An immature child bride holds her anxious husband at bay while flirting with an amorous Sicilian farmer.


Elia Kazan


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





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


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


She's nineteen. She's married two years -- quite a girl -- and not quite a woman... See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Legion of Decency, an organization of the Roman Catholic Church in the US, condemned the film as immoral, and despite the efforts of director Elia Kazan, was able to get it withdrawn from release. See more »


When Silva names evil spirits, the way he holds the stick changes. See more »


Silva Vacarro: Let's swing a little, huh? You seem all tense. Motion relaxes people. It's like a cradle! A cradle relaxes a baby. They call you Baby, don't they?
Baby Doll: Oh, that's sort of a nickname.
Silva Vacarro: Well, in a swing you relax just like in a cradle.
See more »


Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Third One from the Left (1964) See more »


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

User Reviews

Sex, Lies, and Collard Greens!
9 September 2012 | by bobvendSee all my reviews

A leering, absurd comedy-drama set in good ole' Mississippi in the mid-1950's, "Baby Doll" is full of the hardscrabble rural raunch that Tennessee Williams always managed to grow his best crops in. A sultry Carol Baker plays the child-bride of blustery ever-distracted blow-hard Karl Malden, who's business rival (expertly played by Eli Wallach in his film debut) turns up the heat after he suspects Malden of torching his cotton mill.

Wallach's character is bent on receiving satisfaction, regardless of what form it takes. The acting is, at times, enjoyably over-the-top, and the entire cast is undeniably watchable. Baker and Wallach ignite more than their share of mutual sexual tension, to the point where one would gain some understanding as to why this film was so famously condemned when it was first released over a half-century ago. Although less smutty by today's standards, it positively sweats!

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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 »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Newtown Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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