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Information

Year
1933
Runtime
71 min.
Director
Alfred E. Green
Genres
Drama, Romance
Rating *
7.6
Votes *
3,428
Checks
1,323
Favs
117
Dislikes
6
Favs/checks
8.8% (1:11)
Favs/dislikes
20:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Ebbywebby's avatar

    Ebbywebby

    I was so loving this, but the soft ending disappointed me. 1 year 10 months ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    There are two standard reasons to watch Baby Face, and they're standard for good reason. One is Barbara Stanwyck in the lead role of Lily, a woman who gets sold on Nietzschean philosophy and embarks on a life of getting what she wants by using sex to manipulate men. She's smoldering, commanding the screen with a look and a smile, pitched just so. The other is that there's a thrill to be gotten from pre-Code movies that deal with subject matter you don't associate with old Hollywood films, and Baby Face has a lot of suggested sex, and some violent moments besides. What's most adult about it, however, is its moral ambivalence. The censored version the public originally saw had warnings about her chosen lifestyle up front, and a "learned her lesson" epilogue, but the original rediscovered in the early 2000s makes me wonder what the script thinks of itself. Lily sleeps her way to the top, but eventually meets her match and risks actually falling in love. At some point, love must win over selfishness (or Nietzsche's self-reliance, but it's the same thing... a modern version might use Ayn Rand instead), but even if we're meant to then think, ah, Lily was wrong and now she's paying for it, there's no literary naturalism sending her back to the gutter. Her exploitation of herself and of men is still shown to be effective. There's also the matter of the black character in the story, the best friend who only plays at being the maid in white company, which feels progressive, but her scenes get more and more servile until she's made irrelevant. Here again, I wonder how much thought was actually put into this, or if it's just trying to push unwritten cinematic rules as a much as it can. I'm not entirely convinced either way, but Baby Face is certainly a strong conversation piece, made just before the Hays Code came into effect, and certainly one of the most influential to the Code's design. 5 years ago
  3. missgilda's avatar

    missgilda

    my first pre-code. absolutely perfect! barbara stanwyck is incredible here 11 years 3 months ago
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  1. corleones checked this movie 3 days 20 hours ago
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In 4 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #56 in iCheckMovies's 1930s Top 100
    iCheckMovies's 1930s Top 100's icon

    iCheckMovies's 1930s Top…

    56
  2. This movie ranks #126 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
    David Thomson's Have You Seen?'s icon

    David Thomson's Have You…

    126
  3. This movie ranks #428 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
    Library of Congress's National Film Registry's icon

    Library of Congress's Na…

    428
  4. This movie ranks #438 in Doubling the Canon
    Doubling the Canon's icon

    Doubling the Canon

    438
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