April 6th, 1990



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Still of Johnny Depp, Traci Lords and Ricki Lake in Cry-Baby

In 1950s Baltimore, a bad-boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good-girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 6.3/10 (23,734 voted)

Director: John Waters

Stars: Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake, Amy Locane

"Drape" (or Greaser) Wade Walker, also known as Cry-Baby for his ability to shed a single tear, falls head over heels for square Allison Vernon-Williams who, incidentally, is tired of being good.

Johnny Depp - Cry-Baby
Amy Locane - Allison Vernon-Williams
Susan Tyrrell - Ramona Rickettes
Polly Bergen - Mrs. Vernon-Williams
Iggy Pop - Belvedere Rickettes
Ricki Lake - Pepper Walker
Traci Lords - Wanda Woodward
Kim McGuire - Mona 'Hatchet-Face' Malnorowski
Darren E. Burrows - Milton Hackett
Stephen Mailer - Baldwin
Kim Webb - Lenora Frigid
Alan J. Wendl - Toe-Joe
Troy Donahue - Hatchet's Father
Mink Stole - Hatchet's Mother
Joe Dallesandro - Milton's Father

Taglines: Good girls want him bad. Bad girls want him worse.

Release Date: 6 April 1990

Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $8,266,343 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (director's cut)

Did You Know?

James Intveld and Rachel Sweet did the singing for Johnny Depp and Amy Locane.

Continuity: After the immunizations, in the scene were Allison talks to the drapes for the first time, Lenora is standing on the steps trying to pose. The scene shoots away from her, but when it shoots back to her, her hair barrette has changed sides.

[first lines]
Wanda's mother: Hi Kids. Remember, always look both ways before crossing.
Wanda: [embarassed] Mother!

User Review

Silly, sweet fun. Don't take it seriously, just enjoy it


There seem to be two types of folks who detest "Cry-Baby;" those who think Waters sold out by making anything that cost more than $500 and didn't include coprophagy, and those who insist that all movies be Art with a capital A.

I was well into my 20's when the movie first came out, not a fan of 21 Jump Street, and no stranger to movies, including masterpieces and early John Waters, but I LOVED it, and have caught the uncut version on USA network quite a few times.

Cry-Baby is no Citizen Kane, and it's no Pink Flamingos, but, at risk of being pretentious, I will say that its full of something that makes art: Truth. Even in incredibly silly scenes, the movie is based in real and true emotions. John Waters' love for the fun parts of the 50's, (and hatred of the status quo that obviously made his teen years a living hell) is all over this film.

Yes, scenes such as the orphanage are silly, but the cynicism of the orphanage workers and the angst of the mother are as real as can be. The silliness works because the John Waters BELIEVES in what he is saying, and makes damn sure that his actors are with him!

All of the actors, from Johnny Depp who (as with all of his roles) *becomes* the character to Joe Dallesandro who barely can get his lines out, believe in their characters.

"Cry-Baby" parodies 50's "Teen Rebel" musicals such as "Rock Around the Clock" and "Don't Knock the Rock", but with obvious affection.

Yes, it's a musical. If you're one of those cynics who says things like "But people DON'T just start singing in real life" don't see it. Movies exist to give us a break from real life while mirroring it enough to be cathartic. Musicals and parodies take it one step further. They're not diaries, they're not reality, they're MOVIES!

"Cry-Baby" is a lot of fun, and the soundtrack is terrific (and "Hairspray"'s is even better!).

If you liked "Cry-Baby", I recommend "Hairspray" (not quite so silly, just as sweet.) and "But I'm A Cheerleader," which is definitely Waters-inspired, from its use of pink to its incredibly true emotions within very silly situations.

If you didn't like Cry-Baby, how sad. You obviously missed something.


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