Is This What Holden Caulfield Looks Like?

Or just a phony actor? You decide.

1. In Chapter 13 of The Catcher In The Rye

…Holden is talking with a prostitute named Sunny in his hotel room. Sunny has taken off her dress and Holden is trying to back out of sex with her, making excuses.

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2. Sunny sits on Holden’s lap and changes the subject…

“You look like that guy in the movies. You know. Whosis. You know who I mean.”
“I don’t know,” I said. She wouldn’t get off my goddamn lap.
“Sure you know. He was in that pitcher with Mel-vine Douglas. The one that was Mel-vine Douglas’s kid brother? That falls off this boat? You know who I mean.”
– The Catcher In The Rye, J.D Salinger / Little Brown

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3. According to author Peter Beidler, that movie is “Captains Courageous” (1937) starring Spencer Tracy.

Doctor Macro / Via

Beidler first made the connection in his book A Reader’s Companion to J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”.

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4. This is Freddie Bartholomew, the boy who falls off the boat in “Captains Courageous”

Wikipedia / Via

In the eyes of Sunny, at least, this is what Holden looks like.

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5. What do you think?

Here he is a little older, closer to Holden’s age.

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6. Does the Holden you picture look like Freddie Bartholomew?

Judy Garland, Freddie Bartholomew / Via

Maybe, with a red hunting cap worn backwards, a cigarette, a scowl…

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It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true. People always think something’s all true.

– Holden Caulfield
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