Baby Doll


Comedy / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Rip Torn Photo
Rip Torn as The Dentist
Carroll Baker Photo
Carroll Baker as Baby Doll Meighan
Eli Wallach Photo
Eli Wallach as Silva Vacarro
R.G. Armstrong Photo
R.G. Armstrong as Townsman Sid
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.03 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 4 / 2
1.91 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.03 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S ...
1.91 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird8 / 10

Whatever happened to Baby Doll

To me, Tennessee Williams was/is among the greatest playwrights of all time. His work is so entertaining and intelligently written with highly detailed characterisations that were often very personal and almost auto-biographical, also often bold thematically. Although not one of my favourites of his work, my personal favourite being 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' with equal love for 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'The Glass Menagerie', 'Baby Doll' has all of the above.

'Baby Doll' as a film was adapted by Williams himself, who also produced it along with director Elia Kazan, from his one act play '27 Wagons Full of Cotton'. While it won't work for everybody today, it was also controversial at the time in 1956 because of its themes which were very implicit and bold then, some finding it too sordid and distasteful although the high quality of the direction and acting weren't in doubt. 'Baby Doll' very much works for me, found it very interesting with so many high qualities that also make it a very good film.

Not quite great though. Part of me does wish that the supporting/secondary characters were more fleshed out and weren't limited to relatively small appearances, especially when the lead characters' writing was so meaty (perhaps close to being slightly too much so in the case of Archie). A bit of a big problem when that applies to most of the characters.

Do agree as well that the sound is poor.

Everything else though is very good to fantastic. Anybody expecting that a Kazan film would look great will not be disappointed, regardless of whether the film was a masterpiece, misfire or in between all his films were extremely well made visually. The photography especially is beautifully and effectively stark, which enhances the setting. The music is both haunting and sensual, totally in keeping with the atmosphere. Kazan's direction is never less than skillful throughout, it can be very wild (like the source material) and not very subtle (not inappropriate again),visually and dramatically but the visual style is perfect and the drama avoids over-heat and being static.

Williams' screenplay is unmistakable Williams, intelligent, witty, daring and rich in characterisation for the three leads, as well as wildly hilarious. He and Kazan, his favourite film-maker, also collaborated on 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and while this is not quite on the same level as that masterpiece one can recognise Williams' style clearly. One can say that it is talky, not a problem as Williams is talky and in a compelling way, dependent on of course whether it has a great cast delivering it well (which it usually is). On a story level, there are memorable scenes with the crib scene being especially unforgettable in every sense. With the scene on the swing being close behind. 'Baby Doll' is certainly not sordid or distasteful now, to me that is, but although toned down in comparison to back then (when it was very ahead of its time) it's hardly too tame, it's still very steamy.

All the lead performances are excellent, and also think the supporting/secondary cast do more than very well. Mildred Dunnock is a very powerful presence even when her screen time is not large, of the rest Williams regular Madeleine Sherwood fares best (debuting Rip Torn's, also became experienced in Williams, role is far too small to properly shine). Karl Malden has a ball in making Archie a wild character with a dark side. Even more so a chillingly calculated Eli Wallach in the most arresting debut performance in any film of any decade seen in a while. Then there's Carroll Baker who absolutely sizzles in the title role, even how hypnotic she looked drew me right in.

On the whole, very good. 8/10

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

The Play Within The Show Expands For The Screen

Watching Baby Doll I have to ask just what the Almighty Legion Of Decency was so upset about back in 1956? There's no bad language and no sex scenes beyond what was per normal back in the day. I'm guessing that it was Tennessee Williams that brought about the scrutiny. He was breaking down a lot of taboos in those days and another writer with his name on the screenplay would not have received the attention. Of course they also didn't like The Moon Is Blue and this is far better.

The source of Baby Doll is an expansion of a one act play Williams wrote for three part show All In One which had a short musical as well as short interpretive ballet. The play within the show was called 27 Bales Of Cotton and it starred Myron McCormick, Maureen Stapleton, and Felice Orlandi. All In One was not one of Tennessee's successes only running 47 performances during the 1955 season on Broadway.

