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Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby (1978)

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No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Apr 5, 1978 Wide

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 4,920

My Rating

Movie Info

After making a series of acclaimed and controversial films in his native France, director Louis Malle made his American debut with this disturbing but visually beautiful story about Hattie (Susan Sarandon), a prostitute working in New Orleans' Storyville district at the turn of the century. When Hattie becomes pregnant, she opts to keep her baby and gives birth to a daughter named Violet, raising her in the brothel where she continues to work. Twelve years later, Violet (Brooke Shields) is old

R,

Drama

Polly Platt

Nov 18, 2003

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (3) | DVD (2)

This visually evocative tale of a child prostitue, Louis Malle's first American film, is not as strong as his next (Atlantic City), but Susan Sarandon and Brooke Shields are splendid.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

An inert and boring morality tale that should please neither sensationalists nor puritans.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

While it oozes with atmosphere and Sarandon is superb, the story never comes together and Malle's treatment of Shields is kinda creepy.

September 8, 2005 | Comment (1)
Zap2it.com

powerfully disturbing

April 29, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

It was shocking in its day, perhaps... but today... [it] can't hope to be as provocative...

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Sexy Sarandon in an early role as the whore mom of child prostitute Brook Shields.

January 31, 2004
Atlantic City Weekly

worthy of strong consideration

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

It was once shocking and dull. Now it's just dull.

November 5, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Susan Sarandon, as Hattie, is seamless and flawless, not to mention at her shapliest best.

July 5, 2003 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Pretty Baby

This is one of the more polarizing and challenging period pieces to ever be put to screen, mostly because of the sensitive subject matter and the use of a child actress to play a child. Brooke Shields as child prostitute Violet plays a girl who thinks she knows the ins and outs of adult sexual relationships but is still the same spoiled, inept child she should be. Raised in a whorehouse and privy to the goings on in the upstairs bedrooms, the young girl wants more than anything to be raffled off and made a whore for the same money and prestige as the other women. Sadly she doesn't realize how empty that life is, and that those around her are happy to take advantage the first moment that she's vulnerable. While the story itself is very upsetting, it's good to see the evolution of Violet's character from a spoiled brat into a lost girl. The supporting cast is amazing, including Susan Sarandon as Violet's equally spoiled mother, Frances Faye as the Madame, enamored with fading glamour, and Keith Carradine as the photographer Bellocq, someone who covets the young girl's beauty. For the subject at hand, it's tastefully done, and at no time is prostitution truly glamorized, instead showing how youth can be stolen so quickly it can break your heart.
April 1, 2014
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

One of those things I had to see. And I must say that if it didn't make you slightly sick, you need therapy.
Anyway, this is my second (I think) Malle film and something tells me I liked the other one better. The loonngg reaction shots were questionable only because the actor didn't actually emote more, just blank stare for the most part. But kudos to not only shields and her parents, but Malle for doing it. Having a 12 year old naked would get most people laughed out on their ass.
December 7, 2010
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

The red-light district of New Orleans. The story of the women. The photographer. And the prostitute's daughter.
December 13, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

I'd always heard of this movie and the controversy surrounding it since it showed Brooke Shields naked. I wish now that I hadn't watched it. She's too young to think anything like that about, yes, but even then it's just a boring movie and I saw little redeeming value in it.
August 15, 2009
stormyweather980

Super Reviewer

    1. Fanny: Violet, you should touch him down there, you know, like it's accidental.
    – Submitted by Ricardo Z (2 years ago)
    1. Violet: I know what to do. Leave me alone.
    – Submitted by Ricardo Z (2 years ago)
    1. Hattie: Well, don't act like you know it all. You won't even get a tip that way.
    – Submitted by Ricardo Z (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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