What goes on in this nursery isn't for kids! Pray you don't learn the secret of..."The Baby!" Social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) is assigned to a new case: the Wadsworth family, which consists of an abusive, alcoho... more »lic mother (Ruth Roman), two demented and over-sexed daughters (Suzanne Zenor and Mariana Hill) and "Baby"--a grown son who lives in a crib, gurgles incoherently and is treated like an infant! As Ann slowly learns the dark secrets behind the family, she sets her sights on liberating Baby until a bizarre revelation about her own past leads to a shocking and twisted denouement. Spend some time with one of cinema's sickest families ever and rediscover a little-seen thriller that ranks as one of the most perverse and unique films of the 1970s.« less
David N. (teenagewerewolf) from GADSDEN, AL Reviewed on 10/15/2011...
This is a strange movie and shocker of an ending - Very enjoyable!!
Tom Kertis | usa | 03/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing this movie,(having seen it twice) in the 70's at our local drive-in. Back then it was some movie, and as I STILL remember it, it still is. To this day,I haven't seen anything like this! To quote "The Video Movie Guide", "Extremely odd film about a teenager who has remained an infant all of his life (yes, he still lives in his crib) and with his insane, overprotective mother. Eerily effective chiller is entertaining, though many will find it undoubtedly repulsive, and rediculous". I couldn't beleive it was re-issued again. This is truly, one hell-of-a remarkable story! I highly recommend it! Creepy! (In spite of the Mad TV skit.) Get it!"
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 12/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like your cinematic excursions laugh out loud, stark raving loony, bizarrorama howl at the moon weird, you might just find something to like with Ted Post's 1972 release "The Baby." This eerie little number is to cinema what Ed Gein is to psychopathology; it's the equivalent of dancing around on your property wearing a mask made out of bacon and singing Debbie Boone songs, or papering every wall in your house with pictures of Uncle Fester. Yes, "The Baby" is that offbeat, weird, whatever label you want to stick on it that translates as "strange." After watching the final credits roll, I pondered what I had just witnessed. The only explanation that seemed to fit is that Post and the other people associated with this film took the brown blotter at Woodstock. I think it is safe to say that this movie never had a chance of getting a coveted Oscar nomination or any other significant award. The only place that might see fit to recognize this film would be an insane asylum.As "The Baby" starts, we learn that social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) has decided to accept one of the strangest assignments of her career. She will begin visiting the Wadsworth residence a few times a week in order to monitor that family's treatment of their infant son. The clan consists of the husky voiced, chain-smoking mother (played with a nod and a wink by an aging Ruth Roman), two gorgeous yet snotty sisters named Alba and Germaine, and Baby. Nothing too odd here, except Baby is actually a full grown man who cannot speak, walk, or take care of himself. Baby spends most of his time in a playpen in the house or in a crib out on the lawn where he gurgles and gasps to himself and his family. Neither the mother or the sisters care much for Baby but they have to go through the motions if they want to keep those state aid checks coming in. The entire family tolerates Ann with barely contained disdain, grudgingly putting up with her frequent surprise visits. As Gentry gains a familiarity with Baby, she becomes convinced that the man-child has the capacity to learn how to speak and walk. When Comer's character becomes convinced that the Wadsworths are subtly thwarting her efforts to help Baby, she recommends the child be removed from the house. The family defies Ann at every corner, with the eventual showdown between the social worker and the Wadsworth clan turning into a surprisingly violent romp.As weird as "The Baby" sounds from the description above, the movie gets even stranger up close and personal. A certain encounter between Baby and one of his sisters implies a behavior that is both shocking and deeply repulsive. Moreover, as time goes on we soon begin to suspect the actions of the angelic Ann Gentry. What are her motivations for the endless surprise visits to the Wadsworth house? The last social worker knew the boundaries of the job. Why can't Ann put her emotions in check? Even noticing Gentry's increasingly nosy behavior won't prepare you for the mind-shattering conclusion. That little jolt comes arcing out of the sky with the force of a thunderclap, throwing into confusion everything you thought you knew up to that point. Even better, once you watch the whole thing and remember the clues you will slap yourself on the forehead for not seeing where this one was going. Maybe it's the garish clothing or the hilarious birthday party for Baby where the décor and music is part psychedelic trip and part disco fever that prevents the viewer from keeping things in perspective. (This is 1973, remember, one of those awkward years between the hippies and "Saturday Night Fever." Yikes.)The performances in "The Baby" are top notch. Roman believably plays the cynical matriarch of the clan, a woman so inured to the way things are that she will brook no upheavals to her family's stability from some high minded social worker. The actresses who play Alba and Germaine are two foxy gals decked out in huge hair and risqué '70's clothes. They play their parts to a T, as two nasty young ladies who know the score and are loyal to their mother up to the bitter end. Anjanette Comer does an adequate turn as Ann Gentry, conveying just the right amount of concern and hardheaded persistence over Baby's status in the Wadsworth house. She also makes the twist ending believable. Congratulations deservedly go to David Manzy in the role of Baby. This guy never utters one word in the entire picture and after awhile you really come to believe this is a twenty something year old guy who never developed past the infant stage.The DVD doesn't really give us anything to stand up and shout about. "The Baby," perhaps more than most other films, really deserves a commentary track from some of the principal members of the cast and crew. I just want to know two things about this movie: what were you thinking and how in the heck did you manage to get a 'PG' rating for this film? This movie is so disturbing that I cringe a bit thinking about the kiddies going to see this one in the theater. If I had seen this as a youth I would have been permanently scarred. It took me years to get over the creepy commercials for the film "Magic"; I can only imagine what "The Baby" would have done to my sensibilities. In short, if you like strange, check out "The Baby.""
