Saturday, April 15, 2017

THE 2ND GOLDEN BOY BLOGATHON, A CELEBRATION OF WILLIAM HOLDEN: Boots Malone (1952)


Virginie Pronovost, our host at The Wonderful World of Cinema, is giving us her 2nd Annual Golden Boy Blogathon, A William Holden Celebration. HERE is where you will find all the tributes.

"A year ago they'd be calling him at the Ritz."

Jockey's agent Boots Malone played by William Holden is down on his luck. Three years ago, his jockey and friend died in a race. It was a complicated relationship and Boots, not being particularly good at interpersonal relationships, hasn't picked himself up from the hurt, which was piled on another long ago hurt.

The deeply buried heart of the character is surrounded by a layer of prickly cynicism. He is respected as a track man and his friends know just how close they are allowed to get. Boots is living in a stable at the Dellington Park racetrack with training rider Stash played by Stanley Clements (Going My Way, Canon City) and horse owner Preacher played by Basil Ruysdael (Raton Pass, The Horse Soldiers). Each act of kindness that Boots, almost subconsciously, makes is quickly followed by a quip or snarky remark.

Into this tight, yet informal group comes a runaway they call The Kid. The teenager played by a baby-faced Johnny Stewart is well-mannered, bright and somewhat out of place. Nonetheless, the boy loves horses and yearns for life on the track. The Kid is even willing to pay Boots to train him as a jockey which Boots takes on grudgingly, alternately using and being kind to the youngster, whose name he eventually discovers is Tommy.



Johnny Stewart, William Holden

Major conflict arises when Howard Whitehead, a businessman played by Ed Begley (12 Angry Men, Sweet Bird of Youth), who is hungry for wins, takes Preacher's beloved mare "Mother" in a claiming race. This goes against an unwritten law about taking a one horse owner's one horse away from him. The stable workers band together in a complicated plan to teach the wealthy interloper a lesson.

The plan involves Whitehead's trainer helping convince Whitehead that a "sleeper" in his stable is actually not worth keeping and to put him up for auction. The stable hands have pooled their resources to buy the horse on the prospect that Preacher is the owner of record. Boots and Stash will take on the job of training the horse to take down Whitehead in a big race at the end of the season.

The character actor faces of the stable hands match the fanciful character names, as colourful as those given to horses.  Goofy Gordon, Quarter Horse Henry, Louis the Louse, Foxy Farrow, Hancock and Spaniard. Taking the horse out of state to train, Boots, Preacher and Stash discover that the jockey they have been lacking has been under their very noses. Boots starts to train Tommy in earnest.

The training is a fascinating part of the picture as the many intricacies of riding a race horse are drilled into the boy until they become second nature. Just as they are about to cap off the plan back at Dellington Park the life that Tommy has been running from catches up with them. The culmination of Tommy and Boots emotional journey, and the exciting horse race finish of the film is both sensitive and thrilling filmmaking.

William Dieterle (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Portrait of Jennie), the German actor turned director was in charge of this and Holden's next picture, the crime drama The Turning Point. There is not a slow or draggy part in this story, yet none of it feels rushed. We are given every opportunity to soak up the racetrack atmosphere and the interesting characters who inhabit that life.

William Holden, being the actor that he was, who always holds the viewer in the palm of his hand with his pent up emotions and offhand manner, wears the character of Boots Malone like a well-tailored glove. Boots Malone has long been one of my favourites among his roles and filmography. Time has only added a lustre to my nostalgic glow.










41 comments:

  1. "William Holden, being the actor that he was, who always holds the viewer in the palm of his hand with his pent up emotions and offhand manner wears the character of Boots Malone like a well-tailored glove." I love this! One of the best descriptions of him and his acting that I've read. I watched part of this film years ago but unfortunately never finished it. You've made me eager to seek it out again. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment.

      I have movies like that in my memory where I saw a portion then had to leave or lost interest. Years later I'm usually happy that I waited to see the entire thing. I think we see or read things at the right time.

      Delete
  2. Oh my I must admit, when I saw this movie I didn't like it so much! And I'm not a fan of The Turning Point either. But, but, but, this didn't prevent me to highly appreciate your well detailed review! I agree about everything you said about Holden in your last paragraph! Actually, I think he precisely was the best think about this film. :)
    Thanks so much for your participation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting this blogathon and thank you for seeing past your dislike of the film to commend my contribution.

      Not every movie speaks to every audience. That's what makes sharing our thoughts on movies such a wonderful and interesting way to spend time.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for reviewing one of William Holden's lesser-known movies. I think he's quite good in this entertaining tale of redemption. Hopefully, TCM will show it soon because I haven't seen it in a long time. I just saw Stanley Clements in a PERRY MASON episode!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that always the way? You see a guy in one thing and he pops up in something else. Our entertainment universe is funny that way.

