Baby Love After her impoverished, cancer-ridden mother (Diana Dors) commits suicide, schoolgirl Luci (Linda Hayden) is adopted by her mother’s ex-lover Robert (Keith Barron), now a wealthy, married doctor living the high-life in London. Once in her new home, the deeply-disturbed girl gradually spirals out of control, teasing teenage son Nick (Derek Lamden), flirting with sleazy family friend Harry (comedian Dick Emery), allowing herself to get felt up in a cinema, taunting local lads by the river (and risking being raped for her trouble), whilst driving a wedge between her adoptive parents by awakening latent lesbian urges in her new mother! Phew!
I found out about Baby Love while searching for films starring my favourite Hammer horror babe, the lovely Linda Hayden, and, boy, is it an eye-opener, the film undoubtedly exploiting the 15-year-old actress’s burgeoning sexuality for all its worth, even having her stripping off for the part. But Baby Love is so much more than an opportunity to ogle jail-bait Linda in the altogether: part kitchen-sink drama, part psychological study, it’s a skilfully told and ultimately tragic tale of an emotionally damaged, self-destructive soul who, due to her troubled upbringing, is unable to relate to kindness, instead exerting control the only way she knows how—through seduction; in doing so, she tears apart the already fractured lives of those who have tried to help her.
Baby Love Made in the late 60s, when movies deliberately challenged the establishment, Baby Love is about as subversive as it gets—a controversial piece of film-making that dares to push the boundaries in all directions, while deliberately making the audience feel just a little uneasy about what they are watching. As such, I found it extremely compelling viewing, and highly recommend it to fans of intelligent, provocative drama, as well as to those who find the idea of Linda Hayden as a naughty nymphet simply too tempting to resist.