Tag Archives: William Holden

“I don’t really know why, but danger has always been an important thing in my life – to see how far I could lean without falling, how fast I could go without cracking up.” — William Holden

It’s his birthday today. In a career of famous roles in famous films, I think his best – and perhaps most characterstic and essence-driven – of his roles is Sgt. J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17. Sefton has not just a … Continue reading

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Talking 1953 movies with Jason Bailey and Mike Hull: A Very Good Year podcast

My pal Jason Bailey and his pal Mike Hull host a fascinating podcast called A Very Good Year, which they describe as: “Each week we invite a guest (filmmakers and actors, critics and historians, comedians and musicians) who loves movies, … Continue reading

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June 2023 Viewing Diary

Succession (2018-2023) I finally watched, having somehow resisted the DEAFENING buzz over the last couple of years. I like Jeremy Strong, liked his small moment in Zero Dark Thirty, he totally stood out in The Big Short (directed by one … Continue reading

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Sidney Lumet: Excerpts from Making Movies

It’s Sidney Lumet’s birthday. Here are many excerpts from his classic and invaluable film-making handbook Making Movies: In Murder on the Orient Express, I wanted Ingrid Bergman to play the Russian Princess Dragomiroff. She wanted to play the retarded Swedish … Continue reading

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Podcast: The Last Thing I Saw: Focus on Billy Wilder

It was so much fun appearing on Nicolas Rapold’s “The Last Thing I Saw” to discuss Billy Wilder. The other guests were Farran Smith Nehme (a good friend of mine), and Steven Mears. The inspiration to discuss Billy Wilder was … Continue reading

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April 2021 Viewing Diary

Jewel Robbery (1932; d. William Dieterle) This glittering pre-Code, starring William Powell as a jewel thief, and Kay Francis as a married woman in love with her jewels, is such a subversive delight. Powell is devastatingly charming and Francis is … Continue reading

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Present Tense: Death Scenes

William Holden, “Sunset Boulevard” For my next “Present Tense” column at Film Comment, I wrote about a long-time obsession – which I have covered from time to time here on my site: Actors performing death scenes. And a tribute to … Continue reading

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Francois Truffaut on Sgt. J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17

This is, perhaps, the best analysis of that character, played by William Holden, that I have ever read. Sefton is intelligent; that’s why he acts as he does. For the first time in films the philosophy of the solitary man … Continue reading

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Movie Poster: The Wild Bunch

I’ve always really liked this image. Ominous, a bit of a throwback, but with a modern spin on it as well.

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Golden Boy: The Youthful Curly-Haired Beauty of William Holden

… as boxer/violinist Joe Bonaparte in Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy (1939):

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