Sunday, July 06, 2008

William Holden Retrospective

The Lincoln Center Film Society is celebrating the career of Hollywood "Golden Boy" William Holden. There is a nice article at the museum of moving image website too which explains what made him a little different from his contemporary actors, even those who specialised in playing unlikable leading men and anti-heroes, like Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas (Ace in the Hole), Montgomery Clift (The Heiress, A Place in the Sun).

Such is the nature of our intimate, carking, rueful relationship with William Holden, on the surface one of the Hollywood century's typical all-purpose leading men, but beneath it the keeper of poisoned secrets, and a living embodiment of America's postwar self-doubt and idealistic failure. He seethed with disappointment as a persona, and we all knew what he meant. Holden was the anti-Duke, an avatar of hopelessness, shrouded in the smiling physique of an all-American boyo. For every high school football star turned pot-bellied gym teacher, every prom queen turned food-stamp mom, and every good-hearted B student turned Cracker Barrel waiter, Holden was the walking, talking, growling truth, in a sea of showbiz lies.

He played lots of normal characters too but I guess the "Joe Gillis" persona from Sunset Blvd is what has stuck with him.

I haven't seen a lot of his films yet, specially The Wild Bunch one of his most famous films.

Here is a video report on the retrospective...

1 comment:

km said...

The man was a real star (but not a very happy man, apparently.)