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Baby Doll (1956) - THE MOST VULGAR "CODE" FILM


Metropolisforever
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Baby Doll (1956) was the first film to be approved by the Production Code, but condemned by the Legion of Decency. The Catholic Legion of Decency succeeded in having the film withdrawn from release in most U.S. theaters because of their objections over its sexual themes. The movie was banned in many countries like Sweden, due to its allegedly exaggerated sexual content. The film was also condemned by Time, which called it the "dirtiest American-made motion picture that had ever been legally exhibited".

 

In 1969, the film was submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America for a film rating. It received an R rating.

 

Has anyone seen it?

 

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Message was edited by: Metropolisforever

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BABY DOLL has an interesting history. But the movie is not real good. It's depressing. The characters are anything but likeable. Sexual content is the least of it's offenses. Not saying it's terrible. There's some good dialogue. A certain tension. But anyone who was forbidden to see this didn't miss much.

 

Is it true that the movie inspired Baby Doll pajamas?

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>Is it true that the movie inspired Baby Doll pajamas?

 

Yes it is.

 

The movie was made to seem vulgar and it was promoted to seem like it was vulgar. But it wasn?t vulgar. Seems that the audiences that went to see it were expecting it to be vulgar, so they made up their own side stories as the film transpired. The most ?action? happened only in the minds of the 1956 theater goers.

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Sounds like something I should check out...

Watching a good vulgar or disturbing film is something I enjoy...

Notice..a GOOD vulgar film, not some terrible Troma or low budget offensive film, but one that is actually well made..and done in a way that doesnt come across as sleazy

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I agree. Although it has been about 3 or 4 years since I've seen it - I was EXPECTING vulgar. Didn't really get what I was looking for. Except for Carroll Baker "working" that ice cream cone. I hesitate to mention that because I happen to think that Carroll Baker is a very lovely lady...but, a man has dreams.... Liked Eli Wallach in this - he played "rats" so well.... So, I found your comment interesting - I had heard the "legend" of BABY DOLL, particularly of the huge billboard of Ms. Baker in the crib sucking her thumb that was displayed over some New York movie house - but, I was a little disappointed....

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Baby Doll is one of my favorite films. It's the film that turned me onto Tennessee Williams. Why? Because what's being said isn't always being said. There is SO MUCH going on in the film that it's nearly impossible to take it in all at once. It's a repeat-viewing film to be sure.

 

As for vulgarity, I'd say, yes, I can see where many people would find the film to be vulgar and quite offensive. It's a film about the sexual awakening of a girl. It's loaded with eroticism. I find the sexual gamesmanship in the film to be quite titilating. But I say this as a hetero man.

 

 

The ending to Baby Doll is one of my all-time favorites. It makes a powerful statement. A powerful female statement. As a man, I find it to be very important. It's something I truly take to heart.

 

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Classic guy humor here:

 

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SPOILER! SPOILER! This is the closing line.

 

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Baby Doll is awesome!!! Elia Kazan is one of my favorite directors. His films had a tremendous affect on me during the mid 90's. I learned a lot about acting and film making from his films.

 

Baby Doll is not an offensive movie. People have to realize that back in the day it was not uncommon for younger girls to be married off to older men. It is only in the last 50 years where this has become unacceptable.

 

There are some stand out performances in Baby Doll that just cannot be ignored.

I own it in my collection (VHS). Actually most of my Kazan films are on VHS because I collected them before DVD's came out.

 

 

-

cheers

kim

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Regarding 19 year old girls sleeping in baby cribs in Mississippi in the ?50s, I doubt if any such thing would have ever happened. We in the South laughed at the billboard picture, because a full-sized used mattress just placed on the floor would have cost only $5 or less back in those days, and the baby crib itself could have been traded for a full sized used iron-frame bed with a used cotton mattress.

 

I think the front-yard swing scene, which Frank posted below was considered to be the ?hottest? part of the film, and it was very well directed and acted. You might remember the way James Stewart and Donna Reed got worked up about each other while they were both trying to listen in on the same telephone at her mother?s house, and they had their heads and faces close together, in the film ?It?s a Wonderful Life?. That was really a ?hot? scene, and right afterwards they decided to run out and get married. Lol. So the swing scene in ?Baby Doll? was pretty much like that, but it lasted longer, plus the older man seemed to be taking advantage of the girl, and the girl seemed to like it. As I mentioned earlier, most of the ?obscene? material was in the advertising of the film and in the minds of the audience members who made up their own extra scenes and side stories.

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I LOVE "Babydoll"... Yes, it contains a lot of humor, as does "Lolita" (the book more than the film). Two great and funny (and, okay, vulgar) films... A lot of fun... Contrast with "Dark Night of the Hunter" which has the same ominous mood as these two, but none of the relieving humor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Dobbsy -- I just now saw that you directed your post towards me. You are correct about the scene from It's a Wonderful Life (my favorite scene in the film, by the way) and the "swing" scene in Baby Doll being similar but there is a major difference between the two, as well. The scene from It's a Wonderful Life is bursting with very deep love but the scene from Baby Doll is bursting with sex. "George" truly loves "Mary" but "Silva" is looking for sex with "Baby Doll." That's why I love the final lines to "Baby Doll." It speaks to love more so than sex. "Baby Doll" even looks older in the final scene. It's quite interesting to me.

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