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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:

She's nineteen. She makes her husband keep away -- she won't let the stranger go. 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

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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.
Baby Doll: Private humiliation is just as painful.
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

 
Eli Wallach shines
4 January 2004 | by Regi214See all my reviews

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.


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