Baby Face is a sexually-charged, pre-Code Drama film, first released in 1933. The picture is about an attractive young woman played by Barbara Stanwyck who uses sex to advance her social and financial status. The film was based on a story by Darryl F. Zanuck (under the pseudonym Mark Canfield), written by Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola, and directed by Alfred E. Green. It stars Stanwyck and George Brent, and features Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier, Henry Kolker, John Wayne, and Margaret Lindsay.
The film's open discussion of sex made it one of the most notorious films of the Pre-Code Hollywood era. It was marketed with the salacious tag line "She had IT and made IT pay."
Director: Alfred E. Green
Writers: Gene Markey , Kathryn Scola
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent and Donald Cook
This movie is cited as being most responsible for the implementation of the private 'production code' in 1934. Barbara Stanwyck stars in this rags to riches story in pre-ww2 New York City, This clip contains two scenes cut from the final release, a breast grope and the entire rail yard 'exchange'. The Nietzsche speech here was also substantially changed. John Wayne has a small role here, as one of Stanwyck's early conquests. The original Gold Digger (1933). She had IT and made IT pay. A summary of 'Baby Face' one of the most notorious films of the Pre-Code Hollywood era starring Barbara Stanwick 1933.
Nietzsche: "All life, no matter how we idealize it, is nothing more nor less than exploitation. That's what I'm telling you. Exploit yourself. Go to some big city where you will find opportunities! Use men! Be strong! Defiant! Use men to get the things you want!"
Time Magazine: In four fabulous years before a strict Motion Picture Code put the cap on audacity, Warner Bros. produced a garish gallery of rude, saucy films. Tough guys used guns and grapefruit to commandeer the urban nightscape; dames like Dorothy Mackaill and the young Bette Davis lured men to a heavenly Hades. But no actor was as tough as Barbara Stanwyck, and no actress used womanly wiles with an intelligence so cool and cutting. In this invigorating affront of a movie, dreamed up by Warners' departing production chief Darryl Zanuck, Lily (Stanwyck) escapes to New York from an Erie, Pa., speakeasy where her father has rented her out to the customers. In a big-city bank, she sleeps her way to the top, leaving a heap of discarded men (and one or two corpses). Even in a version pruned for the New York state censors, Baby Face was the definitive pre-Code statement of how the Depression created a new morality of no morality. Now the missing five minutes have been restored, and we see how the movie snarled every bit as brazenly as Stanwyck did.
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