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Baby Face (1933)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,279

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Movie Info

Baby Face is a good example of the kind of spitfire lead female characters that appeared in the cinema of pre-code Hollywood. Lily Powers (Barbara Stanwyck) works as a barmaid in her father's factory-town saloon where she learns to deal with the unwanted advances of male customers. When her father dies, she moves to New York City with her maid, Chico (Theresa Harris), to become a ruthless gold digger. First she meets office boy Jimmy McCoy (a young John Wayne in an uncharacteristically clean-cut


Drama, Classics

Gene Markey, Kathryn Scola

Dec 5, 2006


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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (0) | DVD (2)

A fascinatingly conflicted artifact of Depression-era do-me feminism.

April 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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If you've never seen Stanwyck in a pre-Code film, you've never really seen Stanwyck.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Well worth looking at.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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A typical Depression tale of upward mobility and a good vehicle for Barbara Stanwyck; you can spot John Wayne in a small part.

April 30, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

They can't take their eyes off her. You won't be able to either.

April 24, 2007 Full Review Source:

Engagingly shocking to audiences who think of old movies as quaint and innocent.

January 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) amazing film for any age because it is purely about sex. Not X-rated, pornographic sex, but raw, sensual, unequivocal, unmitigated sex, nevertheless.

December 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Baby Face is sort of the ultimate pre-Code film, with its repetitive form %u2014 that same come-hither look, that same goggle-eyed assent from the dude on the receiving end %u2014 almost beggaring belief.

December 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

Racy melodrama made before the Production Code.

March 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Inarguably one of the greatest screen actresses of the century, Stanwyck gives one of her strongest performances here, all fire and hunger and pain.

February 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The peppy title tune over the opening credits hardly prepares you for the sordid story that follows...

July 14, 2004 Full Review
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for Baby Face

I really liked this movie, but it does remind you a lot of Red-Headed Woman story wise. I really liked Stanwyck in this movie. Also I loved the ending.
November 15, 2010

Super Reviewer

"baby face" was an mighty milestone to set up the stanwyckesque femme fatale image before the fatally classic "double indemnity"...generally..the vital charm of most femme fatales is their gluttonish sensuality and sex apeal...but the allure of stanwyck's femme fatale is based upon her ruthless toughnes and also her un-willing-ness to comprise..sorta's just like a man who takes what he wants without hesitation...basically BF is an heavily melodrama-driven story even it's worthy being praised for its audacious outrage in a conservative decade. to apply nietzscheistic superman into the "bad girl survives and rules" pattern is indeed feministically offbeat that could be considered a defying moral dynamite at that time. babyface's hostility against man is motivated by her experience of being exploited by men, especially her father. her remarks about her father philandering her was incredically explicit in the concern of the censor in the 30's. the quick wit and dare-devil adventurousness of stanwyck's material girl sorta savor the audience's appreciation over babyface's resourcefulness. but the devilsih brazen fun of the movie is somehow hindered by the moralistic closure. (bad girl is suddenly stricken with the meaning of love.) if interpretating it from a different perspect, perhaps it could be a touching story of an astray female discovering the warmth of bona-fide human affection. only stanwyck's swiftly polished acting talent could carry it off without diverged distortion.
April 13, 2008
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

If you see this, make sure you get the DVD that has both versions on it, the uncensored and the censored. Nowadays, I doubt there would be any question about toning down the original; it's tame by today's standards. But there was a time when what we take for granted in movies today was definitely considered dubious content. Stanwyck is stunning as the abused child who sleeps her way to the top. Although she may appear to be heartless, it's a Hollywood ending 1930s style.
December 30, 2007

Super Reviewer

wild pre code with a sensuall and hard as nails barbara
March 29, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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