Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pre - Code: Baby Face(1933).

Baby Face (1933). A dramatic film directed by Alfred E. Green. Cast:  Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent. Based on a story by Darryl F. Zanuck. This Pre-Code Hollywood film is about an young woman who uses sex to advance herself socially and her career. The film's open discussion of sex made it one of the most notorious films of the Pre-Code Hollywood era.

The story begins when Lily Powers, the daughter of Nick Powers, a speakeasy owner, tries to keep her distance from men, who her father forces on her. It does not take long before Lily, decides to give in and use men to get what she wants.

She leaves town with her maid Chico and takes a job in a bank, where she seduces: Jimmy McCoy, his boss Brody and Ned Stevens, Brody's supervisor. Stevens, who has fallen under Lily spell sets her up in an elegant apartment, even though he is engaged to Ann Carter, the daughter of one of the bank's high power executives.

Out of jealousy, Stevens kills Carter, then himself, creating a scandal at the bank. The bank decides to send Lily Paris to stop the scandle.

When Courtland Trenholm, is transferred to Paris, he too falls in love with Lily and marries her. Trenholm signs over all his money to Lily and when the bank falls into bankruptcy, Lily refuses to help him. Feeling helpless Trenholm decides to shoot himself, will Lily arrive in time to save his life?

Barbara Stanwyck, is wonderful as the bad girl, who knows how to work all the men in her life.

John Wayne, is a unsuccessful suitor for Stanwyck. This would be the only time these two performers appeared together on screen.

Margaret Lindsay (September 19, 1910 - May 9, 1981). After some minor roles in Pre-Code films such as Christopher Strong and Baby Face, Lindsay was cast in the film, Cavalcade. Her performance in, Cavalcade earned her a contract at Warner Bros.

Lindsay played Edith Harris, a doomed English bride whose honeymoon voyage takes place on the Titanic. 

Lindsay was cast four times as the love interest of James Cagney, from 1933-1935 in the classic films: Frisco Kid, Devil Dogs of the Air, G-Men and Lady Killer.

Lindsay co-starred with Bette Davis in four films: 1934's Fog Over Frisco, 1935's Dangerous, Bordertown, Jezebel(1938), The Law in Her Hands (1936). Author Roger Dooley identified the film as "being the only film of the 1930's to have a pair of female legal partners".

Made after the Motion Picture Production Code came into effect. Lindsay's favorite film role may have been, The House of the Seven Gables(1940).

Her 1940's film series included the Crime Doctor series, as well as her continuing role as Nikki Porter in, Columbia's Ellery Queen series from 1940-1942.

Lindsay performed in a supporting role in the 1942 film, The Spoilers, starring John Wayne and in Fritz Lang's, Scarlet Street(1945).

After performing in Cass Timberlane with Spencer Tracy, her film career began to fade.

Her last film was, Tammy and the Doctor (1963).

Early in her career, Lindsay lived with her sister Helen in Hollywood.

Later in life, she lived with her youngest sister Mickie. Margaret Lindsay's sister, Jane Kies (1909–1985), was also an actress named, Jane Gilbert.

In 1940, Jane married the son of Hedda Hopper, actor William Hopper, best known for his role as Paul Drake in the Perry Mason television series.

Lindsay's niece Peggy Kenline and great-nephew Brad Yates were also actors.


  1. Baby Face sounds like a great movie. It's always interesting to see how older films touch on more risque plot lines for that time. I've never seen any of the films Margaret Lindsay has been in, although I could of sworn "Jezebel" was just on TCM.

    Great post!


  2. Mighty B, Thank you. I really enjoy watching pre-code films. The stories seem more realistic.

    I have seen Margaret Lindsay, perform in many films and really think that she is a great actress.


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