Baby Doll

Baby Doll is a 1956 American dramatic black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Carroll Baker, Karl Malden and Eli Wallach. It was produced by Kazan and Tennessee Williams, and adapted by Williams from his own one-act play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (1955). The plot focuses on a feud between two rival cotton gin owners in rural Mississippi; after one of the men commits arson against the other's gin, the owner retaliates by attempting to seduce the arsonist's nineteen-year-old virgin bride with the hopes of receiving an admission by her of her husband's guilt.


In the Mississippi Delta, bigoted, middle-aged cotton gin owner Archie Lee Meighan has been married to pretty, naïve 19-year-old "Baby Doll" Meighan for two years. Archie Lee impatiently waits for her twentieth birthday, when, by prior agreement with her now-deceased father, the marriage can finally be consummated. In the meantime, she sleeps in a crib, because the only other bedroom furniture in the house is the bed in which Archie sleeps; Archie, an alcoholic, spies on her through a hole in a wall. Baby Doll's senile Aunt Rose Comfort lives in the house as well, much to Archie's chagrin.