BABY DOLL
1956, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Director Elia Kazan’s controversial film starring Carroll Baker in a ground-breaking performance as a thumb-sucking child bride in the deep South. Karl Malden stars as Archie Lee Meighan, her middle-aged husband, a cotton gin owner who eagerly awaits his bride’s 20th birthday when they will finally consummate their marriage. But rival cotton business man Silva Vaccaro (Eli Wallach in his film debut) suspects Archie of burning down his gin and takes an erotic form of Sicilian vengeance in this gothic tale of pride and perversity. Tennessee Williams wrote his first original screenplay for BABY DOLL, using some elements from two of his earlier one-act plays. The film garnered four Oscar nominations, including one for Carroll Baker (Best Actress) and one for Tennessee Williams (Best Writing, Best Screenplay adapted for script), but the explosive film was condemned by the Legion of Decency upon its release. Rip Torn also makes his film debut in an un-credited role.


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