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William A. Wellman
Lilly (Baby Face) sleeps her way from basement speakeasy bartender, literally floor by floor, to the top floor of a New York office building. Bank sub-manager Jimmy McCoy finds her a job in the bank only to be cast aside as she hooks up with the bank's president. When he complains of not seeing her she says: "I'm working so hard I have to go to bed early every night." Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
I hand't seen the restored, or any version for that matter, of "Baby Face" with Barbara Stanwyck till I caught it on TCM. What a great movie! In a nutshell Lily lives in a speakeasy, she's been pimped out by her own Father since she was 14! Then his still blows up and he's killed leaving Lily (Stanwyck) alone cept for her black maid Chico, played very nicely by Theresa Harris. Lily leaves for the big city ( New York) deciding to use her sex to get to the top. She does this in great style!
She seduces a pudgy clerk to get in on the ground floor and proceeds to go through men like disposable candy! One dumps his fiancée and kills his near father-in-law, also Lily's sugar-daddy, then commits suicide! Lily barely blinks! STanwyck is terrific as a girl who really doesn't know what love is.
Then in Paris, she falls for Courtland, played by George Brent, they marry, but when he's in deep financial straights, she bolts. Nearly free with Chico and a half-million, she realizes she loved Court! Lily races to find him, but will she be too late?
This is pre-code Hollywood at its best. Stanwyck is tremendous and the look and music in the film are perfect. This reminded me of "Original Sin" with Angelina Jolie, another unfairly ignored flick with an amoral woman, those who disliked that films ultra-romantic leanings, will not like Baby FAce any better, those with belief in sex, love and power, will love it. Highly recommended! See it!
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