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Baby Doll (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 29 December 1956 (USA)
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A steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous nineteen-year-old virgin.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writer:

Tennessee Williams (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,498 ( 5,390)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Karl Malden ... Archie Lee Meighan
Carroll Baker ... Baby Doll Meighan
Eli Wallach ... Silva Vacarro
Mildred Dunnock ... Aunt Rose Comfort
Lonny Chapman ... Rock
Eades Hogue Eades Hogue ... Town Marshal
Noah Williamson Noah Williamson ... Deputy
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Her role is raw electricity! Her portrayal is a sensation! CARROLL BAKER See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

29 December 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twenty-Seven Wagon Loads of Cotton See more »

Filming Locations:

Benoit, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,300,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Newtown Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In retrospect, Eli Wallach called the film "one of the most exciting, daring movies ever made." But he added, "People see it today and say, 'What the hell was all the fuss about?'" See more »

Goofs

The way the old guy holds the pizza slice changes. See more »

Quotes

Silva Vacarro: All right, Marshal, what's you gonna do about findin' the man that burned down my Gin?
Man sitting with the Marshal: Boy, what makes you think your Gin was set fire to?
Silva Vacarro: Look around you. Did you ever see so many happy faces? Looks like a rich man's funeral with all his relations attending.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: They Shoot Blanks, Don't They? (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Shame, Shame, Shame
Written by Ken Hopkins and Ruby Fisher
Sung by Smiley Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uproariously funny black comedy about sexual frustration.
29 September 2003 | by manxman-1See all my reviews

Wonderfully original, even after all this time, due to the matchless dialog of Tennessee Williams and the superb performances of the three principals, Karl Malden, Carroll Baker and Eli Wallach. Wickedly funny, sly and loopy all at the same time. A view of Southern white trash which only Tennessee Williams could have penned. Carroll Baker in a first class performance as the still-virginal but sexually precocious Baby Doll, married for two years but refusing to consummate her marriage until her twentieth birthday, looming large. Karl Malden as the frustrated husband, panting to get his hands on her, and Eli Wallach as the neighbor, determined to seduce Baby Doll before Malden, in revenge for Malden's burning down his cotton gin. Totally off the wall characterization with rich, witty dialog that constantly takes one by surprise. Watching Malden and Baker's characters with their dumber than dumber take on things (that totally cracks one up at their sheer stupidity!) one wonders just how much in-breeding Williams had in mind when he invented these people. Even Mildred Dunnock, as the minor fourth character of the ensemble, a batty aunt, has a full share of crazy antics that almost has one falling on the floor. Eli Wallach turns in a sly, smoother than smooth performance as the potential seducer that is wonderfully nuanced. When the movie first appeared is was condemned by the Catholic Church. Apparently there are critics who still uphold those initial views and would prefer to return to the time of total censorship than adopt a more realistic view of life. Baby Doll is not an indecent movie and never was. What it is is a glorious black comedy that has a place amongst the best works that Williams ever produced. Last, but not least, kudos to director Elia Kazan, who passed away on the very evening that this viewer was privileged to finally get to see this movie. This is definitely one for the collection!


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