Separated at birth: Spy Hunter / Gotham Streets
Reading Clowes

Sexualized South

Baby Doll   (1956)     poster
"Upon its release in 1956, the film Baby Doll provoked virulent threats from protestors, bans from religious leaders, and flippancy from film critics who dismissed it as a lurid tale of a virgin child bride, her sexually frustrated husband, and her smarmy lover. Since then film historians have continued to revisit Baby Doll as significant to Hollywood’s censorship struggle; yet the film itself has failed to find a respectable place in the canon of American cinema and as such has rarely been the subject of detailed critical analysis. A collaboration between writer Tennessee Williams and director Elia Kazan, the story portrays the nineteen-year-old married virgin Baby Doll Meighan (Carroll Baker) who must consummate her marriage the following day on her twentieth birthday, as long as her husband Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden) upholds his end of the bargain: to provide her with a comfortable life. The wrinkle in his plan arrives in the form of Sicilian Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), who has overtaken the local cotton-gin business. After Archie Lee spitefully burns down his rival’s gin, Vacarro arrives at his house to seek revenge. There he meets Baby Doll, who becomes instrumental in his plan. What ensues is a complex mix of desire and desperation, with Baby Doll as both player and pawn."
+Marriage, Adultery, and Desire: A Subversive Subtext in Baby Doll

+ Tennessee Williams’ Sexualized South: America’s Reaction
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