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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Waters
Produced by Rachel Talalay
Written by John Waters
Starring Johnny Depp
Amy Locane
Polly Bergen
Susan Tyrrell
Iggy Pop
Ricki Lake
Traci Lords
Music by Patrick Williams
Cinematography David Insley
Editing by Janice Hampton
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) April 6, 1990
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12,000,000
Gross revenue $8,266,343

Cry-Baby (1990) is a teen-musical film directed by John Waters. It stars Johnny Depp as 1950s teen rebel "Cry-Baby" Wade Walker, and also features an expansive ensemble cast that includes Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, David Nelson, Susan Tyrrell and Patty Hearst. This film did not achieve high audience numbers in its initial release but has subsequently become a cult classic and spawned a hit Broadway musical of the same name which was nominated for some Tony Awards.

The film is a parody of teen musicals and centers on a group of delinquents named the Drapes and their interaction with the rest of the town and its other subculture, the Squares, in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland. "Cry-Baby" Walker, a Drape, and Allison, a Square, create upheaval and turmoil in their little town of Baltimore by breaking the subculture taboos and falling in love. The movie shows what the young couple have to overcome to be together and how their actions affect the rest of the town.

Part of the film takes place at the now-closed Enchanted Forest amusement park in Ellicott City, Maryland.



In 1954 Baltimore, "Cry-Baby" Wade Walker is the leader of a gang of "Drapes". His ability to shed a tear drives all the girls wild. One day after school, he is approached by Allison Vernon-Williams, a pretty girl tired of being a "Square", and the two fall in love.

Despite Allison's grandmother being skeptical, Allison stays and sings with the Drapes. Allison's jealous square boyfriend Baldwin starts a riot at the local Drape hangout, Turkey Point. Cry-Baby is blamed for the fight and sent to a penitentiary, outraging all his friends and even Allison's grandmother, who is impressed by Cry-Baby's posture, manners and musical talent.

As Lenora, a girl with a crush on Cry-Baby but constantly rejected by him, claims to be pregnant with his child, Allison feels betrayed and returns to Baldwin and the Squares, though her grandmother advises against rushing into a decision. Meanwhile, in the penitentiary, Crybaby gets a teardrop tattoo. He tells the tattoo artist: "I've been hurt all my life, but real tears wash away. This one's for Allison and I want it to last forever!". Eventually, Allison is persuaded by the newly-established alliance between the drapes and her grandmother to stand by Cry-Baby and join the campaign for his release. Cry-Baby is released but immediately insulted by Baldwin, who challenges him to a chicken race. Cry-Baby wins, as Baldwin chickens out, and is reunited with Allison.


Role Played by
Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker Johnny Depp
Allison Vernon-Williams Amy Locane
Mrs Vernon-Williams Polly Bergen
Ramona Rickettes Susan Tyrrell
Belvedere Rickettes Iggy Pop
Pepper Walker Ricki Lake
Wanda Woodward Traci Lords
Mona "Hatchet-Face" Malnorowski Kim McGuire
Milton Hackett Darren E. Burrows
Lenora Frigid Kim Webb
Baldwin Stephen Mailer
Snare-Drum Jonathan Benya
Susie Q. Jessica Raskin
Mr Malnorowski Troy Donahue
Mrs Malnorowski Mink Stole
Mr Hackett Joe Dallesandro
Mrs Hackett Joey Heatherton
Mr Woodward David Nelson
Mrs Woodward Patricia Hearst



Songs sung by characters

  • "Sh-Boom" - Baldwin and the Whiffles
  • "A Teenage Prayer" - Allison/Rachel Sweet
  • "Chicken" - Baldwin and the Whiffles (only in USA cable network version)
  • "King Cry-Baby" - Cry-Baby, Allison/Rachel Sweet, Hatchet-Face, Milton, Pepper and Wanda
  • "Teardrops Are Falling" - Cry-Baby and Prisoners
  • "The Naughty Lady from Shady Lane" - Baldwin and the Whiffles (only in Director's Cut DVD and in in USA cable network version)
  • "Doin' Time for Bein' Young" (J. D. Souther, Waddy Wachtel) - Cry-Baby and Prisoners
  • "Mr. Sandman" - Baldwin and the Whiffles
  • "Please, Mr. Jailer" - Allison/Rachel Sweet, Cry-Baby and Company
  • "High School Hellcats" - Cry-Baby, Allison/Rachel Sweet and Company

Songs sung by other artists

Songs not included in the soundtrack

Release and box office

The film was screened out of competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Cry-Baby opened on April 6, 1990 in 1,229 North American cinemas — an unprecedented number for a John Waters film. In its opening weekend, it grossed a soft $3,004,905 ($2,445 per screen) and grossed only $8,266,343 by the end of its theatrical run,[2] thus not recouping the estimated $12 million budget.[3] However, thanks to the presence of Johnny Depp, Cry-Baby has since proven lucrative on television, video, and DVD.

Screen to stage

Cry-Baby is the second of Waters' films to be adapted for the stage as a musical comedy (following Hairspray). It was produced at the La Jolla Playhouse (California) as part of their 2007 season, as well as shadow-cast at the Nuart Theatre by Sins O' the Flesh.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Cry-Baby is a 1990 film about a renegade teenage "drape" boy who struggles with his love for a "square" girl. It is a parody of the teen movies of the 1950s.

Written and directed by John Waters.
Too young to be square... Too tough to be shocked... Too late to be savedtaglines



  • You've made me the happiest juvenile delinquent in Baltimore!
  • You got it, Allison. You got it raaaaaw.


  • Susie Q: Ma, I swiped six hubcaps like a big girl!
  • Milton's Father: Let Jesus Christ be your gang-leader!


Cry-Baby: Kiss me! Kiss me hard.
Allison: I've never given a French kiss before.
Cry-Baby: Watch, it's easy. You just open your mouth, and I open mine, and we wiggle our tongues together. And it feels real sexy.


  • Too young to be square... Too tough to be shocked... Too late to be saved
  • Good girls want him bad. Bad girls want him worse.
  • He's a doll. He's a dreamboat. He's a delinquent.


External links

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