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A Discussion of William Holden


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I haven't seen too many threads on William Holden. I've seen him in several films - my favorite was Stalag 17 and Sunset Boulevard. I also loved the I Love Lucy episode with William Holden.

 

What are your thoughts of William Holden? Also, when he was young, he was incredibly handsome and sexy. They sure don't make them like that anymore.

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Can you post a picture since I don't know who your taking about.

 

Oh, just kidding! Holden gets a fair amount of love at this forum (especially from the gals). He was a fine actor and he has starred in many first rate productions.

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He not only stared in them, but STARRED in many movies too! (sorry, James. Just couldn't resist!)

 

 

Yeah, Bill gets a lot of love around here. I once started a thread about how it seemed he always played the same kind of guy in most of his movies, but there's a lot of OTHER actors/actresses that fit that shoe.

 

 

But all in all, I too, love Holden's work. Even when the REST of the picture stinks.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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William Holden. Boy, one of my favourites. A fine actor who, especially after his "baby face" early days, matured into a tough-but-very-cool screen persona, usually cynical, intellectual, and underneath all the sardonic wit, quite decent. These were the kinds of characters he played in his heyday.

 

I really like the way his characters were often neither "good" nor "bad" but like most human beings, a mixture of both.

Some great examples for this: *Bridge on the River Kwai*, *Stalag 17*, and of course *Sunset Boulevard*.

I admired the way he could somehow convey disillusionment and optimism in one person.

 

 

He had an unmistakable voice. *Sunset Boulevard* would not have been the same without his jaded, cynical voice-over narration. And from beyond the grave, no less !

 

 

He played many great roles, and was in a lot of great movies. Too bad he isn't better-known today.

 

 

Here he is in *Stalag 17*, looking tough and bemused at the same time.

 

 

17.jpg

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Holden has always been one of my favorites. I'm not too familiar with his early work, when I think he must have been a contract player at Columbia. I've seen GOLDEN BOY, which I think was his first film, and Lee J. Cobb, who was maybe five years older than him, convicingly played his father. I vaguely remember another Holden/Cobb pairing in which Cobb was a psychiatrist and Holden a gangster, and because of some circumstance they were holed up in a house together. I don't even know what the title of that movie was. And then there was ARIZONA, a pretty good Western as I recall that paired Holden romantically with Jean Arthur. But I think that represents all the Holden films I have ever seen pre-SUNSET BOULEVARD.

 

But once the '50s rolled around, holy cow, Holden was certainly in his share of really A-list, critically acclaimed box-office bonanzas. He and Billy Wilder must have had a "bromance" for at least a brief period - Wilder used him three times in four years in SUNSET BOULEVARD, STALAG 17 and SABRINA, and Holden won an Oscar for one of them and was nonimated for another. So, it was definitely a fruitful collaboration for Holden. I don't know the backstory behind those two guys, but Wilder moved on to Jack Lemmon as his main collaborator after that.

 

But beyond the Wilder trilogy, the rest of Holden's '50s output is also impressive - EXECUTIVE SUITE, LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI, THE COUNTRY GIRL and PICNIC. I don't know what his contract situation was after his early days; a lot of his '50s films were at Paramount, but he was all over the place. It appears he must have had some autonomy by this point in his career (or he got loaned out an awful lot).

 

Then I kind of lose track of him again. He was paired with Audrey Hepburn again in that comedy where he was the blocked writer. He was of course in THE WILD BUNCH and THE TOWERING INFERNO, and he got his third Oscar nomination for NETWORK, a nice late-career nod, especially considering Peter Finch was also nominated from that movie in the same category and won. I believe his last film was Blake Edwards' S.O.B., which I saw one time on HBO when I was in seventh grade, and was only curious about it because a friend told me Maria from THE SOUND OF MUSIC got topless in it (for you youngsters, this was before the Internet - when you were a 13-year-old boy in those days, you grabbed opportunities to see nudity any chance you had).

 

So, my knowledge of his career pre-1950 and post-1960 is very sporadic. I'd like for him to be a SOTM. He probably has been, but I can't remember it if he has. Maybe I'd get a chance to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of his resume.

