Beautifully fimed and well acted with star performances from Susan Saranden and the very young Brooke Shields this film is a real treasure.
Pretty Baby tells the storey of a prostitute and her teenage daughter living in an open New Orleans Brothel in the second decade of the twentieth century delicately, without crudity or malice. It pulls no punches without being in the least pornographic and handles the sale of a young girl's virginity - under age by today's values - with an honesty that would perhaps be difficult to achieve today pre-occupied as it is with concerns of the politically correct.
This is not a tale of the exploitation of the actresses or the characters in the storey, because they clearly have control of their own destinies. It is a right of passage with an ending that speaks of a future surprisingly full of hope.
Sweet it certainly is, but nostalgia and the integrity of the production allow us to believe in a gentler past without the influence of drugs, organised crime and the desire to legislate for every aspect of the human condition.