Those were the only three characters in the short play so Warner Brothers used some good sense in hiring Williams himself to expand his own work for the screen. Baby Doll has absolutely no trace of stage origins which you can't say for something like A Streetcar Named Desire, probably his best work or Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. The parts from Broadway were played in the film version by Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, and Eli Wallach in his screen debut.

Malden is a local big shot in the fictional Tiger Tail County in Mississippi who has a cotton gin, but he's been losing business to brash newcomer Eli Wallach. That's around the time he's taken to himself a young trophy wife played by Carroll Baker, a sexy young vixen who is always referred to as Baby Doll. It was a marriage of convenience where Malden promised not to do the deed until until her 20th birthday which is coming up very shortly. It seems her father who was poor white trash wanted to know his daughter to be decently provided for. Malden's also taken over a rundown old mansion and is trying to fix it up. Carroll and a dotty old aunt played by Mildred Dunnock live there with Malden.

Malden's been waiting a few years to get his itch scratched, Baker's not thrilled with the prospect of giving it up to Karl. But Wallach's cotton gin is forcing him to economic straights. That combination forces him to set a fire to Wallach's gin and ruin his competition. The authorities know full well Malden either did it himself or had the arson hired, but Wallach is the outsider and a Sicilian immigrant to boot. They politely look the other way. But Wallach has a plan all his own for revenge.

One thing I have to say about Baby Doll, it's the only one of Tennessee Williams southern based works that I've seen where blacks are referred to. Here their position in white supremacist Mississippi is demonstrated fully. The mark of Malden's downfall is how the black employees laugh at him in the climax.

Baby Doll was nominated for four Oscars in 1956, Best Adapted Screenplay for Tennessee Williams, Best black and white cinematography, Best Actress for Carroll Baker and Best Supporting Actress for Mildred Dunnock. As this was an adapted screenplay, Dunnock's role was not in the original work, but Williams infused the old lady with a certain amount of common sense if you carefully listen to her. Mildred lost to an actress playing a sexpot like Carroll Baker, the wild child Dorothy Malone for Written On The Wind.

As for Baker she lost to Ingrid Bergman for Anastasia, but she got a role that she would forever be identified with. And being identified with a Tennessee Williams character is far from the worst thing to have. Though in her career she tried to downplay that even being cast as a saint in The Miracle.

Baby Doll as it turned out was better on screen than in its original form on stage. It holds up very well, it is timeless as all of Tennessee Williams is. It's just not broadcast that often. But make sure to see it when it is.

Reviewed by MartinHafer5 / 10

Sleazy but not as entertaining as I'd hoped...

I have seen about every Tennessee Williams film, though somehow "Baby Doll" eluded me. Well, sometimes they say "'s worth the wait" or "...last but not least"--well both phrases seem to have little to do with this film! It is probably the least of the plays translated to film and was a bit of a disappointment.

Now if you are looking for sleaze and scandal (something in practically everything Williams wrote),then at least in this sense you won't be disappointed. The film abounds with sexuality, horrible racism, nastiness, a sort of pseudo-pedophilia' and dirt (literally--the home was filthy). It abounds with sexuality and innuendo from start to finish. In this sense, it certainly is entertaining and won't put you to sleep.

The problem, then, is that this film is about the least believable of the Williams movies--though "Night of the Iguana" also felt that way to me. The characters just seemed to lack any sense that you might meet such people in real life. It just seemed like sleaze and nastiness for the sheer sake of nastiness--but not at all fun (like "Peyton Place") or examining a darker side of people (like most of Williams' plays). No, instead, the characters just bellowed a lot (particularly Karl Malden who did a great imitation of a walrus in heat) and acted like idiots--not my idea of a good time.

By the way, for the ultra-ultra politically correct and easily offended out there, do NOT watch this film. Trust me on this one, folks.

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