Baby Face Reviews
On the other hand, the film is quite cynical and pretty linear in its plot. Stanwyck simply screws man after man - starting with a railroad worker who catches her hitching a ride to New York, and ending with an executive in a skyscraper. The film is brazen about this, and at one point she has sex in the ladies room, so if you're looking for elements of romance, this is not your film. How interesting is it that these "gold digger" themes are so common in films of this period, with men "victimized", when the far more prevalent situation in offices is sexual harassment, the inverse. While Stanwyck is one of my favorite actresses of the period, and it was exciting to see her in this steamy role, with those "take me" eyes and slow lead-ins to kisses, it's really rather hard to like any of the characters. The ending was a lame effort to patch some of that up, and didn't work for me. There are several Barbara Stanwyck pre-code films I would recommend over this one, including Night Nurse (1931), Ladies They Talk About (1933), and The Purchase Price (1932). If you're looking for high-wattage pre-Code shock value, though, this one is hard to top.
Its all femme fatale as Stanwyck climbs the corporate ladder all the way to the top utilising her seductive power over men. The movie is ruthless, straight forward and outstanding at its presentation of raw willpower.
At 75 minutes, it is fast paced and absolutely perfect.
take-charge women and independent working girls, Barbara Stanwyck was the pro. If anything distinguished her work from other actresses in the Pre-Code period, it was her gravitation to roles which were the complete antithesis of what passed for socially accepted female characters on the screen. Indeed, her performance in "Baby Face" as a carnal and supremely calculating seductress was strong enough to hasten the implementation of the dreaded production code. "Baby Face" remains one of Stanwyck's most potent performances and a final hurrah in Pre-Code cinema.