Monday, April 02, 2018

TCM Star of the Month: William Holden

Actor William Holden was born on April 17, 1918, and this month Turner Classic Movies honors Holden as its April Star of the Month.

Holden's longtime companion, actress Stefanie Powers, will join Ben Mankiewicz to discuss Holden's life and career. Photos from her TCM shoot may be found here and here.

Holden could and did really do it all, from laugh-out-loud funny comedies to classic dramas, Westerns, romances, and war films. (Side note: Did any leading man die in as many movies as William Holden?! Something to research...)

The series begins on Monday evening, April 2nd, with Holden's debut in a leading role in GOLDEN BOY (1939) opposite Barbara Stanwyck. Holden has often credited Stanwyck for making sure his career wasn't over before it began, as he had a difficult time settling in to his performance.

The evening continues with boardroom politics in EXECUTIVE SUITE (1954), featuring an all-star cast, and another early Holden role opposite Martha Scott in OUR TOWN (1940). Incidentally, EXECUTIVE SUITE also airs on the 29th.

There's a real treat in store with the delightful Paramount comedy DEAR RUTH (1947), costarring Joan Caulfield, Mona Freeman, and Edward Arnold. It's a terrific film and not available on DVD so don't miss it!

The evening wraps up with THE FLEET'S IN (1942) with Dorothy Lamour; MISS GRANT TAKES RICHMOND (1949) with Lucille Ball; and INVISIBLE STRIPES (1940) costarring George Raft and Jane Bryan.

On April 9th the focus is on Holden classics: SUNSET BLVD. (1950), STALAG 17 (1953), and THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957).

That's followed by a pair of lesser-known war films, TOWARD THE UNKNOWN (1956) and the wonderful FORCE OF ARMS (1951). FORCE OF ARMS is a beautiful WWII romance opposite Holden's four-time costar Nancy Olson.

The night concludes with BOOTS MALONE (1952).

The 16th kicks off with the once-controversial romantic comedy THE MOON IS BLUE (1953), which was more frank than audiences were used to in 1953. It's also quite amusing. Maggie MacNamara and David Niven costar.

That's followed by THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960), which will be shown at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival with Nancy Kwan in attendance, and the classic tearjerker LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING (1955) opposite Jennifer Jones.

One of my favorite Holden films is the 20th Century-Fox film APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (1948), with Jeanne Crain in the title role. That will also air on the 16th, followed by FATHER IS A BACHELOR (1950) costarring Coleen Gray.

The 23rd features Holden in several Westerns, including John Ford's THE HORSE SOLDIERS (1959), costarring John Wayne and Constance Towers. Also airing that night: ARIZONA (1940) opposite Jean Arthur; Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH (1969); Blake Edwards' WILD ROVERS (1971); and THE MAN FROM COLORADO (1948) with Glenn Ford and Ellen Drew.

ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO (1953) is a favorite of mine; I put together a photo gallery post after seeing it at last year's Lone Pine Film Festival. He's seen here with Eleanor Parker and Richard Anderson.

I'm also very fond of RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948), which I'm past due to review here. (It needs a DVD release!) This gentle film, costarring Loretta Young and Robert Mitchum, is also being shown earlier in the month on Saturday, April 7th.

The 23rd finishes with Edward Dmytryk's ALVAREZ KELLY (1966), costarring Richard Widmark, and TEXAS (1941) opposite Glenn Ford and Claire Trevor.

The final night of the series, on April 30th, begins with the delightful comedy BORN YESTERDAY (1950), costarring Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford. Holden in glasses, falling for Holliday, is Holden at his best. I really enjoyed seeing it for the first time at last year's TCM Classic Film Festival.

Also showing on the 30th, a miscellaneous lineup including PICNIC (1956) with its classic "Moonglow" dance with Kim Novak; the Oscar-winning NETWORK (1976); and Blake Edwards' S.O.B. (1981), plus THE EARTHLING (1981), THE 7TH DAWN (1964), and THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE (1968).

For more on TCM in April 2018, please visit my post TCM in April: Highlights, along with my April preview and TCM's complete online schedule.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I am giddy with glee at the wonderful lineup saluting William Holden. And very glad to have your guide.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Intelligent and handsome, Holden must have had one of the longest careers on the screen surely? A really major star.
Pity they are not screening "BREEZY" (1973), one of Clint Eastwood's first films as a director. Years since I saw it but I certainly liked it in 1973!!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Bill O said...

DEAR RUTH has a footnote in immortality. JD Salinger saw itsmovie marquis and used its stars surnames for CATCHER IN THE RYE.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's a great month on TCM, isn't it? This Holden salute should be great.

That's an interesting bit of trivia, Bill! I didn't know that Holden Caulfield's name was inspired by the actors but it's such an unusual name that in retrospect it makes sense.

Best wishes,

9:28 AM  
Blogger Margot Shelby said...

I love Holden, but unfortunately don't have TCM. Oh well. I just reviewed Sunset BLVD, which is one of my all-time favorites, together with Stalag 17 and Bridge on the River Kwai. Dear Ruth I'm trying to track down.

I could never warm up to Rachel and the Stranger, I don't think Loretta clicked with either Holden or Mitchum (another favorite) who had a few well-chosen things to say about her.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

What, no Union Station!?
I love ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO too, this is a really nice lineup for a great actor and career.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear you don't have TCM, Margot! Hope you can enjoy a "do it yourself" Holden month instead -- you've made a good start!

UNION STATION is another good one, Kristina! He and Nancy Olson are such a good team. (Their film SUBMARINE COMMAND isn't on the schedule either, incidentally.) Fortunately I have the UNION STATION DVD, I'm due to see it again soon I think. :)

Best wishes,

11:32 AM  

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