The Cry Baby Killer (1958)

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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
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Did You Know?


Originally released on double-bill with "Hot Car Girl." See more »


Referenced in Cry-Baby (1990) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Great Camp
7 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Cry Baby Killer, The (1958)

*** (out of 4)

This is somewhat of a Holy Grail for me because I've been dying to see this flick since I became a fan of Jack Nicholson back in the late 80s. I've been pretty lucky to know people who own rare movies but not a single one ever had this film and in fact, I never he knew anyone who had actually seen it. In the film Nicholson (in his debut) plays a hot headed teen who is upset when the town's tough guy steals his girl. After being jumped, Nicholson gets ahold of a gun, kills the tough guy and then takes another man, a woman and her baby hostage. A tough as nails cop (Harry Lauter) tries to talk him out as the television station and onlookers gather outside. This moral/teenage flick is in the same vein as Rebel Without a Cause but it stands out due in large part to being Nicholson's debut. I wouldn't say he gives a good performance as he goes way too over the top in a few scenes but you can see certain trademarks that'll show up in some of his classic performances. The scenes with him screaming at the crying baby get some unintentional laughs as does a few other scenes but this just adds to the cult appeal. Since this film is on DVD now I'm sure it will become a cult classic of the Drive-In teenage films. Producer Roger Corman and screenwriter Leo Gordon have cameos.

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