Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baby Doll (1956)

Steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous 19-year-old virgin. [imdb]

Nominated for 4 Oscars:

Best Actress: Carroll Baker
Best Supporting Actress: Mildred Dunnock
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

What an unpleasant movie; it's just one of those films I'll never want to see again, except if I'm forced too. It's not as scandalous as I expected it to be. It tries to be a lot of things, but fails in a big way: it's not dramatic, not funny, the acting is ok but not excellent, the set is too stagey, the direction too slow & tries to hard, the screenplay too crowded, not emotional nor suspenseful.
So it bored me a lot. I can understand how some people might feel differently appreciating the mood and stuff like that. The most annoying thing was probably the ending, with lines that seemed so fake trying to give it a feel like the entire movie was some kind of epic or an important journey of some kind. It wasn't. I'm happy Elia Kazan didn't receive a Best Director nomination, as it's probably one of his least natural efforts. Carroll Baker is nice to look at, gives a decent performance, but I didn't see the revelation. Dunnock's performance is cartoonish, while Malden and Eli Wallach show lots of energy, but the screenplay is too theatrical.
My rating for the film: 3/10. A good dinner scene, but Baby Doll thinks it's much more than what it really is.


  1. Oh crap. Poor Tennessee and Elia. Oh well, you can't win em all.

  2. Eli Wallach was very very creepy in this. In fact, after seeing him in this, I was never able to watch another one of his movies and see him in a different way.

  3. well, yes he was creepy for a couple of minutes. But you could see the motivation of the character and I knew he wasn't gonna do her harm.