      I truly think this is something a lot of TCM fans would enjoy seeing on the network. Whether as something new or something they'd almost forgotten about.

      Delete
  4. Prickly cynicism disguising a deeply-buried heart - that sounds like a Holden character, all right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't sound attractive, but it is certainly relateable.

      Delete
  5. I loved the last paragraph. Well-written review of another movie I have yet to see.
    Thanks for the kind comment!
    Kisses!
    Le

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think you will find this film interesting and worthwhile.

      You're always welcome. Any kind comments you get from me are sincere.

      Delete
  6. You always introduce me to new films! I hadn't heard of this one before, but your review has encouraged me to record it the next time I see it on TCM's calendar. Bill Holden alone makes it worth a watch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that this is an introduction. That's a big part of the fun of classic movies. Indeed Holden is always watchable and here he has a character to match his intensity.

      Delete
  7. I've never seen this, but I do like horse-racing movies, so if it ever crosses my path, I will definitely give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so nice that there is a "new" track movie for you. It does a find job on the atmosphere front and I think you will like it.

      Delete
  8. Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. I am moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete
  9. I used it for a month and saw a perceptible differentiation in myself. By and by I don't shy of going out with my friends, etc. 파워볼실시간

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.  세다벳 먹튀

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. 해외배팅사이트

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your statistical data shows how many visitors you're getting to your website, where they are coming from and what keywords they are using to find your online property. 안전공원

    ReplyDelete
  13. I should thank you for the undertakings you have made in making this article. I am confiding in a similar best work from you later on as well.. masa sandalye kiralama

    ReplyDelete
  14. Celebrity. Not only can joining online casino game sites seem like an easy way to gain a whole lot of money, it is now also seen as a way to get recognition. premium gambling domains

    ReplyDelete
  15. I found your site perfect for me. It comprises of brilliant and valuable posts. I've perused huge numbers of them and furthermore got such a great amount from them. As far as I can tell, you do the genuinely amazing.Truly i'm intrigued out of this distribute click here

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have bookmarked your website because this site contains valuable information in it. I am really happy with articles quality and presentation. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  17. This blog was extremely helpful. I really appreciate your kindness in sharing this with me and everyone else! legendary pokemon

    ReplyDelete
  18. Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.Feel free to visit my site
    토토

    ReplyDelete
  19. 스포츠토토 I love what yyou guys are up too. This kinnd of clever work and coverage! Keep up tthe good works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.Also visit my web blog

    ReplyDelete
  20. 온라인카지노 Hello Dear, are you actually visiting this web page on a regular basis, if so afterward
    you will absolutely obtain pleasant knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, 온라인카지노사이트 just wanted to say excellent blog!My webpage

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was satisfied to discover this site.I needed to thank you for this incredible read!! I unquestionably getting a charge out of each and every piece of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post. Joker123

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like this post,And I assume that they having an incredible time to examine this post,they may take a good site to make an information,thanks for sharing it to me. York St John University London Campus

    ReplyDelete
  24. With a better understanding of what a ISO agent program is and how they work, you’ll be able to pick the best for you and ensure you have all sales tools at your disposal. North American American ISO Program

    ReplyDelete
  25. CASINO EN DIRECT - TOPSEOM
    LIVE MAXIM MAXIM MAXIM MAXIM a été atteint
    Baccarat vivant, noir, orge, nouvelle expérience.

    LIVE카지노

    온라인바카라

    우리카지노

    바카라사이트

    카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is a great item, considering all the data about it, this kind of item that anticipates client enthusiasm for the site, and you will share more ... good karma. joker123

    ReplyDelete
  27. I discovered your site ideal for me. It consists of wonderful and useful posts. I've read many of them and also got so much from them. In my experience, you do the truly amazing.Truly i'm impressed out of this publish Blackout Window Cover

    ReplyDelete
  28. The answer is tannin. Tannin is a natural vegetable dye present in bark and plants like grape skin. Coffee Reviews

    ReplyDelete
  29. I blog often and I truly appreciate your content.
    야설
    Feel free to visit my blog :
    야설

    ReplyDelete
  30. This website really has all of the info I needed concerning this subject 일본야동
    Feel free to visit my blog : 일본야동

    ReplyDelete
  31. I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    국산야동
    Feel free to visit my blog : 국산야동

    ReplyDelete
  32. 28.50-PM-768x501.png 768w, https://www.laweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Screen-Shot-2021-06-01-at-1. If you have limited time away from management, a liquid mixture might be more practical Visit: https://www.urineworld.com/

    ReplyDelete

HALLOWE'EN ON REMAKE AVENUE: Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1932 and Phantom of the Rue Morgue, 1954

  Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) changed the literary landscape and the reading habits of generations forever with his creation of the logicall...