Pretty Baby (1978)

1917.The red-light district of New Orleans.The story of the women.The photographer.And the prostitute's daughter.

Original Title : Pretty Baby
Director : Louis Malle
Writer : Polly Platt
Polly Platt
Louis Malle
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Louis Malle , Polly Platt
Music : Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Photography : Sven Nykvist
IMDB ID : 0078111
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poster for "Pretty Baby" by Louis Malle (1978)
Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle


¬Brooke Shields Violet
¬Keith Carradine Bellocq
¬Susan Sarandon Hattie
¬Frances Faye Nell
¬Antonio Fargas Professor
¬Matthew Anton Red Top
¬Diana Scarwid Frieda
¬Barbara Steele Josephine
¬Seret Scott Flora
¬Cheryl Markowitz Gussie
¬Susan Manskey Fanny
¬Laura Zimmerman Agnes
¬Miz Mary Odette
¬Gerrit Graham Highpockets
¬Mae Mercer Mama Mosebery
¬Don Hood Alfred Fuller
¬Pat Perkins Ola Mae
¬Von Eric Thomas Nonny
¬Sasha Holliday Justine
¬Lisa Shames Antonia
¬Henry Braden Harry
¬Patrick M. Burke Fanny's Customer
¬C.C. Courtney Naval Officer
¬Joe Catalavetto Hattie's Customer
¬Philip H. Sizeler Senator
¬Don Lutenbacher Violet's First Customer
¬Hobe May Farmer rest of cast listed alphabetically
¬Bill Holliday Gussie's client (uncredited


1917, the last months of legal prostitution in Storyville - New Orleans' red-light district. Hattie, a prostitute at the elegant home of Madame Nell, and her 12-year-old daughter Violet are the only ones awake with photographer Ernest J. Bellocq comes by with his camera. He takes pictures of Hattie and he fascinates Violet. Over the next few months, Nell arranges for the auction of Violet's virginity, Hattie marries and goes to St. Louis leaving Violet behind, and Violet determines to marry Bellocq. Is this idyllic or is she just a girl wearing rouge, soon to return to childhood?


Nicely photographed period piece 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.
poster for "Pretty Baby"
1358 x 1796
Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle