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Pretty Baby Details


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 enough to attract the attentions of the brothel's customers, but emotionally has one foot in the adult world of her surroundings and the other in the naïveté of childhood. With Hattie's consent, Violet's virginity is auctioned off to the customers of the house; but for Violet, the pull between childhood and adulthood becomes most clear -- and most painful -- when she draws the affections of Bellocq (Keith Carradine), a photographer who has been working on a photo series about Storyville prostitutes. Violet's blend of childlike innocence and adult sensuality is profoundly attractive to him, but their relationship quickly becomes problematic, especially when Hattie leaves Violet behind to get married. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:April 5, 1978


Keith Carradine
as E.J. Bellocq
Susan Sarandon
as Hattie
Brooke Shields
as Violet
Frances Faye
as Mme. Nell Livingston
Antonio Fargas
as Professor, Piano Player
Gerritt Graham
as Highpockets
Diana Scarwid
as Frieda
Barbara Steele
as Josephine
Seret Scott
as Flora
Susan Manskey
as Fanny
Laura Zimmerman
as Agnes
Miz Mary
as Odette
Don Hood
as Alfred Fuller


Louis Malle
Louis Malle
Polly Platt
Screen Story
Polly Platt
Sven Nykvist
Maureen Lambray
Suzanne Fenn
Jim Berkey
Set Designer
Mina Mittleman
Costume Designer
Maureen Lambray
Special Effects
Don Heitzer
First Assistant Director
Juliet Taylor
Gary Chason
Charlene Roberson