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John Waters does a quirky spin on '50s nostalgia in Cry-Baby, his musical homage to Rebel Without a Cause and Romeo and Juliet. Set in Baltimore in 1954 at the birth of rock & roll, the film features Johnny Depp as Wade Cry-Baby Walker. Depp is pure charisma as a juvenile delinquent with a permanent tear slithering down his cheek, a reminder of his state-executed parents. In the depths of his despair appears goody-goody girl Allison (Amy Locane), who has a sexual crush on Cry-Baby. But Allison's Pat Boone-like boyfriend, Baldwin (Stephen E. Miller), the leader of the squares, is dead set against Cry-Baby and the rest of the juvenile delinquents and leads a revolt against them. In the resultant riot, the juvenile delinquents are blamed for the chaos, and Cry-Baby finds himself dispatched to reform school.~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide


  • Johnny Depp
  • Amy Locane
  • Susan Tyrrell
  • Polly Bergen
  • Iggy Pop
  • Ricki Lake
  • Traci Lords
  • Kim McGuire
  • Darren E. Burrows
  • Stephen Mailer

Did You Know?


  • Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., and Jim Carrey were all considered for the role of Cry-Baby until Johnny Depp was cast.
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  • At the beginning when they are waiting to get a shot, Wanda is standing in front of a girl with a red dress. Then suddenly she stands behind the girl.
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    • [to Wanda]
    • Wanda's mother: Let's all put on a folk hat and learn something about a foreign culture!
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It throbs with innocence; like prom night itself, it's an instant good memory. And like its creator, the always surprising John Waters, it's sideshow weird. They don't make 'em like this anymore. They never did, either. [6 Apr 1990, p.G5]

Metacritic review by Bill Cosford
Bill Cosford
Miami Herald

It is only now that I am in a condition to appreciate the 1950s.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

For a while the actors seem intimidated by the `50s references, but the film eventually develops a musical energy that carries the day. Amy Locane shows promise as the virtuous girl who falls for juvenile delinquent Johnny Depp.

Metacritic review by Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune