6.6/10
9,049
77 user 31 critic

Pretty Baby (1978)

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

Director:

Louis Malle

Writers:

Polly Platt (story), Polly Platt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,120 ( 180)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Wet Gold (TV Movie 1984)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Wet Gold is the story of a young woman (Laura), who works as a waitress in a cafe. Laura stumbles across a drunk elderly man (Sampson), who fills her with exciting stories of a boat that ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Brooke Shields, Burgess Meredith, Thomas Byrd
Wanda Nevada (1979)
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Romantic drama following the fortunes of a drifter named Beaudray Demerille (Peter Fonda) who wins a young orphan named Wanda (13-year-old Brooke Shields) in a poker game and takes her gold... See full summary »

Director: Peter Fonda
Stars: Peter Fonda, Brooke Shields, Fiona Lewis
Tilt (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Tilt is the story of a young girl, who is a pinball machine wizard. Because she does not get on with her parents, Tilt is contemplating running away from home, and skipping school one day ... See full summary »

Director: Rudy Durand
Stars: Brooke Shields, Ken Marshall, Charles Durning
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the Victorian period, two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. With no adults to guide them, the two make a simple life together, unaware that sexual maturity will eventually intervene.

Director: Randal Kleiser
Stars: Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Leo McKern
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

George Burns stars as a former vaudevillian who befriends a young runaway, played by fourteen-year-old Brooke Shields, who is being chased by drug dealers.

Director: Leonard Stern
Stars: George Burns, Brooke Shields, Lorraine Gary
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the criminal and violent world of modern-day Gypsies based in New York City, their 'king' Zharko Stepanowicz passes his leadership to his unwilling grandson, leaving the skipped father resentful.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Eric Roberts, Judd Hirsch, Susan Sarandon
The Diamond Trap (TV Movie 1988)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Diamond Trap is the story of a New York City cop (Detective Rollings) and his partner (Brendan). Detective Rollings, a cop on the verge of retirement and in the waiting for a big case, ... See full summary »

Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Howard Hesseman, Brooke Shields, Darren McGavin
Brenda Starr (1989)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Mike is a struggling artist who draws the "Brenda Starr" strip for the papers. When Brenda comes to life in the strip and sees how unappreciated she is by Mike, she leaves the strip. To get... See full summary »

Director: Robert Ellis Miller
Stars: Brooke Shields, Timothy Dalton, Tony Peck
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A writer returns home from World War I. He has developed a very bad case of post traumatic stress disorder. He contemplates suicide, but becomes interested in the 12 year old niece of the ... See full summary »

Director: Mimmo Cattarinich
Stars: Pierre Clémenti, Katya Berger, Ugo Bologna
Sahara (1983)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

After her father dies, young Dale takes his place in a trans-African auto race, but ends up being abducted by a desert sheik.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Brooke Shields, Lambert Wilson, Horst Buchholz
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1944, an 18-year old boy from small-town France, collaborates with the Nazi-regime and subsequently falls in love with a Jewish girl.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clément, Holger Löwenadler
Endless Love (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A high school student's love for a 15-year-old girl is thwarted by parental disapproval, circumstance and accident. He burned down her family's house and was committed in a mental hospital.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooke Shields ... Violet
Keith Carradine ... Bellocq
Susan Sarandon ... Hattie
Frances Faye ... Nell
Antonio Fargas ... Professor
Matthew Anton Matthew Anton ... Red Top
Diana Scarwid ... Frieda
Barbara Steele ... Josephine
Seret Scott Seret Scott ... Flora
Cheryl Markowitz Cheryl Markowitz ... Gussie
Susan Manskey Susan Manskey ... Fanny
Laura Zimmerman Laura Zimmerman ... Agnes
Miz Mary Miz Mary ... Odette
Gerrit Graham ... Highpockets
Mae Mercer Mae Mercer ... Mama Mosebery
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Niña bonita See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,786,368

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,786,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood was offered the role of Bellocq, but turned it down to do Every Which Way but Loose (1978) instead. See more »

Goofs

After Violet stands up from trying to have her nude picture taken a man can be seen in the reflective part of the camera. See more »

Quotes

Bellocq: [about Violet] What will become of her now?
Nell: What's going on with you? You don't have to worry about her. She's made a lot of money. She can do as she likes.
Bellocq: She's only twelve. She's completely alone.
Nell: Bellocq, you're in love with her.
Bellocq: Don't be absurd.
Nell: I've seen it a thousand times. I am old, and I know one thing - life is very long.
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 »

Alternate Versions

Against his own wishes UK censor James Ferman was forced to make minor edits to the original cinema version under the 1978 Protection of Children Act, and pubic hair was optically airbrushed onto a scene where Brooke Shields is sitting with her legs slightly spread so that 'the actual cleft was not visible'. A further cut was also made to remove a very brief shot of her standing up in a bath. The edits were fully waived for the 1987 video release. See more »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Can you step outside of yourself for two hours?
5 June 2006 | by futures-1See all my reviews

"Pretty Baby" (1978): Usually, when a controversial film comes out, the hubbub dies off in a few weeks. Later, people wonder why anyone got upset at all. In this case, I think the opposite is the case. There WAS some buzz about "Pretty Baby" when it premiered in 1978, but NOW? People would be killing the director, photographer, and screen writers in the names of Decency & Righteousness. It's a crazy world. Photographed by Sven Nykvist (Ingmar Bergman's photographer), Louis Malle directed this Polly Platt screenplay about the real life New Orleans documentary photographer E.J. Bellocq. He spent much of his career photographing those no one else would – the prostitutes of N.O. - and eventually became involved with a young girl (Brooke Shields) raised by her prostitute single mother (Susan Sarandon), to be a prostitute herself. There's an interesting push/pull to this film. It is SO beautifully photographed, and the prostitutes shown SO human, there is much warmth in the scenes, yet the facts remain difficult to accept – life was what it was, and they did what they had to do to survive in the turn-of-the-century South. This is NOT a story of tragedy (except in personal terms that have nothing to do with the profession). Most everyone went about their days in matter-of-fact acceptance of their "station" in life, and did not get ulcers. They had a roof, decent money, good food, servants, and a place to raise their "accident" children. "Pretty Baby" asks you to step outside your contemporary world and standards, and try, just for two hours, to see another point of view. It's an interesting challenge…perhaps more now than even a mere 30 years ago.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 77 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed