6.6/10
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75 user 29 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
3,069 ( 134)

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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

Glenn Close auditioned for the role of Hattie, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, E.J. Bellocq pictures Violet with a Kodak No. 2 Portrait Brownie, which wasn't available until 1929. See more »

Quotes

Nell: [starting the auction for Violet's virginity] A virgin, bona fide.
Brothel Patron: How old is she?
Nell: Do you want to put me in jail? She's just old enough. She's the finest delicacy New Orleans has to offer, and it's her wish that one of you gentleman be the first.
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

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the Boldest Coming of Age Film, Even Thirty-Four Years Later
15 May 2012 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie (Susan Sarandon) lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet (Brooke Shields) in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell (Frances Faye), where she works. The photographer Ernest J. Bellocq (Keith Carradine) 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$ 400.00 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.

"Pretty Baby" is one of the boldest coming of age film, even thirty-four years after its release date. The story of a very young prostitute, apparently based on a true story, is supported by the beauty of the only promising Brooke Shields, great cast, magnificent cinematography and the talent of Louis Malle that keeps the film in the level of art and never vulgar. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available


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