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Pretty Baby (1978)

 -  Drama  -  5 April 1978 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 6,035 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 25 critic

A teenage girl lives as a prostitute in the early decades of America, only to know her body is for bounty.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Pretty Baby (1978)

Pretty Baby (1978) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. 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
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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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With this controversial movie, Louis Malle debuted in American cinema, but it's just another feature of his own work. See more »

Goofs

Violet, distraught and crying, approaches a door and repeatedly bangs on it. No sound other than Violet weeping (itself obviously dubbed) can be heard. See more »

Quotes

Violet: You think of me as a child.
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

Big Lip Blues
(uncredited)
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Played while everyone is waiting downstairs for Violet
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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