Original Daybill Movie Poster.Pretty Baby is a 1978 American historical drama film directed by Louis Malle, and starring Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, and Susan Sarandon. The screenplay was written by Polly Platt. The plot focuses on a 12-year-old prostitute in the red-light district of New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century.The title of the film is inspired by the Tony Jackson song, "Pretty Baby," which is used in the soundtrack. Although the film was mostly praised by critics, it caused significant controversy due to its depiction of child prostitution and the nude scenes of Brooke Shields, who was 12 years old. Pretty Baby received an R rating in the United States, an X rating in the United Kingdom, and an R18+ rating in Australia, for nudity and sexual content.