This is the fourth screening in a five-part series entitled AMERICAN EGO in which we invite the audience to view this selection of Classical Hollywood cinema with a critical eye to its preconceptions and depictions of success.
Part 4: Feminine Development
by Alfred E. Green
1933, digital projection, 75 mins
“Baby Face is most notorious of all the pre-code movies. It was in fact so shocking that the New York State Board of Censors rejected it even before the Hay’s Code went into strict enforcement. The film follows the sexual escapades of Lily Powers (Barbara Stanwyck), the beautiful daughter of a speakeasy owner (during Prohibition), who is being pimped-out by her father to his customers. Lily’s lackluster life in Pennsylvania takes a sudden turn when her father is killed in an
accident. Unmoved by her father’s death, Lily, along with her friend Chico (Theresa Harris), moves to New York in search of a better life. Now in New York City, Lily gets a job at a bank and uses her beauty and sexual prowess to seduce a string of successful men as she works her way to the top.”
Program notes and program by Ashley Cooper.
Ashley Cooper is a Location Coordinator for film and TV productions based in Chicago. She is a cinephile who has a passion for classic American cinema.