Film / The Baby
is a 1973 B-movie directed by Ted Post. The film is usually classified "Horror", but it is actually more a psychological drama.
Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) is a social worker whose husband has recently been injured in an accident. She gets assigned to the Wadsworth family which consists of Mrs. Wadsworth (Ruth Roman), her two adult daughters Germaine (Marianna Hill) and Alba (Suzanne Zenor), and "Baby" (David Manzy), a grown man who acts and is treated like a baby
. Ann takes on the case because she thinks the Wadsworths have been mistreating Baby, but there is also another reason she is interested in him.
This film provides examples of:
- False Widow: Ann, at first we assume her husband died, but it turns out he survived. He's just brain damaged and acts like a baby
- Girlish Pigtails: Alba wears them in a couple scenes.
- His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Baby's actual name is, in fact, Baby.
- Mama Bear: Mrs. Wadsworth. Evil Matriarch tendencies aside, she does seem to genuinely care about Baby as shown when she shocks Alba with a cattle prod for doing the same to Baby and later scolding her for suggesting that he should've been given to a circus.
- Mind Screw: It's a pretty serious work, aside from the "baby" part.
- Manchild: Baby, because he was Not Allowed to Grow Up. Ann's husband is one too, as a result of his accident.
- The Sociopath: Alba shows signs. The look on her face as she shocks Baby with a cattle prod is one of pure sadistic glee, says that they should've sold Baby to a circus to be a sideshow attraction, which garners a negative response from both Germaine and Mrs. Wadsworth, and instructs a guy who tries to flirt with her to burn his hand.
- Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: recently, it was performed in Los Angeles in 2013 and Toronto in 2015.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: Ann, Ann's mother-in-law, and the two "babies" (Baby and Ann's husband) are all happily playing in their new pool, which was built on top of the dead bodies of Baby's old family!
- You're Insane!: Ann and her mother-in-law got nothing on the Wadsworths