Baby Doll (1956)

“Hey, Senator, my ole dad once said, “Blessed is he who has nothin’ to say and cannot be persuaded to say it.”” – Member of the Crowd

Number of Times Seen – 1 (28 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two business rivals in the South find something else to fight about; the young virginal wife of one of them.

My Take on it – This is yet another film in the rapidly growing list of movies that I’d never heard of before seeing that it received two Oscar nominations for the performances within.

Since I’m trying to watch all films that have had Oscar nominated performances, I came across this film and decided to see what it was all about.

This is a movie that is quite intriguing since it tries to look at the relationship and correlation between business and love and shows things in a very unique way.

The story itself is presented in a very gripping fashion and the choice to make both of the rival men not likeable makes it even harder to choose which of the two is a better choice to win out in the end.

The movie has a very small cast yet all four of the main actors give superb performances here.

Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach and Mildred Dunnock are each able to create very realistic feeling characters.

Baker and Dunnock each were nominated for Oscars for their work here as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

This film was quite controversial when it came out due to some of the subject matter, but is quite tame when compared to today’s standards.

The dialogue is expertly written and we are given some great scenes that help keep the story flowing in some very interesting and entertaining ways.

The story is filled with some great twists and turns that constantly keep changing the direction of things at a moments notice and help keep things moving at a great pace throughout.

Bottom Line – Very interesting film that looks at the relationship between business and love from a unique perspective. The story itself is quite gripping because neither of the two main rivals are that likeable and it hard to try and decide who should win out in the end.  This film has a very small main cast, but all four of them do superb jobs here. Malden, Baker, Wallach and Dunnock are each able to create enjoyable and realistic characters.  Baker and Dunnock were both nominated for Oscars for their work in this film as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.  The story garnered much controversy when it came out yet seems quite tame based on today’s standards. The story has some great scenes that are written really well and manage to keep things interesting throughout especially since the plot features lots of ups and downs in the storyline because things change so rapidly along the way. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When the film was released in 1956, it was enormously controversial for its extremely risqué subject matter. The Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film for its “carnal suggestiveness”. Cardinal Francis J. Spellman condemned the film in a stunning attack from the pulpit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral two days before the film opened. He said that the film had been “responsibly judged to be evil in concept” and would “exert an immoral and corrupting influence on those who see it”. He exhorted all Catholics to refrain from patronizing the film “under pain of sin”. Cardinal Spellman’s condemnation of the film led to the Legion of Decency’s first-ever nationwide boycott of an American-made major studio film. All over the country, almost 20 million Catholics protested the film and picketed theaters that showed it. The Catholic boycott nearly killed the film; it was can-celled by 77% of theaters scheduled to show it, and made a meager $600,000 at the box office. The film was also condemned by Time Magazine, which called it the dirtiest American-made motion picture that had ever been legally exhibited. Surprisingly, despite the film’s sordid elements, the Production Code Administration gave it a seal of approval, but only after nearly a year of arguments. This was one of many examples of how the lax attitude of new Code official Geoffrey Shurlock, the successor at the PCA to the strict Catholic militant Joseph I. Breen, would lead to a schism with the Legion of Decency, and to the PCA’s own downfall over the next few years. After this film, the PCA drifted farther and farther away from its traditional guidelines until it was replaced by the MPAA ratings system in 1968.(From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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5 thoughts on “Baby Doll (1956)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1956 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1956 | MovieRob

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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