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.

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Gene Markey (screen play), Kathryn Scola (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Lily Powers
George Brent ... Courtland Trenholm
Donald Cook ... Ned Stevens
Alphonse Ethier ... Adolf Cragg
Henry Kolker ... J.R. Carter
Margaret Lindsay ... Ann Carter
Arthur Hohl ... Ed Sipple
John Wayne ... Jimmy McCoy Jr.
Robert Barrat ... Nick Powers
Douglass Dumbrille ... Brody (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Theresa Harris ... Chico
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She climbed the ladder of success - wrong by wrong! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the movie, Lily Powers refers to herself as a "ball of fire." Barbara Stanwyck, who plays Lily, starred in a 1941 movie of the same name. See more »

Goofs

When Lily reads from Nietzsche's book, Thoughts Out Of Season, the page that's highlighted repeats the same paragraph above, and again below, the highlighted lines. See more »

Quotes

Lily Powers: Oh, hello Jimmy.
Jimmy McCoy Jr.: Listen, Baby face, how 'bout havin' dinner tonight? I've got two tickets for Vanities.
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Alternate Versions

The original release had to be cut by four minutes to pass inspection by the New York Board of Censors. The cuts were mostly very minor but the most notable were the scene where Lily admits that she began working as a prostitute when she was fourteen and the scene the boxcar with the yardman, the close-up of the hand turning out the light. These scenes were cut before the film's release in 1933 and were not seen publicly until 2004. See more »


Soundtracks

What Will I Do Without You?
(uncredited)
Music by Lewis E. Gensler
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User Reviews

 
Stanwyck Sizzles
2 April 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

Arriving by boxcar in New York City, the shrewd young woman with the BABY FACE begins to methodically canoodle her way to the top floors of power in a great bank.

Barbara Stanwyck is fascinating as the amoral heroine of this influential pre-Code drama. Without a shred of decency or regret, she coolly manipulates the removal or destruction of the men unlucky enough to find themselves in her way. A wonderful actress, Stanwyck has full opportunity here to display her ample talents.

Appearing quite late in the story, George Brent is a welcome addition as the one fellow possibly able to handle Stanwyck; his sophisticated style of acting makes a nice counterpoint to her icy demeanor. Douglas Dumbrille, Donald Cook & Henry Kolker portray a succession of her unfortunate victims.

John Wayne appears for just a few scant seconds as an unsuccessful suitor for Stanwyck's affections. This would be the only time these two performers appeared together on screen.

Movie mavens should recognize Nat Pendleton as a speakeasy customer, and Charles Sellon & Edward Van Sloan as bank executives - all unbilled.

The music heard on the soundtrack throughout the film, perfectly punctuating the plot, is ‘Baby Face' (1926) by Benny Davis & Harry Akst and ‘St. Louis Blues' (1914) by W.C. Handy.

BABY FACE is a prime example of pre-Code naughtiness. In its frank & unapologetic dealing with sex, it is precisely the kind of film which the implementation of the Production Code in 1934 was meant to eliminate.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 November 1933 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Baby Face See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$187,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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