Baby Doll

Baby Doll

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
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MPAA rating: R.
Publisher: [United States] : Warner Bros., 2017
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 114 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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l
lukasevansherman
Aug 03, 2016

Can a movie be trashy and arty? Well, 1956's "Baby Doll" tries and fails at both. Its artistic credentials are impeccable: It was directed by Elia Kazan, written by Tennessee Williams, and stars Karl Malden, Eli Wallach (in his debut), and Caroll Baker. Kazan, Williams, and Malden's previous collaboration was "A Streetcar Named Desire." Those expecting "Streetcar" will be sorely disappointed. Set in rural Mississippi, it's about rival cotton dealers (or whatever they've called), played by Malden and Wallach. Malden is married to a young girl who spends much of her time in a slip (shades of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof") and is supposedly to be all, like, sexy. I declare! It's overwrought and overacted and incredibly tedious. Somehow, it was quite controversial when it came out: the League of Decency banned it and Catholic were urged not to see it. I found it kind of unbearable. Look for Rip Torn in a bit part as a dentist. Better Kazan movies are "East of Eden," the aforementioned "Streetcar," and "On the Waterfront."

r
robt1212
Sep 16, 2014

Typical Williams fare. In other words, brilliant, entertaining and sometimes funny. Always holds one's interest. If for no other reason, I watch it just to spite that stupid "league of decency" condemnation. So would anyone who can think for himself.

g
garycornell
Jun 23, 2014

Tennessee Williams created the story of Baby Doll. Now we know he will create a character that we can both love and hate. She is a simple girl of 19 who is already married to an older man Karl Malden. Karl can't handle Baby Doll and it ruining his life. Eli Wallach would like to have Malden's wife and his cotton mill. The emotions are raw and some might be offended with an older man with a young wife. It probably happens more often than any us thought. We do have to consider the story takes place in the South in the early 50's. For me, this stands out as another Tennessee Williams masterpiece and Five Stars to all the actors in this small cast.

m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Another powerful screenplay written by Tennessee Williams, and again directed by the brilliant Elia Kazan, their first collaboration being the masterpiece "A Streetcar Named Desire" in '51. This film was unbelievably banned by the then powerful "Legion of Decency", as too sexually provocative. It's incredible how morally restrictive things were, and how much the children of today witness. Conversely, the ugly weed of segregation was growing in full bloom, especially in Mississippi, (e.g. check out the separate water coolers for 'whites' & 'colored' in the doctor's office) and racial slurs against African and Italian Americans were acceptable (if not commonplace). Apparently that was "decent" to the "Legion". All three actors in this lovers' triangle were marvelous: Karl Malden was terrific as the bellowing, sexually frustrated older husband; Eli Wallach was fantastic as the revengeful Sicilian (even though he's Jewish, lol); and the alluring 25 year old Carroll Baker was seductive and Oscar worthy (she was nominated). A great film.

t
TheresaB
Dec 09, 2011

I’d happened across this film and was surprised, once again, at Tennessee William’s insightfulness. Beyond the dated aesthetic (as present day expectations of what a handsome man looks like have changed) it is a contemporary tale of a young woman choosing a relationship with a much older man for safety, only to be “tempted” when a handsome man closer to her age comes along. This is classic Tennessee tale in the witty dialogue and ambiguity of situation (no one is simply “good” nor simply “bad”). So, if you can over-look the black & white film stock and the limited setting this is a film worth your time, especially if you’re a fan of Tennessee William’s work.

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m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Baby Doll: "Mah Daddy would turn in his grave!..."

m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Baby Doll (to Archie Lee Meighan): "Sometimes, big shot, you don't seem to give me credit for very much intelligence at all... I been to school in my life - and I'm a magazine reader!"

m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Baby Doll: "I told him I'd be 'ready' on my 20th birthday." Silva Vacarro: "But that's tomorrow. And will you be ready?" Baby Doll: "Well, that all depends." Silva Vacarro: "What on?" Baby Doll: "Whether or not the furniture comes back... I guess." Silva Vacarro: "Mrs. Meighan your husband sweats more than any man I know and now I can understand why."

m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Silva Vacarro: "I find you different this evening in some way." Baby Doll: "Never mind that. Just go while he's still on the phone." Silva Vacarro: "Grown up suddenly." Baby Doll: "I feel cool and rested for the first time in my life... That's the way I feel. Cool... and rested..."

m
Monolith
Apr 22, 2012

Baby Doll (to Aunt Rose): "Well, let's go in now. We got nothin' to do… but wait for tomorrow… and see if we're remembered… or forgotten."

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