Golden Boy (film)

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Golden Boy
Original poster
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Produced by Rouben Mamoulian
William Perlberg
Written by Lewis Meltzer
Daniel Taradash
Sarah Y. Mason
Victor Heerman
Clifford Odets (play)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck
Adolphe Menjou
William Holden
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca
Karl Freund
Edited by Otto Meyer
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 5, 1939 (1939-09-05) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Golden Boy is a 1939 drama romance film based on the Clifford Odets play of the same name. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, The film stars Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou and William Holden.


William Holden and Lee J. Cobb in Golden Boy

Golden Boy features William Holden in his film debut, the role that made him a star: a promising violinist who wants to be a boxer. Barbara Stanwyck plays his love interest. The supporting cast includes Lee J. Cobb in an unusual role as the bewhiskered Italian immigrant father of Holden's character.

The producers were initially unhappy with Holden's work and tried to dismiss him, but Stanwyck insisted that he be retained. Thirty-nine years later, when Holden and Stanwyck were joint presenters at the 1978 Academy Awards, he interrupted their reading of a nominee list to publicly thank her for saving his career.



Victor Young received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.[1]


On January 7, 1940, Stanwyck performed a parody of Golden Boy on The Jack Benny Program.[2]


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