7.5/10
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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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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:

From the author of "A Streetcar Named Desire"! 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 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 »

Goofs

The interval between rings of the phone varies irregularly from 3 to 8 seconds, as though it was being rung manually, but it is on a dial system. See more »

Quotes

Baby Doll: Excuse me, Mr. Vacarro, but I wouldn't dream of eatin' a nut which a man had cracked in his mouth.
Silva Vacarro: You've got many refinements.
Baby Doll: Thank you.
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

 
Woozy-headed, talkative, sensual and silly...
8 September 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Karl Malden and Eli Wallach make terrific, prickly adversaries in this Tennessee Williams adaptation of two of his one-act plays, "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" and "The Unsatisfactory Supper". Williams incorporates all levels of dramatic material into this grand Southern stew, which doesn't appear to be very lofty or complicated at the outset, yet its deeper meanings eventually come to the surface (and are even more pronounced upon repeat viewings). Mississippi cotton-gin owner Malden lives with his virginal bride and her batty aunt in a dilapidated manor; he has agreed not to touch wife Baby Doll until her 20th birthday, which is nearing closer, but a rival cotton entrepreneur may get to her first. The film is loony-tunes nuttiness with a carnal edge, and frisky-yet-halting Carroll Baker is the perfect backwater tease. Elia Kazan directs with a straightforward simplicity that catches you off-guard (you don't know whose side he is on), and as Malden, playing the ultimate chump and buffoon, gets more and more crazed, one feels for him even though he's been made to seem pathetic. Once Wallach enters, striding up and down like a Sicilian Snidely Whiplash, Malden's character nearly becomes irrelevant, but there's an amazing last act where the three principals sit down to dinner--and an even more incredible tag wherein Baby Doll matures in a hurry. Baker's resolute defeat here is heartbreaking, yet Williams and Kazan are careful to put a wry spin on the whole thing. It's the ultimate dirty joke--and yet there's really nothing dirty in it. All the secondary actors are splendid (particularly Madeleine Sherwood as a doctor's assistant) and the atmosphere is vividly captured, with wind and leaves whistling about and flies in the air. Baker looks great curled up in her crib (with the slats down), but when it is Wallach's turn to bed down, it's the best sight gag in the movie. *** from ****


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