Baby Face
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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 role) who helps her get a job at the Gotham Trust Company. From there, she seduces and discards… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A fascinatingly conflicted artifact of Depression-era do-me feminism."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"A typical Depression tale of upward mobility and a good vehicle for Barbara Stanwyck; you can spot John Wayne in a small part."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
" amazing film for any age because it is purely about sex. Not X-rated, pornographic sex, but raw, sensual, unequivocal, unmitigated sex, nevertheless."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Inarguably one of the greatest screen actresses of the century, Stanwyck gives one of her strongest performances here, all fire and hunger and pain."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"If you've never seen Stanwyck in a pre-Code film, you've never really seen Stanwyck."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"They can't take their eyes off her. You won't be able to either."
‑ Don Willmott,
"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."
‑ Bryant Frazer, Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
"The peppy title tune over the opening credits hardly prepares you for the sordid story that follows..."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Well worth looking at."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Engagingly shocking to audiences who think of old movies as quaint and innocent."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Racy melodrama made before the Production Code."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Baby Face on Rotten Tomatoes