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sewhite, thanks for that interesting post with your take on William Holden.

 

The film you're referring to with Lee J. Cobb is *The Dark Past* (1948.) It's not all that great, but worth watching for those two actors, especially Holden. It's one of those films that was made when the concept of psychology was new to America, and Hollywood decided it would be a good subject to explore in film. They didnt' seem to know that much about it, and often simplified things.

*The Dark Past* is listed in my film noir encyclopedia as a noir.

 

Another lesser known Holden movie that's very enjoyable is *Union Station* (1950). This too, is listed as a noir, although IMO it's not very noirish. But certainly extremely engaging, suspenseful, and enjoyable. It was directed by Rudolph Mate, as was *The Dark Past.* I know little about this director, but he made at least two pretty good movies.

 

 

A side note of interest about *Union Station*: Holden's co-star in *Union Station* is Nancy Olson, who appeared with Holden in another much more famous movie from that same year, *Sunset Boulevard*.

 

 

Edit: ps: I looked up director Rudoph Mate, and discovered that he also directed one of my favourite noirs, *D.O.A.* (although this one does not have William Holden in it.)

 

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 3, 2013 11:27 AM

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I'm a big William Holden fan, too, and I guess my favorite is Executive Suite. What an all-star cast in that one! Holden, Stanwyck, March, Calhern, Paul Douglas, Pidgeon, Nina Foch, Dean Jagger, Shelley Winters and June Allyson. For those of us who appreciate the great actors of yesteryear who've slipped under today's radar, that's truly a movie to treasure.

 

I checked on The Dark Past, and though I don't have it, the plot seemed familiar. And then I noticed that it was also known as Blind Alley. I checked my holdings on that title, and found that the Holden / Cobb version was actually a remake of a pretty good but not great 1939 movie starring Ralph Bellamy (the shrink), Chester Morris (the hood), and Ann Dvorak (the conflicted moll). Now I want to see the Holden / Cobb version to see how it compares to this earlier film.

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I thought Holden's turn on the recently shown Johnny Carson series, in which he's there to plug "Network", was one of the best of the lot.

 

(...and btw, of his earlier pre-'50s stuff, I've always enjoyed his performance, along with Loretta Young's and Bob Mitchum's, in "Rachael and the Stranger")

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William Holden was always an exceptionally good-looking man, but I've never seen an actor's appearance alter as much as his did from when he was quite young to full maturity. His face looks quite different. In his early films like *Golden Boy* and *Invisible Stripes* (both from 1939), when he would have been about 20, he is a real baby-face. Take a look:

 

stan130.jpeg

 

Golden Boy

 

tumblr_mjf9jaITBi1rgalqho1_500.png

 

Invisible Stripes

 

But it didn't take long for that almost chubby little-boyish face to mature into the tough craggy Bill Holden we all know and love:

 

 

VGWA100Z.jpg

 

 

Bridge on the River Kwai

 

 

I've never seen a physical transformation from young to mature like William Holden's. Just sayin'.

 

 

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Well, ya know what they say dontcha, MissW:

 

"One ounce of an alcoholic beverage a day is medicinal, but anything over that amount will surely and eventually take its toll."

 

(...and if you watched that 1976 Carson interview last week with the then 58 year old Holden, then you know what "they say" is pretty much spot on)

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Yes, drinking did age Holden rather quickly.

 

As for "Rachael and the Stranger": I also enjoy this movie. All 3 actors are in great form. Some may find the movie too low key, but to me that is part of its charm.

 

 

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How come there's all this interest in William Holden over these last two days? What "interview" are people talking about?

 

Nothing at all about him for months, maybe years, and then all of a sudden, two threads about him appear in as many days. ? ?

 

I must be missing something, some info on TCM about him.

 

Anyway, I'm "bumping" this thread, because it was around first. No offence against the original poster of the other thread, but sometimes one is better than two (threads.)

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MissW. one of the segments of the last Carson interviews featured Johnny with William Holden, I believe that's the interview you're asking about. It aired last Monday night 7/29. Johnny interviewed Henry Fonda, Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarandon, *William Holden* , and Goldie Hawn. I think that's the reason for the threads on Holden.

