Pretty Baby


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Susan Sarandon Photo
Susan Sarandon as Hattie
Brooke Shields Photo
Brooke Shields as Violet
Keith Carradine Photo
Keith Carradine as Bellocq
Diana Scarwid Photo
Diana Scarwid as Frieda
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
965.15 MB
English 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 9
1.75 GB
English 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 4 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ham_and_Egger8 / 10

An incredibly frank but humane movie of the type that doesn't seem to be made anymore.

A beautifully filmed movie which tells a difficult story with a subtlety and power that leaves you thinking about it during odd moments for days. It's that much more disconcerting because all the while you're keenly aware that this isn't based on "a true story" but on millions of true stories throughout history, including today, and in every part of the globe.

Due to my age I'd never seen 'Pretty Baby' in the theater or, for some reason, read much about it. I was aware of the basic plot but didn't know I'd be seeing quite so much of a naked 12 year-old Brooke Shields. A couple of moments were honestly difficult for me to watch, but I've come to the conclusion that the nudity is absolutely essential to the telling of the story. You *have* to be forced to see exactly what those men were paying for.

The brilliance of director Loius Malle's film is that he constantly subverts the audience's desire to be aghast at what we see. The camera finds happy little moments throughout the movie, your mind is left to fill in the ugly realities. This trend continues to the end, which is like a cruel mirror image of the typical happily ever after Hollywood ending.

Reviewed by rmax3048238 / 10

Most Friendship is Feigning, Most Loving Mere Folly.

There are a couple of reasons to see this well-executed movie.

One is Brooke Shields in her only believable performance, as a defiant self-absorbed brat who learns not just about sex but about love. She is, of course, dazzlingly beautiful and barely pubescent and it's necessary to get beyond that. Value judgments about whether she should or should not have made this movie aren't really relevant. The movie is too good for that. Throwing up our hands and rolling our eyes is a little like interpreting "Lolita" as a simple story about pedophilia. Looked at pragmatically, Shields' playing this role hurt no one. Certainly it didn't hurt her subsequent career, what there was of it. There isn't any way to stop our own feelings of disgust at times, granted. I feel that way about movies like Friday the 13th or Halloween. I'm more disgusted by murder than by sex so I'm clearly warped. Shields packs more talent into her playing here, as Violet, than she did into all of her other movies put together. And it's not a one-note performance either. She develops from a vulgar know-it-all into a creature of real emotion. At the end of the story, her mother is taking her away from the older man she has married. The camera slowly moves in on her trembling face. She's silent but the froufraws in her hair quiver with regret. Malle ends it on a freeze frame of that drop-dead gorgeous, wrenchingly sad face.

Malle is another reason this movie is worth while. He was a great story teller, even when the stories were a bit thin, as Polly Platt's is here. His specialite de la maison was the study of a community. He was almost anthropological in his approach. If he doesn't give us the social structure and eidos of a French boarding school, then it's Atlantic City, or a New Orleans whorehouse in 1917. We get to know the milieu pretty well, although we don't see much of the actual city, only the house itself, its back yard paved with coquina crunching under everyone's shoes, the palms and banana plants, the anoles. We get to know the furniture inside the house -- massive heavy things, overstuffed, overdone, overlaced, rose windowed. New Orleans was an odd city, a blend of all sorts of ethnic traditions. There's a bit of hoodoo thrown into the plot. (Madame Livingston addresses her clients as "M'sieur.") Edgar Degas visited relatives in New Orleans. Now, alas, it's becoming not much more than another big Southern city with the Quarter serving as a kind of theme park. Note too Malle's editing technique. When you expect a shot to disappear, to dissolve or be cut away from, it doesn't always happen. The image lingers, sometimes long beyond our expectations. Keith Carradine balked when Shields is taken away from him, for instance.

Much of this beauty (let's call a heart a heart) is made possible by the superb photography of Ingmar Bergman's collaborator, Sven Nyquist. He makes it possible for us to almost feel the heat and the humidity, and the solid mahogany of the bar.

The depiction of the cat house is convincingly realistic, the general atmosphere being one of casual jealousy, petulance, nudity, practicality, and mutual support. The women (and the clients) form fleeting friendships. When they leave, it's without any particular ceremony. That's why the love that develops between Carradine and Shields is as shocking as it is. It's the only real commitment shown in the film. There is an abundance of commitment on the part of the people who contributed to this very good film.

Reviewed by mk48 / 10

This Movie Is Based On Truth!

I'd like to point out that this movie is literally based on first hand recollections of a prostitute interviewed in Al Rose's definitive book on the subject: "Storyville", published many years ago. Anyone familiar with with the era knows that the photographer, E.J. Bellocq, was a real person who captured on glass plates forever the images of the young prostitutes of Storyville. These photographs are hauntingly beautiful in their own right, and the young Brooke Shields--as well as the beautiful Susan Sarandon--were a masterstroke of Malle to play the parts of mother and daughter prostitutes. The recollections in the book draw upon the actual fact that the mother who related the story actually took part in the deflowering of her daughter in the "House" as described, and that they went on to be a "team", a very common and desirable commodity in that day. Not mentioned-- but inferred to those who "read between the lines"-- was that the pony that young Violet casually rides in the backyard of the mansion in the beginning of the movie was actually an animal used to entertain the paying customers in "the circus" that certain women performed in ...for the"right price." Many of the photo sessions depicted in the film are loving recreations of surviving Bellocq prints. The women portraying the "girls" in the movie could have been working girls in "The District" had they lived back then. Some IMDb readers profess to be shocked by conditions in Storyville back then, but as the book recounts, it was all true, and many of the women actually did enjoy their livelyhood. It was the "bluenoses" to the rescue who saved them and the U.S. Navy from themselves, just as they would save the nation from "drink" a few years later. Although ragtime and jazz are touched on in the movie, Storyville was directly responsible for the likes of young Louis Armstrong--who ran coal from House to House--picking up the street melodies he heard and playing them on a cornet furnished to him--providentially--by the local orphanage, and for Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, pianist...and pimp...who played in only the best houses and claimed he invented the term "jazz" as applied to music after witnessing first hand all that "jassing-around" he saw in the bordellos of Storyville! Remarkeably, overlooked altogether is any mention of the composer of the tune "Pretty Baby," Professor Tony Jackson, a key figure of the Storyville saga, who should have been the character portrayed in the film but wasn't, and who was not even mentioned in the credits.

As for Bellocq himself not much is known except that he was slightly deformed and not interested in the ladies at all sexually-- the marriage to Violet merely a modern plot device--but he professed his deep fascination and reverence for them, thankfully, in other ways: his portraits. Without them, a poignant record of their lives,and that of The District, would be lost forever. All in all, the film is a wonderful paean to Bellocq, and the women he loved in his own way. I would urge all critics of this movie to seek out a copy of "Storyville, New Orleans" by Al Rose, or MOMA's "E.J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits." They will really open yours eyes to what Louis Malle has recreated.

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