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688 Ratings

Baby Doll

Directed by Elia Kazan
United States, 1956


Elia Kazan’s steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous 19-year-old virgin.

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Baby Doll Directed by Elia Kazan

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1957 | 4 nominations including: Best Actress in a Leading Role

BAFTA Awards

1957 | Winner: Most Promising Newcomer to Film

1957 | 3 nominations including: Best Film from any Source

For whatever else he was, Kazan was not a cynic, and mixed in with all of this despair is a genuine tenderness for this very problem—which you might call History—and the people who bear its weight. If any blame is assigned it is to something called the human condition with all of its flaws and its violent tendencies; whether or not humanity deserves such a concession is one step further than the film is prepared to go.
July 02, 2017
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One of the great pleasures of Tennessee Williams’ writing was a kind of adoration of the dying bourgeoisie and celebration of white-trash vulgarity. In the case of Baby Doll, you have a coveted white feminine object infantilized in the dust bowl of the South’s former slavery-built legacy and the outsider who threatens to take it all away.
December 20, 2016
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As Silva easily twists both Baby Doll and Archie Lee with his intimidating smooth talk, their relationships hinge on violent (though seldom serious) potential and teasing provocation, veering into comedic absurdity. Extended close-ups of Silva as he caresses Baby Doll’s face and neck, leaving her in an aroused tizzy, are followed by playful pursuits, the mania both sultry and tense, the high anxiety hilarious and perverse.
December 14, 2016
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