The following article on The Counterfeit Traitor was written by Juliet Campbell, a huge William Holden fan!
Erik Erichson was a reluctant spy…much like William Holden was a reluctant participant at first to take on the role. But the lure of visiting distant European countries was a magnet to him.
No disagreement then that Eric Erichson was at the beginning the reluctant spy executing a selfish act to save his business and William Holden played the part perfectly from beginning to end.
From not a moral thought to what he was doing or how it affected those around him , to a realization about morality and the correct thing to do, his conscience eventually took over..
“It just takes one atrocity”….”suddenly he becomes your brother”
William Holden played his part to perfection….it was his gem in what was considered his “down period” after many successful roles.
He played so many emotions….resignation, pathos ,humour, terror, sensitivity….any emotions he had shown in any of his movies beforehand were rolled up and out in this one.
A man whose conscience becomes morally refined by circumstances around him.
To me this was one of William Holden’s finely etched portraits ….It didnt get the accolades it deserved, possibly because at the time he had decided to forgo living in the U.S.A and opted for living in Switzerland, a decision that caused a backlash with the public and the filming industry.
But once again he played the part as though it was made for him and once again I cried with him…