This article is part of Journey in Classic Film‘s 2016 Summer Under the Stars Blogathon. Thank you Kristen for including me in my first blogathon!
The picture above shows how many fans remember Tim Holt, an actor who starred in B-Westerns. Holt preferred it that way. However, Charles “Tim” John Holt Jr. started his career in a variety of roles in other genres, some of which are recognized as some of the greatest American films ever made.
Stella Dallas (1937) as Richard Grosvenor III
Tim plays the boy Anne Shirley falls in love with and later marries. It’s a small but important role. Holt is naturally part of the famous ending where Stella watches her daughter get married outside in the pouring rain. Not a bad start for a guy who was only 18 at the time.
5th Avenue Girl (1939) as Tim Borden
Tim is the spoiled son of Manhattan millionaire Walter Connolly who gets Ginger Rogers to play the part of his mistress. He has a funny scene near the end of the picture where he carries Ginger back to the house.
Back Street (1941) as Richard Saxel
Another movie where Tim doesn’t appear until the second half. Here he is the son of Charles Boyer, who has been carrying on with Margaret Sullavan for years. A good film to check out if you can.
The Magificent Ambersons (1942) as George Amberson Minafer
Orson Welles said this of Tim Holt: “One of the most interesting actors that’s ever been in American movies,” he told Peter Bogdanovich, “and he decided to be just a cowboy actor. Made two or three important pictures in his career, but was very careful not to follow them up—went straight back to bread-and-butter Westerns.” Let’s face it (and pardon my language)-George Amberson Minafer is a massive dickhead. It’s all about him and how he can benefit from it. He is so unlikable that I don’t think he could ever be redeemed, no matter what the ending says!
Hitler’s Children (1943) as Kurt Bruner
This is one weird film that is worth checking out. Tim is a conflicted Nazi Youth who falls in love with American citizen (why did her parents think it was a good idea to send their daughter to Germany to study?!!) Bonita Granville. Holt plays Karl as someone who wants to break free but realizes he is in way too deep to get out.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) as Curtin
What hasn’t been said of this wonderful, gritty film? A movie about money, greed, and what it can do to a soul. Can you fight it from overtaking you or will you succumb to it? Tim sometimes gets overshadowed by Bogart and Huston, but he gives a good performance.
His Kind of Woman (1951) as Bill Lusk
According to IMDB, this is the last non-Western Tim Holt ever made. I finally watched the movie this year, and for the life of me I cannot place him. Such is the power of Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, and Vincent Price!