111 user 32 critic

Baby Face (1933)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | December 1933 (UK)
A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank -- by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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1 win. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Ann Carter
Arthur Hohl ...
Ed Sipple
Jimmy McCoy Jr.
Nick Powers
Brody (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Theresa Harris ...


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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Barbara Stanwyck And Thirteen Men in "Baby Face" See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

December 1933 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher que Nos Perde  »

Box Office


$187,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First on-screen credit for Teresa Harris. She is perhaps best-known to modern audiences for the role of Chico, Lil's friend and maid, which she plays in this film. See more »


During the film, Lily tells Mr. Carter her phone number is Skylight 3-3215. Later in the film, Mr. Stevens is calling Lily and tells the operator her phone number is Skylight 3-2215. See more »


Lily Powers: Say, I like it here. How 'bout a job? Oh, now don't tell me in this great, big building there ain't some place for me?
Pratt - Personnel Office: Have you had any experience?
Lily Powers: Plenty.
[Rolls eyes]
Lily Powers: I'd rather wait in there. I hate crowds. Don't you?
Pratt - Personnel Office: The boss won't be back for an hour.
Lily Powers: Well then why don't we go in and talk this over?
See more »


Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »


Meet Me In The Gloaming
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User Reviews

Fuzzy Wuzzy
5 December 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Finally, the uncut version of "Baby Face" surfaces and from what source? The Library of Congress. The restored four minutes, snippets here and there, make for a much better film. We now know that Baby Face was pimped by her old man from the time she was at least fourteen years of age. Another reason d'tat for her behavior and cold, calculating exterior.

Barbara Stanwyck is indeed amazing in the role of Lily Powers (notice the moniker), a part that called for just the right amount of sexuality coated with power, cunning, and revenge, yet tinged with virginal pretense when called for, a very difficult portrayal to make convincing. Barbara Stanwyck conveys the necessary nuances to show that though she sleeps her way to the top (literally), she still has good in her heart--note the way she treats those few who have been kind to her such as Chico (the marvelous actress Theresa Harris) and the old philosopher. And though she exploits her sexuality to make mush of men who are rich and powerful, those same men are attempting to exploit her for their carnal desires with no intention of permanent ties until they fall in love with her.

Lily Powers fails to understand, at first, that emotions are difficult to ride, that it's easy to lose control. One possible result is death. Hitching a wagon to a star of course materialism can take one to a destination where nothing else exists but the ephemeral, and it's a cold lonely location.

A word should be said about the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche whose will to power is stressed in "Baby Face" by the elderly philosopher who befriends Lilly when she is still turning tricks for her old man. "Baby Face" was released the same year Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Though it's highly unlikely that the semi-literate Hitler understood much about Nietzsche, he considered himself a Nietzschean to the nth degree and touted it along side his other rantings. "Baby Face" serves as an indictment of the popular interpretation of Nietzsche's will to power concept, especially in the final scenes.

Although "You've got the cutest little baby face." is apropos as a theme for "Baby Face," an even more telling and applicable melody is W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" played throughout the film, especially at times when the camera has to drift away from what would otherwise be sexually explicit scenes. "St. Louis Blues" is also used wisely toward the end as Lily begins to see beyond materialism to eternal values. Chico is singing a raw, salacious version of "St. Louis Blues" when Lily, now disagreeing with the lyrics, orders her to stop.

The restored version of "Baby Face" makes the film more modern in its approach and attitude toward sex as power than many a new Hollywood release. By all means watch this gem from the distant past and enjoy.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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