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Father Is a Bachelor

Father Is a Bachelor(1950)

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Father Is a Bachelor (1950)

By 1950, a bitter William Holden described his career as "one static blur". Even though his bosses at both Paramount and Columbia (his contract was half-owned by each studio) made good use of his versatility by mixing up his roles, from westerns like Streets Of Laredo (1949) to comedies like Dear Wife (1948) to moody noirs like The Dark Past (1948), that same versatility worked against him, never allowing his screen persona to cement in audience's imaginations. Made during that same period of Holden's professional frustration (and heavy drinking), Father Is A Bachelor cast Holden as a traveling singer who finds himself accidental guardian for five needy orphans. While Holden carries the role gamely (helped out by performing songs dubbed by the recently deceased Buddy Clark), the critics weren't kind. Luckily for Holden, director Billy Wilder recognized how the actor "photographed like [he] could possibly have a brain in his head." and cast him in Sunset Blvd. (1950), a starmaking turn fueled and informed by all the drunken cynicism Holden had accumulated as a pawn of the Hollywood machine.

By Violet LeVoit

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