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Getting the part was a lucky break for Holden, as the role was initially cast with Montgomery Clift , who backed out of his contract.  Swanson later said, "Bill Holden was a man I could have fallen in love with. He was perfection on- and off-screen."  And Wilder himself commented, "Bill was a complex guy, a totally honorable friend. He was a genuine star. Every woman was in love with him."