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Baby Face

Baby Face(1933)

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According to Warner Bros. production records in the AMPAS Library file on the film, Baby Face was shot in eighteen days at a total cost of $187,000. MPAA/PCA records indicate that the film met with censorship problems shortly after its initial release. The Hays office recommended that the picture be pulled from the theaters for its violations of the production code. According to PCA files at AMPAS, there was extensive correspondence between officials of the AMPP and Warner Bros. executives Darryl Zanuck and Jack L. Warner regarding various changes which were intended to make the film more acceptable to censor boards across the country. The main thrust of the changes was to attach an ending which showed Lily losing everything she had gained and returning to her hometown in order that viewers would not be tempted to believe that vice was rewarded. Originally the character of the cobbler professed a Nietzchian philosophy which was unacceptable under the production code. The character was changed to become instead the moral voice of the film, and was used to indicate that the character of Lily had been wrong to advance in the by using her body. Also cut were the most blantant references to the fact that Lily was being kept by men. Film Daily notes that the film was rejected by the Virginia censor board. Although some reviews indicate that this film led to a rift between Zanuck and Warner Bros., resulting in his departure and eventually the formation of Twentieth Century Pictures, actually Zanuck quit over a labor despute. For additional information on Zanuck's departure from Warner Bros., consult the entry below for the The Bowery.