6.7/10
7,148
69 user 28 critic

Pretty Baby (1978)

R | | Drama | 5 April 1978 (USA)
A teenage girl lives as a prostitute in New Orleans in 1917.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,025 ( 167)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Matthew Anton ...
...
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Seret Scott ...
Cheryl Markowitz ...
Susan Manskey ...
Fanny
Laura Zimmerman ...
Agnes
Miz Mary ...
Odette
...
Highpockets
Mae Mercer ...
Mama Mosebery
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Storyline

In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell, where she works. Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq has an attraction to Hallie and Violet and he is an habitué of the whorehouse. One day, Madame Nell auctions Violet's virginity and the winner pays the fortune of US$ 400 to spend the night with the girl. Then Hattie marries a wealthy client and moves to Saint Louis, leaving Violet in the brothel alone. Violet decides to marry Bellocq and she moves to his house. Until the day that Hattie, who has overcome her past, comes to Bellocq's house with the intention to take Violet with her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1917. The red-light district of New Orleans. The story of the women. The photographer. And the prostitute's daughter. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Niña bonita  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sylvester Stallone was offered the role of Bellocq, but turned it down in order to prepare for his role in F.I.S.T. (1978). See more »

Goofs

When Bellocq is posing Hattie on the chaise lounge, the boom mic dips into the screen above them. See more »

Quotes

Bellocq: Her father unknown, and her mother deserted the child.
Violet: My mother's name was Hildegarde. Hildegarde Marr. M-A-R-R.
Priest: And she was Caucasian, or other?
Violet: She was a whore, Father.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits include a card that states, "With our gratitude for the priceless music of FERDINAND "JELLY ROLL" MORTON." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Michael Palin/Eugene Record (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Tiger Rag
(uncredited)
Written by Edwin B. Edwards, Nick LaRocca, Tony Sbarbaro, Henry Ragas and Larry Shields
Performed by Antonio Fargas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An incredibly frank but humane movie of the type that doesn't seem to be made anymore.
9 June 2005 | by (Indianapolis, Indiana) – See all my reviews

A beautifully filmed movie which tells a difficult story with a subtlety and power that leaves you thinking about it during odd moments for days. It's that much more disconcerting because all the while you're keenly aware that this isn't based on "a true story" but on millions of true stories throughout history, including today, and in every part of the globe.

Due to my age I'd never seen 'Pretty Baby' in the theater or, for some reason, read much about it. I was aware of the basic plot but didn't know I'd be seeing quite so much of a naked 12 year-old Brooke Shields. A couple of moments were honestly difficult for me to watch, but I've come to the conclusion that the nudity is absolutely essential to the telling of the story. You *have* to be forced to see exactly what those men were paying for.

The brilliance of director Loius Malle's film is that he constantly subverts the audience's desire to be aghast at what we see. The camera finds happy little moments throughout the movie, your mind is left to fill in the ugly realities. This trend continues to the end, which is like a cruel mirror image of the typical happily ever after Hollywood ending.


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