Cry-Baby (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cry-Baby (1990)



Critic Consensus: John Waters' musical ode to the teen rebel genre is infectious and gleefully camp, providing star Johnny Depp with the perfect vehicle in which to lampoon his pin-up image.

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Movie Info

Eisenhower is President. Rock 'n' Roll is king. And Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker is the baddest hood in his high school. Johnny Depp heads up a supercool cast as the irresistible bad boy whose amazing ability to shed one single tear drives all the girls wild - especially Allison Vernon Williams (Amy Locane), a rich, beautiful "square" who finds herself uncontrollably drawn to the dreamy juvenile delinquent and his forbidden world of rockabilly music, fast cars and faster women. It's the hysterical high-throttle world of 1954 in director John Waters' outrageous musical comedy.

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Johnny Depp
as Wade Walker
Amy Locane
as Allison Vernon-Williams
Susan Tyrrell
as Ramona Rickettes
Polly Bergen
as Mrs. Vernon-Williams
Iggy Pop
as Belvedere Rickettes
Ricki Lake
as Pepper Walker
Traci Lords
as Wanda Woodward
Kim McGuire
as Mona 'Hatchet-Face' Malnorowski
Darren E. Burrows
as Milton Hackett
Kim Webb
as Lenora Frigid
Troy Donahue
as Hatchet's Father
Mink Stole
as Hatchet's Mother
Joe Dallesandro
as Milton's Father
Joey Heatherton
as Milton's Mother
David Nelson
as Wanda's Father
Patricia Hearst
as Wanda's Mother
Willem Dafoe
as Hateful Guard
Jonathan Benya
as Snare-Drum
Angie Levroney
as Dupree's Girlfriend
Vivienne Shub
as Mrs. Tadlock
Robert Marbury
as Angelic Boyfriend
Ken Curtis
as Whiffle #2
Susan Lowe
as Night Court Parent
Dan Griffiths
as Snake-Eyes Hood
Mary Vivian Pearce
as Picnic Mother
Steve Aronson
as Mean Guard
Kelly Goldberg
as Pepper's Baby
Drew Ebersole
as Whiffle #1
Kenny Curtis
as Whiffle #2
Scott Neilson
as Whiffle #3
Reggie Davis
as Conk #3
Nick Fleming
as Conk #4
Robbie Jones
as Conk #5
Skip Spencer
as Strip Poker #1
Holter Graham
as Strip Poker #2
Kirk McEwen
as Convict #1
Eric Lucas
as Convict #2
Frank Maldonado
as Convict #3
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News & Interviews for Cry-Baby

Critic Reviews for Cry-Baby

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (15)

For a while the actors seem intimidated by the '50s references, but the film eventually develops a musical energy that carries the day.

January 21, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Cry-Baby is often sweet-spirited even when its crummy, but there's also something fetid in its foolery.

January 21, 2015 | Full Review…

If Cry-Baby has a message, it's that Cry-Baby and Allison deserve each other because they're young and they're beautiful, which certainly runs counter to Waters' affection for the grotesque, the bad and the ugly.

January 21, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The wizard of odd still runs amok.

January 21, 2015 | Full Review…

It all adds up to zany, wide-eyed, quintessential Waters havoc -- the "kinder, gentler" 1990s brand, perhaps. But the genuine article, nonetheless.

January 21, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

I don't quite know how Waters did it (and I have absolutely no idea why he did it), but the fact that Cry-Baby is fun suggests that the filmmaker possesses an instinctive understanding of what made those Elvis pictures so successful in the first place.

January 21, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cry-Baby

In John Waters' movies, everyone is a walking caricature and everything looks like a witless self-parody, and this is an irritating musical that sounds silly and superficial when trying to be a clever commentary, as well as a horribly unfunny comedy filled with awful dialogue.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Johnny Depp's first starring role is as a sensitive "drape" who falls in love with a "square" in this campy John Waters juvenile delinquent musical. There's quirky humor (love the orphanage modeled on an animal shelter), and the doo-wop styled music is good, but the (deliberately) cardboard plot and underdeveloped characters failed to engage me.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Good girls want him bad. Bad girls want him worse. Cool musical movie! The movie at first to me seems a little boring but it gets better and better as it goes on. This is one Depp's earliest roles as an actor and boy did he deliver. The movie is funny and the story is easy to follow, enjoy! Poor boy meets rich girl. Boy falls for girl. Boy's friends don't approve. Girl falls for boy. Girl's friends and family don't approve. Take one part "Romeo and Juliet", one part "Grease", a little bit of the "Outsiders", and a generous helping of "Mad Magazine" mentality, set it in the 50's and add some cool music and it comes close to "Cry-Baby", John Waters strange and campy homage to the star-crossed lover genre. Bad boy Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker meets good girl Allison Vernon-Williams, and it's love at first sight. It's the quirky characters and brilliant casting that set Water's version of this story (that's been done a million times already) apart from the rest. It's also these same qualities that make it a little inappropriate for younger audiences. Think Grease but with freaks and weirdos surrounding the attractive main characters.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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