Tom Kertis | 05/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the first editorial review of this film states, it's hard to really know where to begin discussing "The Baby." It's a disturbing film on so many levels...and all the ways in which it is disturbing coalesce to make it a really memorable thriller. In fact, this little thriller is so memorable, it may very well give you nightmares for a long time after you see it.I first saw this film as a child, when it was on the "Million Dollar Movie" one Sunday afternoon. The whole strange story and really unexpected plot twists, as well as its dark and eerie denouement, stayed with me for 25 years till I rented it and watched it again. And 25 years later, "The Baby" still packs a disturbing punch.Firstly, the whole premise is unsettling. Without getting too much into a plot summary, suffice it to say that social worker Ann Gentry (played by Anjanette Comer) has to determine the Wadsworth family's eligibility for aid. The Wadsworth family consists of Momma (a middle-aged, rough-and-tough, cigarette-smoking, miniskirt-wearing woman played by the redoubtable Ruth Roman), two adult daughters named Alba and Germaine, and one son simply called "Baby" (played by David Manzy). Throughout the whole film, we never learn what Baby's real name is, or if he even has a real name. In any case, Ann is horrified to find that Baby is actually a young man in his twenties who wears diapers, sleeps in a crib, sucks his thumb and doesn't walk or talk. According to his mother and two adult sisters, Baby was born severely retarded and so never was able to walk, talk or develop normally in any other way. However, as time goes on Ann becomes more and more convinced that Baby is not at all retarded, but rather is a normal young man whose development has been monstrously stifled by his sick family. She becomes determined to take him from his family and care for him herself, and soon finds herself in danger from Momma, Alba and Germaine, all of whom resent what they see as Ann's "butting in".The second thing that makes this film disturbing is the evolution of Ann's character throughout the film. As the plot unfolds, the viewer begins to gain insight into Ann's true motivations and intentions. After a narrow escape from the clutches of Momma, Alba and Germaine, Ann actually succeeds in taking Baby from his family. Momma, Alba and Germaine trace him to Ann's house and go there, determined to get him back by any means necessary (packing a gun for this purpose). I won't give away the plot twist or ending, but suffice it to say that nice, sweet Ann turns the tables on Momma, Alba and Germaine in a rather...unexpected manner. And this unexpected turn of events will stick in your mind at least for weeks, or perhaps for years.
So, in conclusion, this is a thriller that's definitely worth watching. The acting is really good all around. Ruth Roman always turns in a solid performance, and in "The Baby" she takes on her role as big bad Momma with gusto (including beating the living crap out of a babysitter with a belt when she thinks that the sitter has been getting...uh, shall we say too friendly wtih Baby). The two women who play Alba and Germaine (unfortuantely I forget their names) also turn in excellent performances, particularly Alba, who seems to relish in "correcting" Baby with blunt instruments if he tries to do anything "bad" like walk or talk. And David Manzy steals the show as Baby. You truly find yourself pitying him, especially when it seems more and more apparent that he's a normal person who's never been allowed to develop normally. This is a well-done little film that will definitely unsettle you."
Weird & Rare, unless you're familiar with the themes
Jeffrey Leach | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ahem. Okay. The Baby. Strange movie? Yes. A complete oddity? Not really. This film is the only movie I know which covers the subject of Infantilism so openly, albeit in a sado-masochistic, negative sort of way. This film is not horror. It's a thriller. At least to the general populace. Infantilists will undoubtedly dig this movie. The ending is truly a surprise up there with "Luke, I am your father." *chuckles* Definitely the first and possibly only film of it's kind. Good performances, good camera work, thrills, chills and rubber pants. It's a cult classic with virtually no following whatsoever. And that is the strangest thing about it. However it does have at least one scene that can be described as brutal and will make you sympathize with Baby completely.AB's and curious come see, conservative's firstname.lastname@example.org"
GOLD564@AOL.COM | WASHINGTON United States | 10/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is very interesting film which I would call more of a psychological drama. The clarity, sound, and overall picture quality are excellent for this DVD as related to an early '70s film. Some "behind the scenes" would make it better however.The actor who played "Baby" did an excellent job. He crawls, screams, cries, wears diapers, lives in a crib and playpen, sucks a bottle and his thumb like a real baby. he is very realistic in his role as a boy/man of about 21 who is living in a physically and emotionally abusive and deprived houshold. The opening scene of the movie, the interview, makes it clear who the dominating and weak forces are. The camera angles, positioning and angels bear out each characters position and continues as the movie evolves. The editing is good as is the storyline line for a movie of the 1970's. There are some interesting and disturbing scenes throughout the film. The innocent diaper change by the babysitter and a playtime accident where she consoles baby and an act of breastfeeding innocently follows turns into a violent beating when the mother unexpectedly walks in. The demonstration that "Baby" is capable of learning and doing rudimentary skills and the mother intimidating and scolding her retarded son followed by a cruel tortuing by his sister are just some of the scenes of noteworthiness and make this film quite interesting and certainly perverse. Although an odd film, the theme and objectives of each of the characters is very clear as is the history and rationale of the family and of the social worker. There is much domination and revenge, directly and indirectly, in this film. Some scenes may be found, by some, to be strong and offensive but they give definite support and are essential to the storyline. For any woman who has ever wanted or dreamed of having full control or direction of a man this is your film.For the price and because of its creativity and other qualities already discussed I highly recommend this DVD film to your library....Thanks."