7.6/10
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139 user 43 critic

Baby Face (1933)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 17 November 1933 (France)
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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
George Brent ... Trenholm
Donald Cook ... Stevens
Alphonse Ethier ... Cragg
Henry Kolker ... 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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 November 1933 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mulher que Nos Perde See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$187,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ship scene features same set used in Three on a Match (1932) a year earlier. See more »

Goofs

After Mr. Carter stays the night, Lily gets out of a car. There is a reflection of faces on the window of the car as it pulls away. See more »

Quotes

Courtland Trenholm: Then you're coming to Deauville?
Lily Powers: Deauville's too crowded.
Lily Powers: How about Biarritz?
Lily Powers: Not crowded enough.
Courtland Trenholm: I'll tell you what, would you like to motor through the chateau country?
Lily Powers: And see all those lovely fourteenth century ceilings?
[Shakes her head no]
See more »

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

Dardanella
(1919) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Bernard and Johnny Black
Played on a player piano in Powers' speakeasy
See more »

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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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