Baby Doll (1956)

One of the best of Tennessee Williams's steamy southern dramas about mendacity under the magnolias, this rare, seldom-revived movie classic is a welcome treasure.

The great Elia Kazan directed, and this gem launched the career of luscious 25-year-old Carroll Baker as a backward thumb-sucking Lolita-like Mississippi child bride who drives men wild with frustrated lust.

babydoll_008  babydoll_010

Karl Malden is magnificent as her mad husband, Eli Wallach gives one of the greatest performances of his illustrious career as a lecherous cotton baron, and Mildred Dunnock is merely sensational as Baby Doll's retarded Aunt Rose Comfort.

The black and white photography of Boris Kaufman brilliantly captures the steamy atmosphere of the Mississippi backwoods.

When it was first released, this film was denounced by the Catholic Church, condemned by the Legion of Decency, and the centre of a storm of censorship controversy.

Now it's regarded as a high-water mark in cinema. It's sexy, but also howlingly funny.

Karl Malden
Baby Doll
Carroll Baker
Silva Vacarro
Eli Wallach
Aunt Rose Comfort
Mildred Dunnock
Lonny Chapman
Town Marshall
Eades Hogue
Noah Williamson

Elia Kazan