Living in Tiger Tail County, Mississippi, middle aged Archie Lee Meighan and nineteen year old "Baby Doll" Meighan née McCargo have been married for close to two years. Their marriage is not based on love, but each getting what they want from the other. Their marriage agreement has them consummating their marriage on her twentieth birthday, which is in three days, the act to which Baby Doll is not really looking forward. But she does taunt him and other men with her overt "baby doll" sexuality, the baby doll aspect which she fosters by sleeping in their house's nursery in a crib. Baby Doll's now deceased father allowed the marriage on the stipulation that Archie Lee provide Baby Doll financial security as displayed by the most resplendent house in the south. They currently live in a dilapidated mansion with her Aunt Rose Comfort, and although Archie Lee is making some renovations on it, he no longer has the financial means to make it what Baby Doll wants as his cotton ginning ...Written by
The movie was banned in many countries, such as Sweden, due to what was called "exaggerated sexual content". The film was also condemned by Time magazine, which called it the "dirtiest American-made motion picture that had ever been legally exhibited". Due in part to the attempts to have it banned or suppressed, the film was not a commercial success, although it performed decently at the box office in spite of the controversy. According to Elia Kazan, however, the film did not make a profit. See more »
The way the old guy holds the pizza slice changes. See more »
Archie Lee Meighan:
People know the situation between us. Yesterday on Front Street a man yelled to me and said, "Hey, Archie Lee, has yer wife outgrown the crib yet?" And three or four others hawed at me. Public. Humiliation.
Private humiliation is just as painful.
See more »
I've seen quite a few films in my life, but none such as this. Elia Kazan's quirky, off-the-wall romp about revenge and justice in 1950's Mississippi is truly remarkable. The first time I saw this movie I didn't know how to take it; I turned on my TV one day right at the scene where Eli Wallach and Carroll Baker are upstairs playing hide and seek... It seemed disturbing, but something about it held my interest.
A second viewing of this film was powerful. Karl Malden is right on the money as the loud-mouthed, frustrated, alcoholic husband; Carroll Baker, brilliant (and stunning) as Baby Doll; but I have to say, Eli Wallach SHINES as Silva Vacarro. He is so smooth, calculated, and mesmerizing as the one who "does his own justice". Hard to believe he didn't win an Oscar for his performance.
It is worth noting Kazan's use of the extras in this film (most of whom are African-American). Often you'll see a man or two in the background or off to the side, observing the story as it unfolds; they are the silent and wise observers to the craziness around them. Like the scene where Karl Malden is yelling "Babeee Dolllll!!!!" from his car, and the men just sit there and watch him--you wonder what they're thinking.
A superb film! The dining room scene at the end is choice.
48 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this