 

On August 21, TCM will be featuring William Holden films all day. The William Holden interview with Carson will be shown again @ 7:45 pm.

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I strongly suspect that the single most important person in William Holden's career was Billy Wilder. Without Wilder and Sunset Boulevard, who knows where his career would have gone.

 

The Holden that I enjoy watching very much is that seasoned, cynical, increasingly ruggedly sexy Bill Holden from the '50s. His three key films and performances for me from that period being Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 and Bridge on the River Kwai, two of those Wilder productions you may note.

 

Holden's performances in the period prior to Wilder, quite frankly, don't particularly interest me, from what I've seen. He was a rather bland baby face at the beginning of his Golden Boy career (would have been far better for that 1938 film if John Garfield had got the part, I feel), and I can't say that I think he showed much of real distinction over the next decade or so. (Truth is, though, I've only seen some of his films during this rather bland career period so I'm no expert on it).

 

 

But did that ever change with Holden's casting as Joe Gillis in Boulevard, with that rich Wilder screenplay and dialogue, and Holden giving a superlative voice over narration (even for a dead guy). Holden truly is perfect in that part. He is the core of that memorable movie for me. His cynical down-to-earth everyman appeal is what keeps that dark comedy grounded, what with all the bizarre characters in it and dead monkeys (okay, make that monkey) and Gloria Swanson's deliberately over-the-top performance.

 

 

If I find Swanson's Norma Desmond a little hard to fathom at times, I completely believe in the opportunitism, the prostitution, the increasing self-loathing of Holden's struggling screenwriter characterization. And key to the actor's appeal in that role is that, no matter how unappetizing some of his activities may be, you feel that, beneath it all, he's a decent sort, a guy you're ready to like. Holden is so real in his jaded characterization. Who in an audience can't, if not identify with him, at least understand him?

 

 

The William Holden of the '50s was one of the great screen cynics in my opinion, rivalling Bogart, but with a heck of a lot more sex appeal. Somewhere I believe I read that the actor considered Sunset Boulevard to be his greatest role. Booze was not yet seriously impacting his appearance, and that, of course, became one of this man's tragedies, particularly the manner of his death. What a waste!

 

 

Fast forward, however, to 1969 and The Wild Bunch. Holden's rugged appearance tremendously adds to the credibility of his performance as the outlaw leader, Pike Bishop, in Peckinpah's then controversially violent western. Along with Robert Ryan, I think that Holden is the most commanding presence in the film, and he gives a terrific performance.

 

 

I'm glad that he had the opportunity to shine again, as the '60s had not been a great decade for his career, for the most part. (In retrospect, his greatest period was from 1950 to 1957). Holden would get a great part again, rattling off that incredibly clever Paddy Chayefsky dialogue in Network. And, just as with Sunset Boulevard, Holden was that grounding element to some sense of reality in that pungent satire of television (which, of course, maybe now seems a little tame considering the reality stuff hitting us on the boob tube today).

 

 

While Peter Finch makes the film's most indelible impression with his "I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking it anymore" rant in Network, it's Holden's aged, cynical television executive performance, with that touch of reality and his superb dialogue delivery, that I really love in the film.

 

 

William Holden had, overall, a pretty strong career, stronger than most. Yes, there was a lot of hit and miss, probably more miss than hit after the '50s. But at his best, in a Sunset Boulevard or Bridge on the River Kwai, or later, with The Wild Bunch and Network, Holden was a terrific, too often underrated performer that deserves far more recognition than he receives today.

 

 

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!

 

 

Holden's favourite role - Sunset Boulevard

 

 

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!

 

 

The Wild Bunch, where Holden's craggy features and cynical attitude gave his characterization complete authenticity

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Nice thread. Beautiful photos of Holden. He was so rugged and handsome looking.

 

I thought he was a good actor, made lots of films, but the ones that stand out to me are Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 and Bridge on the River Kwai.

 

I saw the Carson interview with Holden. He looked much older than his age. Very sad.

