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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
2,286 ( 32)

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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:
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
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Niña bonita See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pretty Baby is a disturbing and controversial 1978 drama from director Louise Malle and stars Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine and Susan Sarandon. The film takes place in 1910s New Orleans and is the story of Violet (Brooke Shields) a 12-year-old girl whom was born and raised in brothel whom becomes a prostitute herself like her mother (Susan Sarandon) but falls in love with a photographer (Keith Carradine) and decides to leave the brothel and start a new life with him. See more »

Goofs

Violet is wearing a thong (the straps are visible) when she flounces out of the room where Bellocq had posed her naked on the couch. 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

Don't You Leave Me Here
, "Winin' Boy Blues", "Buddy Bolden's Blues", "King Porter Stomp" (being 'composed'), "Mamanita","Mamie's Blues" (at end)(all uncredited)
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Performed by Antonio Fargas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nicely photographed period piece
29 December 2003 | by yossarian100See all my reviews

Beautifully photographed and sumptuous to watch. Brooke Shields, with that famous saucy and spirited personality, is gorgeous. I wasn't bothered by the nudity. I wasn't bothered by the story either and I feel the movie accurately portrayed a different time with a quite different moral tone than the one we live with today. But, hey, stories are just stories. Actually, I think the main reason this movie works is because it comes across as honest, it feels like being in another place and another time, and it's lovely to see.


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