IMDb > Baby Doll (1956)
Baby Doll
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Baby Doll (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Baby Doll -- Steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous 19-year-old virgin.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   3,968 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Tennessee Williams (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Baby Doll on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 December 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Her role is raw electricity! Her portrayal is a sensation! CARROLL BAKER See more »
Plot:
Steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous 19-year-old virgin. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(158 articles)
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User Reviews:
Buy Arkansas See more (60 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Karl Malden ... Archie Lee Meighan

Carroll Baker ... Baby Doll Meighan

Eli Wallach ... Silva Vacarro

Mildred Dunnock ... Aunt Rose Comfort
Lonny Chapman ... Rock
Eades Hogue ... Town Marshal
Noah Williamson ... Deputy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

R.G. Armstrong ... Townsman Sid (voice) (uncredited)
Madeleine Sherwood ... Nurse in Doctor's Office (uncredited)

Rip Torn ... The Dentist (uncredited)
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Directed by
Elia Kazan 
 
Writing credits
Tennessee Williams (screenplay)

Produced by
Elia Kazan .... producer
 
Original Music by
Kenyon Hopkins 
 
Cinematography by
Boris Kaufman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Gene Milford 
 
Art Direction by
Richard Sylbert 
 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
 
Makeup Department
Willis Hanchett .... hair stylist
Robert Jiras .... makeup artist (as Robert E. Jiras)
 
Production Management
Forrest E. Johnston .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles H. Maguire .... assistant director
Arthur Steckler .... assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Paul Sylbert .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Edward J. Johnstone .... sound
 
Stunts
Lucky Kargo .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Flo Transfield .... wardrobe (as Florence Transfield)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Roberta Hodes .... continuity
Roberta Hodes .... script supervisor
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
114 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System) | Stereo
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:R | USA:Approved (certificate #18129) (original rating) | West Germany:18 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Feature film debuts of Eli Wallach and Rip Torn.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Silva names evil spirits, the way he holds the stick changes.See more »
Quotes:
Silva Vacarro:So, the wedding was postponed?
Baby Doll:Oh, no, not the wedding. We had the wedding. My daddy gave me away.
Silva Vacarro:But you said Archie Lee waited.
Baby Doll:Yeah, after the wedding he waited.
Silva Vacarro:For what?
Baby Doll:For me to be ready for marriage.
Silva Vacarro:How long did he have to wait?
Baby Doll:Oh, he's still waiting.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Shame, Shame, ShameSee more »

FAQ

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Buy Arkansas, 17 July 2006
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

This is a hilarious farce by Tennessee Williams, containing much self-parody. On one level, it can even be interpreted as a burlesque of his "A Streetcar Named Desire." "Stella!" becomes "Baby Doll!" If one cannot imagine the great dramatic playwright writing comedy, then this is the film to see.

Even the story is a mockery. A foolish old man, Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden), pretending to be a Southern gentleman, with a rundown plantation and a cotton gin, tricks another old man into letting him marry his comely teenage daughter, Baby Doll (Caroll Baker). He promises to renovate the old farm for Baby Doll and to buy her the world. She agrees if he swears not to touch her until her twentieth birthday. The foolish old man quickly becomes a laughing stock to both blacks and whites who live in the small community in the delta region (there's a sham sign posted in the general store that reads, "Buy Arkansas"). To insure his hold on the rather worldly, not so innocent Baby Doll, Archie Lee burns down his competitor's cotton gin. His competitor, a Sicilian named Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), becomes Baby Doll's Latin lover to get back at Archie Lee.

There are several memorable scenes in Elia Kazan's direction of Tennessee William's screenplay. The one that is most remembered because it created such a moral outrage at the time (even Baby Doll pajamas were marketed) shows Baby Doll lying in a baby crib, scantly clad in, what else?, baby doll pajamas, sucking her thumb and arousing all sorts of erotic sensations in the male observer. Another scene is one of the most laughable ever put on the big screen. Picture if you will Eli Wallach riding a hobby horse like a wild stallion while slurping lemonade from a pitcher, listening to "Shame, Shame, Shame" by Smiley Lewis on the record player. This is part of the mad Sicilian's seduction of Baby Doll in the most childish way conceivable, ultimately falling asleep in her baby crib with Baby Doll intoning to him a lullaby.

In classical dramas, tragedies naturally had tragic endings and comedies had happy endings. Tennesee Williams' travesty doesn't exactly have a happy ending, but it's not a tragic ending either, more of a postponement of things to come.

A personal note: I was twelve when "Baby Doll" opened in my home town in Arkansas. The churches and other so-called decency groups attempted to have it banned. There were even pickets outside the theater. Because of all the hype with pictures of Baby Doll flooding the media, I had to finagle a way to see it. Those under thirteen had to be accompanied by an adult (this was before the MPAA ratings system was developed--the PCA was beginning to bend its strict rules as American mores were changing. I mislead my dad, who paid little attention to movie previews, into thinking it was suitable for the general public. My dad attended the film with me and seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. He never told my mother about either one of us watching it.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Baby Doll (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
See Baby Doll on the big screen in the Los Angeles area mrsugaless
Um... freakofnurture
I was shocked... This was actually amazing! IngmarTheBergman
sexiest movie ever made? danielj_old999
Eli Wallach has died; Baby Doll was first movie tremas-1
Pizza westing000
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