, but sadly to me it will always stop short of being a true classic, something I feel that the original ending would possibly have given it. 7/10

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

May 26, 2017

The fifth installment of the Disney franchise founders despite its starpower....

Movie Review: Alien Covenant

Movie Review: Alien Covenant

May 19, 2017

Astronauts make increasingly illogical decisions in latest Alien installment....

Movie Review: A Quiet Passion

Movie Review: A Quiet Passion

May 19, 2017

The life of Emily Dickinson is explored in this subtly humorous film. Cynthia...

Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

May 12, 2017

Guy Ritchie forges cockney swagger, multiple medieval legends; it's weird. Ye...

Pirates of the Caribbean Tracking for $90 Million Opening Weekend

Pirates of the Caribbean Tracking for $90 Million Opening Weekend

May 10, 2017

This May the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise returns to the silver screen ...

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 04, 2017

An entire universe of gleeful violence and a great soundtrack. He may be cute...

Movie Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

Movie Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

May 04, 2017

Being in high school is a lot like being on an island; this island just happe...

Movie Review: The Promise

Movie Review: The Promise

April 27, 2017

Hollywood takes on the Armenian genocide with mixed results. Christian Bale p...