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Pretty Baby

Despite the scandalised yelps about child pornography, a film of disarmingly subversive innocence, set in a New Orleans bordello (1917 vintage) where the pretty baby of the title eagerly awaits her twelfth birthday and the deflowerment which will inaugurate her career. All red plush, ragtime and Renoir nudes, it would be candy confection except that vice is viewed here partly through the enchanted eyes of the child (Shields), partly through the candid camera of a photographer (Carradine) who sees flesh and its desires as the stuff of art and beauty. The Nabokovian relationship between these two asks some very pertinent questions about the hypocrisy of conventional morality.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Louis Malle
Screenwriter: Louis Malle, Polly Platt
Cast: Matthew Anton
Susan Sarandon
Gerrit Graham
Barbara Steele
Antonio Fargas
Brooke Shields
Keith Carradine
Diana Scarwid
Frances Faye
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