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Pretty Baby

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United States · 1978
1h 50m
Director Louis Malle
Starring Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, Susan Sarandon, Frances Faye
Genre Drama

Hattie, a New Orleans prostitute, meets a photographer named Bellocq one night and, after he photographs her, he befriends her 12-year-old daughter, Violet. When Hattie skips town to get married, Violet quickly loses her innocence and focuses on reuniting with Bellocq. But a life with Bellocq becomes complicated when Violet’s mother returns to town.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by

The film is handsome, the players nearly all effective, but the story highlights are confined within a narrow range of ho-hum dramatization.


Washington Post by Gary Arnold

Malle's most forcefull dramatic element is the feeling of rivalry and resentment that exists between mother and child without the characters being conscious of it. The script is eloquently supplied with scenes illustration this fundamental conflict and bond. [26 Apr 1978, p.B1]


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Louis Malle's Pretty Baby is a pleasant surprise: After all the controversy and scandal surrounding its production, it turns out to be a good-hearted, good-looking, quietly elegiac movie.

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