John Waters’ tribute to teenage delinquency of the 1950’s and Elvis Presley movies of the era, 1990’s Cry Baby remains his most successful film to date. With an outstanding lead performance from Johnny Depp and an excellent supporting cast, Cry Baby lacks the derogatory emphasis of some of Waters earlier works, accenting humor instead.

Set in a Baltimore High School in 1954, where there’s class warfare between the troublemaking lower class leather jacket wearing greasers and the snobby, upscale, clean-cut squares. Depp plays lead greaser Wade Walker, nicknamed Cry Baby for his odd ability to shed only a single tear. Crybaby meets good girl Alison (Amy Locane), who lives with her grandmother who runs a local finishing school and keeps Alison firmly under her thumb to assure she remains prim and proper. Tired of being a square, Alison quickly falls for Cry Baby and the feeling is mutual.

Soon, Cry-Baby invites Allison to a party at Turkey Point, a secret hangout for the greasers. There, the cool kids hang out, and Cry Baby performs his rockabilly music. Word gets out about the happenings at Turkey Point, and some of the community’s squarer members turn up to make trouble. A fight breaks out, Cry-Baby’s motorcycle gets lit on fire, and he ends up in being sent off to reform school to pay for what he’s done. Alison knows it’s not Cry Baby’s fault, and sets out to clear his name, whether he likes it or not.

Filled with plenty of musical numbers and oddball characters, Cry Baby was the first film Johnny Depp made after the success of television’s 21 Jump Street. His charisma is obvious, and there are glimpses of the fine actor he would become. He brings enough pathos to his Elvis-like swagger to his character to make it believable.

Amy Locane is spot on as the naïve rich girl who falls for the bad boy. The diverse supporting cast serves to make things more interesting. Former underage porn queen Traci Lords shows up here in one of her first mainstream roles, exuding sex appeal. Iggy Pop turns up, as does Willam Dafoe, Ricki Lake and Mink Stole. 1950’s heartthrob pops up, along with kidnap victim turned actress, Patty Hearst among others.

The unrated Director’s Cut of the film omits some of the scenes shot for television broadcast and reinstates a little bit of the ‘offensive content’ that was cut, as Waters was required to turn in a PG-13 film.

Brought to 4K courtesy of Kino Lorber Studio Classics, presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and advertised as being a “Brand NEW HDR/Dolby Vision Master – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative,” the resulting transfer is immaculate. This release does come with the Director’s Cut on a Blu-ray disc derived from the same 4K master. Not having the Director’s Cut on a true 4K disc is a disappointment, but it’s nice to have it here at all.

The 4K transfer embraces the natural look of the film. Retaining the realistic film grain, there’s no clumping. The DNR prevalent in the previous Blu-ray disc has been eliminated. The fine texture brings out detail like never before. Black levels are deep and inky. Dolby Vision results in vibrant colors throughout. Contrast is pleasing.

The DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 Master Audio lossless track provides a nuanced sounding experience. Largely in the front speakers, the surrounds are involved during louder sequences. There are no pops or other anomalies. Whichever track you choose provides a pleasing experience.

English SDH subtitles are available.

The following extras are included:

4K UHD Disc:

  • NEW!! Audio Commentary featuring John Waters and moderated by Heather Buckley

Blu-ray Disc:

  • Cry Baby Director’s Cut (HD, 1:31:39)
  • Audio Commentary featuring John Waters and moderated by Heather Buckley
  • Bringing Up Baby – Featurette with John Waters, Pat Moran, Mink Stole, and David Insley (HD, 38:10)
  • Pop Icons – Interview with Amy Locane (HD, 14:13)
  • Part of a Collection – Interview with Traci Lords (HD, 19:23)
  • A Few Yucks – Interview with Iggy Pop (HD, 9:17)
  • All These Misfits – Interview with Ricki Lake (HD, 8:17)
  • So Tired of Being Good – interview with Patricia Hearst (HD, 8:42)
  • In the Sandbox – Interview with Darren E. Burrows (HD, 10:12)
  • Hip to Be Square – Interview with Stephen Mailer (HD, 9:16)
  • Talking Hair – Interview with Barber Howard “Hep” Preston (HD, 10:04)
  • It Came from… Baltimore!! (SD, 47:39)
  • 5 Deleted Scenes (SD, 7:02)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:58)
Cry Baby 4K
4.5 Reviewer