Baby Doll

  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Producers: Elia Kazan, Tennessee Williams
  • Writers: Tennessee Williams
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach

In the Mississippi Delta, failing, bigoted, middle-aged cotton gin-owner Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden) has been married to pretty, empty-headed 19-year old virgin Baby Doll Meighan (Carroll Baker) for two years. Archie impatiently waits for Baby Doll’s 20th birthday just a few days away when, by prior agreement with Baby Doll’s dying father, the marriage can finally be consummated. In the meantime, Baby Doll still sleeps in a crib, wearing childish shorty-nightgowns and sucking her thumb, while Archie spies on her through a hole in a wall of their decrepit antebellum mansion, “Fox Tail”.

Archie’s competitor, Sicilian Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), who owns a newer and more modern cotton gin, has taken away all of Archie’s business, and Archie retaliates by burning down Vacarro’s gin. Suspecting Archie as the arsonist, Vacarro plans his revenge: he will pursue and seduce Baby Doll and terrorize her into signing an affadavit admitting her husband’s guilt.[4][5][6][2]

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