The Baby (film)

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The Baby
Poster of the movie The Baby.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTed Post
Produced byAbe Polsky
Milton Polsky
Elliott Feinman
Written byAbe Polsky
Music byGerald Fried
CinematographyMichael D. Margulies
Edited byBob Crawford Sr.
Dick Wormell
Quintet Productions
Distributed byScotia International
Release date
  • March 1973 (1973-03)
Running time
85 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

The Baby is a 1973 American horror-thriller film, directed by Ted Post and written by Abe Polsky. The film stars Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill, Suzanne Zenor, and David Manzy. It tells the story of a social worker who investigates an eccentric family which includes "Baby", a 21-year-old man who acts like an infant.[2] The film is considered a cult classic.[3] [4]


Ann Gentry is a social worker wracked with guilt about a severe car accident with serious repercussions for her husband. She gets assigned to a new case: the eccentric and mysterious Wadsworth family. She quickly reveals that she has a special interest the family's youngest member—a seemingly mentally impaired adult man in his 20s who does not have a name and is called only "Baby." Mrs. Wadsworth has been extremely overprotective of him ever since his father left shortly after his birth, she will not let another caregiver interfere. The family's life revolves around Baby's care, and they are dependent upon Baby's disability payments as their main source of income.

Ann wants to work with Baby, who still acts and is treated like an infant by his mother and two sisters, thinking that with the proper treatment he might begin to behave more appropriately for his age group. She soon discovers that Baby's infant-like state is not caused by any physical or mental conditions, but because of the Wadsworth clan's profound neglect and abuse. Baby is never permitted to speak, walk, or do things for himself, receiving negative reinforcement in the form of beatings or restraints whenever he attempts to try. Baby has been forced into his state of perpetual dependency and infantilism since his actual infant-hood.

The Wadsworths grow tired of Ann's meddling and try to dispose of her during a party. Ann manages to escape, stealing Baby. Ann keeps Baby in her care at her house, rather than turning him over to a professional facility. Eventually, the Wadsworths break in to Ann's home with murderous intent, goaded by pictures Ann sent of Baby doing 'adult' things, such as standing. The Wadsworths fail to steal Baby back, and Ann, with the help of her mother-in-law, kills them all, first stabbing Baby's two sisters and burying Mrs. Wadsworth alive into a swimming pool Ann had been building.

Ann's interests in obtaining Baby are not as pure-hearted as they've seemed: now that she has him, she does not want to rescue or rehabilitate Baby. She sought Baby out so he can be a playmate for her husband, who was left with the mental capacity of an infant after his accident, becoming Baby's new (though kinder) jailor.



Scotia International released the film in March 1973 in a limited theatrical release.[6] Image Entertainment published the film in the year 2000 on DVD and VHS.[7]

The Baby was released on Blu-ray and DVD with a new transfer from the original negative by Severin Films in 2011.[8]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 9 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 7.2/10.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE BABY (X)". British Board of Film Classification. 1973-01-16. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  2. ^ "EFM 2013: First Casting News for Adrian Garcia Bogliano's Late Phases - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies: The Baby (1973): or, You Oughta Wean Him, He's Old Enough". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Baby". AFI Catalog. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  7. ^ The Baby VHS
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Baby (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Flixer. Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External links[edit]