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Pretty Baby (1978)

 -  Drama  -  5 April 1978 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,863 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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Writers:

(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:
...
...
...
...
Nell
...
Professor
Matthew Anton ...
Red Top
...
Frieda
...
Josephine
Seret Scott ...
Flora
Cheryl Markowitz ...
Gussie
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:

Pretty Baby  »

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

Farrah Fawcett auditioned for the role of Hattie, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

Violet is shown completely nude when lying on the sofa but when she sits up she is wearing panties. 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 Treme: I'll Fly Away (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

After the Ball
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Harris (as Charles K. Harris)
Played after the car becomes stuck and during the picnic
See more »

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User Reviews

 
intentionally disturbing
1 February 2005 | by (Mojave Desert, California) – See all my reviews

I think it was a fine piece of film making about a horrific situation. I agree with a previous poster that its understated tone was one of its strengths. The film maker presents a detailed, rounded view of the lifestyle and its effects on a girl who is much too young and much too pretty to have been allowed to ply her trade.

One of the ways I judge the strength of a film is the extent to which I wonder "what happens next?" after the closing credits. I would say the film succeeded. From the expression on Violet's face in the closing shot, I think she had been so warped by everything she had seen and done that, no matter what, she would never be able to become a normal woman living a normal life. My fear is that whether she went back to prostitution or lived a presumptively respectable life, she would always be ignorant, impulsive, self-centered and someone who used her appearance to manipulate others. After all, she, like everyone else in the world, can only know what she has been taught.


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