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Archive for September 11th, 2010
11 Sep

A Blip of a DVD Review: “Baby Doll”

Alternate Title: “Aww..Grow Up Already!”

Short Plot: Immature girl (Carroll Baker) marries a cotton ginnier (Karl Malden) but refuses to give it up to him until her 20th birthday. A rival (Eli Wallach) comes on the scene and provides the fuel for the fire of arson, passion, and revenge. Oh, for the most part this is a comedy – a twisted Tennessee Williams one.

Pros: Carroll Baker is beautiful and brilliant, deemed indecent in its day (1956), oddly funny, creepy-hot seduction scenes, great use of local town folk, and a fascinating screenplay.

Cons: Karl Malden is a little over the top (more than required), choppy sound and editing (at least on the DVD print), not everyone is going to buy the premise, and confusing on whether this is really meant to be a drama or a dark comedy.

Verdict: I found this to be very interesting. I liked the oddball plot and the ambiguity of Eli Wallach’s intentions and what actually might have happened both during the story and even after it is all over. I can see why it was considered a dirty film back in the day as the seduction scenes are really quite well done and intimate. I had a hard time completely buying the story at times, but Carroll Baker always kept my attention. For anyone who really likes odd old movies that truly have a place in film history, this is a must-see. Casual movie goes may consider this too odd and “aged.”

Rating:  3 out of 5 Blips  •••

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