Thursday, November 15, 2012

Film #4: Baby Face

"Baby Face" is a pre-code drama starring the late and great Barbara Stanwyck. Babs (as I affectionately call her) plays a speakeasy owner's daughter, who on advice from a German cobbler moves to New York City after a raid on her father's gin joint. Baby Face finds gainful employment at a posh looking bank, sleeping her way up the corporate ladder. When Baby throws over one lover for the bank's V.P. (his future father-in-law) the results are disastrous ending in the deaths of both of the above mentioned. The bank then hires an amusingly named lothario as their new president, Courtland Trenholm (played by George Brent). He refuses to pay her for her silence and sends her to work at the bank's Paris branch. Under the glittering lights of gay Paris he too falls for her. When he proposes marriage she accepts. But when it comes time to chose in between him and money she's torn.

As I don't want to give anything away I'll stop there. Barbara Stanwyck is brilliant as always as the hard-boiled Baby Face. Baby Face's best friends are an immigrant cobbler and her African-American maid Chico, which makes her seem a little bit nicer than one initially would think. Both Stanwyck's portrayal and that fact make her seem more a victim than a villainess, in spite of the way she uses men like tissues. Speaking of tissues, toward the end I cried because I am a sap.

On a more superficial note, I enjoyed Babs' hair (which was beautiful like always) and the 1930s office wear and evening gowns she donned.

The overall verdict for this movie is Ugh Babs why are you so flawless?

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