Pretty Baby

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Overview

Louis Malle's controversial drama Pretty Baby, featuring a very young Brooke Shields, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. Regardless of how one feels about the film's content, Pretty Baby is most assuredly a resounding visual success. The exquisite art direction, costumes, and lighting look fabulous on this disc. Certainly the film has never looked this good before on home video. English and French soundtracks have been rendered in ...
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Overview

Louis Malle's controversial drama Pretty Baby, featuring a very young Brooke Shields, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. Regardless of how one feels about the film's content, Pretty Baby is most assuredly a resounding visual success. The exquisite art direction, costumes, and lighting look fabulous on this disc. Certainly the film has never looked this good before on home video. English and French soundtracks have been rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but seeing as how Malle is one of the most respected French directors of his era, this disc is worthwhile for any art film devotee.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English Mono, French Mono; English subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Louis Malle's film on the world of child prostitution is notably slack and uninvolving despite its controversial subject. Brooke Shields stars as Violet, the daughter of prostitute Hattie (Susan Sarandon), who is raised in a brothel in turn-of-the-century New Orleans' Storyville, and decides to adopt her mother's profession. Malle, who successfully broached the subject of incest in Le Souffle au Coeur (1971), tries to pull off a similar feat here, but despite his attempt to make a much older man's sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl seem like a ho-hum alternative, he shies away from the issue by aestheticizing and muting the depiction of sex. Keith Carradine plays the essentially voyeuristic photographer Bellocq, whose attraction to the young girl is more contemplative than physical. There is little difference between his point of view and that of the film, and there is really no character for Shields to play, as Malle renders her as more object than subject. Viewers are left with the slow-moving spectacle of beautiful women lounging around their well-appointed workplace waiting for clients -- not particularly painful perhaps, but not too compelling either. That said, the film is beautifully photographed by Sven Nykvist, and for horror fans, cult actress Barbara Steele makes one of her last film appearances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/18/2003
  • UPC: 097360894042
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Keith Carradine E.J. Bellocq
Susan Sarandon Hattie
Brooke Shields Violet
Frances Faye Mme. Nell Livingston
Antonio Fargas Professor, Piano Player
Gerritt Graham Highpockets
Mae Mercer Mama Mosebery
Diana Scarwid Frieda
Barbara Steele Josephine
Mathew Douglas Anton Red Top
Seret Scott Flora
Cheryl Markowitz Gussie
Susan Manskey Fanny
Laura Zimmerman Agnes
Miz Mary Odette
Don Hood Alfred Fuller
Don K. Lutenbacher Violet's First Customer
Pat Perkins Ola Mae
Technical Credits
Louis Malle Director, Producer
Suzanne Baron Editor
James I. Berkey Set Decoration/Design
Jim Berkey Set Decoration/Design
Gary Chason Casting
Suzanne Fenn Editor
David Grayson Makeup
Don Heitzer Asst. Director
Don Johnson Sound/Sound Designer
Maureen Lambray Cinematographer, Special Effects
Mina Mittleman Costumes/Costume Designer
Sven Nykvist Cinematographer
Polly Platt Original Story, Screenwriter
John M. Poer Asst. Director
Charlene Roberson Makeup
Juliet Taylor Casting
Jerry Wexler Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Trevor Williams Production Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. It's a Boy [7:19]
2. Early Morning at Madame Nell's [6:52]
3. The Photographer [6:57]
4. Ms. Hattie's Discontent [8:58]
5. A Little Girl [13:38]
6. Virgin [10:58]
7. One of the Girls [3:47]
8. Momma's Getting Married [7:52]
9. Punished [7:02]
10. Bellocq's House [10:30]
11. Destroying Photographs [4:46]
12. Going Out of Business [5:55]
13. Violet's Marriage Day [6:06]
14. Mother and Daughter [8:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Set Up
      Audio Options: English
      Audio Options: Fran├žais
      Subtitle Options: English
      Subtitle Options: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dramatic and intense story line

    This movie is one that will hold your attention. It is not suitable for children!While it is rated a 'R' I would increase that to 'X' had I been rating it. It is not a porn movie by any means but contains nudity and 'strong' subject content. The story depicts life of a child who is living with her Mother and little brother in a house of prostitution.Violet, not ever having lived in any other way finds all the 'business' in the house that she sees daily as being the 'norm'. Her childhood is far from being the typical in the early 1900's, Violet herself gladly entering her own life as a prostitute at the age of 12 and finding this to be a positive highlight of her life. If you enjoy a intense thought provoking movie then this is a good choise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mature and entertaining.

    Much better than I expected.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews