Baby Doll (1956) Directed by Elia Kazan and screenplay by Tennessee Williams from his play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton
Karl Malden as Arthur Lee Meighan and Carroll Baker as Baby Doll Meighan

Arthur Lee: Well, what’re you waitin’ for? Oh now, come on. Get into the car!
Baby Doll: I will get in the back seat of that scatter boat when you get out and walk around and open the door for me like a gentleman.
Arthur Lee: Well, you’re gonna wait a long time if that’s what you’re waitin’ for.
Baby Doll: Well, I declare! My father would turn over in his grave!
Arthur Lee: I never once saw your father get out and open the car door for any woman and especially not your waddle-legged mother! Now, get on in!

3 Responses to “Baby Doll (1956) – Karl Malden’s 100th Birthday”

  1. Vintage Tennessee Williams talk in a controversial work that was condemned by the Catholic League of Decency. Now it is rightly seen as a spicy classic with Malden in top form and Carroll Baker delivering a terrific performance as Baby Doll. Although Malden’s great work in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and ON THE WATERFRONT are more celebrated, I applaud the choice here for all sorts of reasons!

  2. I watched this (for the first time!) a couple weeks ago. I like this scene in particular because the guys sitting around whittling by the tree watch the whole thing like the Meighans are their own private source of entertainment – and they sort of are. Incidentally, Malden is March’s star of the month on TCM.

  3. Yes I was tempted to go with Streetcar and Waterfront, but A) that would’ve been too easy and B) while Malden is terrific in both, he’s not quite the star and he tends to be overshadowed in everyone’s memory by Brando.

    There are actually long stretches of this that he’s not in and both Carroll Baker and Eli Wallach leave a strong impression, but still Malden owns this one more than those others.

    Haha, Jeanine. Loved the peanut gallery in this one.

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