 

I wonder why he couldn't keep his original last name which was Beedle? If we can have a "Brad Pitt", why not a William Beedle?

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Always liked to watch Holden in films. He always appeared to have fun with every role. Kinda like the little boy with his hand in the cookie jar. I remember reading an article when he was asked what was one of the happiest times in his life. He answered when he lived next to his Mom in Palm Springs and went over to see her every morning for breakfast. and they taled about everything under the sun. I believe she outlived her son.

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lavender, thanks for the info. I did figure out it must have been Holden on last Monday's Johnny Carsen night but then, since the threads about him weren't started here until a few days later, I wasn't sure. I certainly should have realized that he was one of the "Stars" for "Summer under the Stars".

 

Nice write-up, as usual, Tom.

 

Yes, of course the Wilder films *Sunset Boulevard* and *Stalag 17* in several ways represent the peak of Holden's career. And they solidified that" cynical jaded but ultimately decent" image of Holden's. But he did make many very good films with other directors, notably with George Cukor in *Born Yesterday*.(1950, same year as *SB*.)

 

This film highlights another aspect of Holden's "persona": the sophisicate, the intellectual. One reason why I like this actor is because he always comes across as very smart, not necessarily always in that "intellectual" way, sometimes it's just tough street smarts.

 

 

But in *Born Yesterday* he is the educated, cultured urbane man, highly aware of matters such as politics and economics, and at the same time, very much an "everyman". The scenes between Holden and Judy Holiday are charming and funny. Holden does a great job of convincing us of the conflict he experiences as he realizes he's falling in love with Judy.

It's a fun, clever, little cinematic ride, and I'd say one of Holden's best films.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 4, 2013 1:37 PM

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MissW, while I would never name Born Yesterday as having one of the foremost performances of Holden's career, it is true that he is quite engaging and likeable in an unusual "egghead" piece of casting for him. And quite credible too. And, as you said, he and Judy bounced well off one another.

 

From Sunset Boulevard on, I found Holden to be a pretty consistent performer in his roles. The shame about his superb performance in Bridge on the River Kwai is that critics and public had seen him in a similar role to that just a few years before, in Stalag 17. That, plus the fact that everyone back in '57 loved Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa in their roles. The result: Holden's excellent performance didn't receive as much acclaim as it deserved.

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Yes he did. We all know that he had a problem with alcohol, but he also had an Animal Preserve in

South Africa and lived there much of the year. Tend to doubt he used much sun protection. He lived a hard, rugged life it appears, and that's going to show up on the face, and it did.

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With regards to Joe Gillis; He really is a major cad and not a decent guy but Holden has so much charm we overlook the multiple un-decent things Gillis does.

 

Joe is a noir man like Jeff in Out of the Past in that their actions shouldn't have results in their death, but Jeff only did one dishonest thing; lie to Whit that he didn't find the girl and Jeff did what he did for love.

 

Joe did many dishonest things and all because of greed and selfishness.

 

Wilder was able to utilize Holden similar to how Hitchcock utilized Grant.

 

 

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}With regards to Joe Gillis; He really is a major cad and not a decent guy but Holden has so much charm we overlook the multiple un-decent things Gillis does.

>

> Joe is a noir man like Jeff in Out of the Past in that their actions shouldn't have results in their death, but Jeff only did one dishonest thing; lie to Whit that he didn't find the girl and Jeff did what he did for love.

>

> Joe did many dishonest things and all because of greed and selfishness.

>

> Wilder was able to utilize Holden similar to how Hitchcock utilized Grant.

James, I agree. Gillis was, more or less, an opportunist and a cad, but oh so charming, so we forgive him for it (mostly). He needed money and place to hang his hat and Norma was willing to give it to him. If in return, she expected a little more than just help writing her script, well, it probably wasn't exactly torture. His only redeeming quality ws that he did eventually get disgusted with himself and what he was doing (and what it was doing to Norma) and called it quits. He reminds me a little of the characters Robt Montgomery often played in the 30's--good-looking, charming guys who are always looking for an angle, always ready to take advantage of an opening, always a little on the prowl...

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