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Retro Romance Clashes With Social Change



Genre: Comedy, Musical
Year Released: 1990, 2024 Kino Lorber 4K
Runtime: 1h 25m / 1h 32m
Director(s): John Waters
Writer(s): John Waters
Cast: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Stephen Mailer, Darren E. Burrows, Kim McGuire, Polly Bergen, Patricia Hearst, David Nelson
Where To Watch: available now, order here: or

RAVING REVIEW: Exploding onto the screen with the electric energy of the 1950s, CRY-BABY takes audiences on an explosive journey through an era dominated by rock 'n' roll and teenage angst. Helmed by the always provocative John Waters and starring Johnny Depp in one of his iconic early roles, this film transcends mere nostalgia to deliver a sharp, satirical punch. Here, Depp’s Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker epitomizes the era’s iconic rebel, turning a single tear into a symbol of youthful defiance. With a gorgeous presentation of Waters’ director's cut and the original theatrical cut, this is a wonderful package for any fan of the film.

Set against the backdrop of 50s Baltimore, CRY-BABY is a riotous blend of music, romance, and cultural confrontation. The film pits the conservative "Squares" against the leather-clad "Drapes" in a narrative rich with the sounds and styles of the time. Depp’s charismatic performance as "Cry-Baby," the ultimate bad boy, captures the audience’s imagination from the opening scene. His romance with Allison Vernon-Williams, portrayed by the elegant Amy Locane, challenges the social order, echoing Shakespearean love tragedies with a unique rockabilly flair.

Affectionately known as the "pope of trash," John Waters directs with a mischievous gleam, ensuring that CRY-BABY is more than just a retro throwback—a cultural critique dressed up as a teen musical. The movie dives into the tumultuous waters of class and cultural identity, with the clash of the "Squares" and "Drapes" providing a vibrant canvas for exploration. In one of Waters' most mainstream films, he still manages to test the waters and push boundaries unlike any other!

Not just a visual delight, the soundtrack of CRY-BABY acts as a narrative force in its own right, mirroring the rebellious spirit of the characters. The film’s music, ranging from soul-stirring ballads to barnstorming rock anthems, is integral to the storytelling, urging viewers to tap their feet and maybe even question their views. Paralleling the soundtrack itself, we’re presented with some incredible musical numbers in the film that help to bring the entire production to the next level.

The ensemble cast, featuring cult icons like Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, and Traci Lords, injects a gritty charm into the film. Standout performances by Susan Tyrrell and Polly Bergen add a humorous twist, underscoring Waters’ talent for combining outlandish humor with serious social commentary.

While the film dazzles with elaborate costumes and stylized sets that capture the 50s aesthetic, it also serves up a biting critique of the era's social norms. Through Depp’s electrifying portrayal of Cry-Baby, the film comments on the era's contradictions and challenges, wrapping critical societal observations in a visually spectacular package.

CRY-BABY doesn’t just entertain; it provokes. It’s a film that invites its audience to laugh at the absurdities of the past while reflecting on the ongoing struggles between conformity and rebellion. As Waters crafts an engaging and informative narrative, he encourages viewers to confront and question the status quo.

CRY-BABY is a testament to John Waters' enduring vision. It successfully marries the rebel spirit of the 50s with incisive commentary, making it an essential watch for anyone who appreciates a bright, spirited cinema experience set to a killer soundtrack.

Brand NEW HDR/Dolby Vision Master (Theatrical Cut) – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative
NEW Audio Commentary by Writer/Director John Waters, Moderated by Black Mansion Films Producer Heather Buckley (Theatrical Cut)
Triple-Layered UHD100 Disc
Optional English Subtitles

Brand NEW HD Master (Director’s Cut) – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Theatrical Cut Original Camera Negative, 4K Scan of the Director’s Cut Interpositive (7 Minutes), and Uprez of the SD Master for the Additional Missing Parts
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director John Waters (Director’s Cut)
Bringing Up Baby: NEW Featurette with Writer/Director John Waters, Associate Producer /Casting Director Pat Moran, Cinematographer David Insley and Actress Mink Stole (38:10)
Pop Icons: NEW Interview with Actress Amy Locane (14:12)
Part of a Collection: NEW Interview with Actress Traci Lords (19:23)
A Few Yucks: NEW Interview with Actor and Rock Legend Iggy Pop (9:17)
All These Misfits: NEW Interview with Actress Ricki Lake (8:16)
So Tired of Being Good: NEW Interview with Actress Patricia Hearst (8:42)
In The Sandbox: NEW Interview with Actor Darren E. Burrows (10:12)
Hip To Be Square: NEW Interview with Actor Stephen Mailer (9:15)
Talking Hair: NEW Interview with Barber Howard ‘Hep” Preston (10:03)
It Came from… Baltimore!: 2005 Documentary with Cast and Crew (47:40)
5 Deleted Scenes (7:03)
Theatrical Trailer
Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
Optional English Subtitles

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[photo courtesy of KINO LORBER]

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Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.