Pretty Baby 1978

Pretty Baby

Critics Consensus

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70%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,128

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Movie Info

Hattie (Susan Sarandon), a New Orleans hooker, meets a photographer named Bellocq (Keith Carradine) at her brothel one night and, after he photographs her, he befriends her 12-year-old daughter, Violet (Brooke Shields). When Violet is brought on as a working girl by her mother's madam and Hattie skips town to get married, Violet quickly loses her innocence and focuses on reuniting with Bellocq. But a life with Bellocq is compromised for Violet after her mother returns to town.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Pretty Baby

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Pretty Baby

  • Dec 07, 2010
    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.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2010
    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.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 13, 2009
    The red-light district of New Orleans. The story of the women. The photographer. And the prostitute's daughter.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2009
    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.
    Jason O Super Reviewer

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