Baby Face


Baby Face is the 1933 film that created the archetypal Barbara Stanwyck character and famously laid everything bare before the production code tried to clean up Hollywood. It’s direct and “against interpretation”—but that’s what makes it so compelling. Join Tim and Dan for a conversation about how the film speaks to our current moment regarding agency, exploitation, and climbing the corporate ladder. It’s also a lot like Richard III. This may have been the first of Barbara Stanwyck’s big roles, but it was Alfred E. Green’s fifty-fourth feature, which leads to a digression about people who claim that any director did something first. So grab that suitcase of jewels, hop in the back of the ambulance, and give it a listen!

In 2015, Victoria Wilson published A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907-1940. We’re still waiting for the next volume, but at 1,056 pages, this one will keep you busy. Also check out Catherine Russell’s 2023 collection, The Cinema of Barbara Stanwyck: Twenty-Six Essays on a Working Star and Dan’s interview with the author on the New Books Network.

Follow us on X or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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