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The Cry Baby Killer (1958)

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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 310 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

Nicholson makes his film debut as a juvenile delinquent, who panics when he thinks he's committed murder.


(as Joe Addis)


(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Lauter ...
Police Lt. Porter
Jimmy Wallace
Carolyn Mitchell ...
Carole Fields
Manny Cole
Lynn Cartwright ...
Ralph Reed ...
John Shay ...
Police Officer Gannon
Barbara Knudson ...
Mrs. Maxton
William A. Forester ...
Carl Maxton
John Weed ...
Police Sgt. Reed
Frank Richards ...
Pete Gambelli
Mr. Wallace
James Fillmore ...
Smoki Whitfield ...
Sam (as Jordan 'Smoki' Whitfield)
Rick Connor


17-year-old Jimmy Walker is brutally beaten by Manny Cole and two of his teen-age punk friends, Joey and Al, because Manny wants to move in on Jimmy's girl, Carole Fields. Later, Jimmy shows up at the hangout of the teenage crowd to take Carole away, and challenges Manny to a fight. Manny's two buddies move in with brass knuckles, and one of them pulls a pistol, which falls to the ground in the scuffle. Jimmy picks it up and shoots Manny and Al. A police officer orders Jimmy to surrender, but he panics, thinking he killed the pair, and dives into a small storeroom, and holds Sam and Mrs. Maxton and her small infant baby hostages. Police Lieutenant Porter and others plead with Jimmy to surrender and release the hostages, but the terrified Jimmy threatens Sam and Mrs. Maxton with death if they break out. A large crowd gathers and almost breaks through the police lines to storm the storeroom. Porter decides to use tear gas, with a rescue unit standing by to help Mrs. Maxton and her baby.... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


YESTERDAY a Teenage Rebel... TODAY a mad-dog slayer!


Crime | Drama | Thriller





Release Date:

17 August 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ena pistoli, ena fili, mia dolofonia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Roger Corman has claimed that this was the first film he released that didn't make money, although he subsequently earned his costs back by selling the television rights. See more »


Featured in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »


Cry Baby Cry
Written and sung by Dick Kallman
See more »

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User Reviews

A film that's a B movie classic, special because of legendary Jack's first screen appearance and well done at it's time from Roger Corman.
11 January 2008 | by (Petersburg, Virginia) – See all my reviews

After all these years it's finally a treat to watch this B film classic from 1958 "Cry Baby Killer". It's very special because it's Nicholson's first film appearance, and a must see for any die hard fans of Jack. The film is pretty low key and stays simple with it's plot and the acting is straight forward, and Nicholson does good work for a newcomer even though his voice and many words are spoken with a soft slow draw accent. At it's time Roger Corman really done this film short in time length, yet the concept and plot of 1958 was a little ahead of it's time with the hostage taking and media circus developing which would be so common in many later action and adventure films. Nicholson in his first film debut plays loner and rebel type teenager Jimmy Wallace who is defeated in a brawl with thugs resulting in his girl leaving him. Jack's character Jimmy like so many of his later anti-hero type characters develops the big chip on the shoulder and the feeling for macho acts takes place. Then Corman's direction pulls out all the drama and stops when Jimmy is next in a brawl he grabs for a gun panics and shoots, leading him to take cover in a storeroom with a mom and her baby setting up a long standoff! Good suspense for 1958 is added by showing police interrogation and media interviews and flashing cameras the type of circus film lovers would later so commonly see in the 80's and 90's. So the direction and plot line was for 1958 ahead of it's time, good job by Roger Corman. All in all nothing great, yet for a 1958 film the plot and acting is decently good and a real treat to see since it's Jack's first actual screen time a must see for Nicholson enthusiast.

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