Friday, February 3, 2012

Baby Face

What makes Barbara Stanwyck so memorable is not only was she a great actress, she had attitude. Like James Cagney, she had a real firecracker of a personality. (Must be a New York City thing.)

In Baby Face, she stars as Lily Powers, a woman who charms her way to the top. Like many other Stanwyck roles, Lily is someone who goes by her own rules. The main difference between Lily and the other roles is that Lily won't let anything get in the way.

From her first appearance, one could tell that Lily was someone that can not, does not and will not forget anyone or anything. The same thing could be applied to the men that meet her. She's someone that no one can or will forget.

Lily possesses a glint in her eyes, hinting that she is all too familiar with her own schemes. Indeed her past in brought up in an early scene, but not many details emerge. Her sly smile keeps us wondering if she even likes doing what she does.

Baby Face is one of those films where you can tell what era of Hollywood it was made. (In this case, the pre-code era.) Stanwyck is in a very bold performance, by both today's standards and those of that period in time. This in all honesty is essential pre-code.

My Rating: *****

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