The Cry Baby Killer

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The Cry Baby Killer
Cry Baby Killer.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoe Addis
Produced by Roger Corman
David Kramarsky
David March
Written by Leo Gordon
Melvin Levy
Starring Harry Lauter
Jack Nicholson
Carolyn Mitchell
Music by Gerald Fried
Cinematography Floyd Crosby
Edited by Irene Morra
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • August 17, 1958 (1958-08-17)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Cry Baby Killer is a 1958 film noir crime film produced by Roger Corman. It marked Jack Nicholson's film debut. Until recently, the film was out of print and hard to find. In 2006, it was issued on DVD for the first time by Buena Vista Home Entertainment as part of their Roger Corman Classics series.



Seventeen-year-old Jimmy Wallace panics after he thinks he has committed manslaughter while fighting with a group of teenage hoodlums. Wallace then takes a random man and woman, and the woman's infant, hostage inside a food shelter outside a popular local restaurant, and threatens them if they try to escape. This leads to a stand-off with a police force led by the sympathetic detective, Lieutenant Porter, who tries to avoid bloodshed. Meanwhile, an eager crowd of onlookers and a news reporter gather outside to see what will happen next.


Corman later claimed the film was the first movie he produced which did not make money, although he said it earned its costs back off television rights. He also says he was out of the country during pre-production and much of the script was changed by the producer. Corman returned to Hollywood two days before filming began and tried to reverse the changes, but was only partially successful. [1]


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  1. Ed. J. Philip di Franco, The Movie World of Roger Corman, Chelsea House Publishers, 1979, page 16–17.