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.

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

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

Doctor Macro / Via doctormacro.com

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

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

Wikipedia / Via en.wikipedia.org

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

5. What do you think?

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

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

Judy Garland, Freddie Bartholomew / Via acertaincinema.com

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

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

– Holden Caulfield

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