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This is a compilation of several 1950s burlesque acts, so there's no real plot to summarize. There are some strippers, some stand-up comics of the take-my-wife-please variety and cult ... See full summary »
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A young man sets out on a cross country trip to confront his abusive father who left his destitute family years earlier. Along the way, he encounters a notorious killer who instills him with a new outlook on life.
Portrait of an American innocent. In 1955, Bettie Page (1923-2008 ) waits to testify before a Senate subcommittee investigating the effects of pornographic material on American adolescents and juveniles. In flashbacks, we see her childhood in Tennessee, a brief marriage, a gang rape, and her going to New York City in 1949. There she takes acting lessons, models for photos, and acts in short films for adults, earning the nickname, "The Pin-Up Queen of the Universe." We see her relationship with merchants Irving and Paula Klaw, photographers John Willie and Bunny Yeager, boyfriends, and the public. Through it all, she is wholesome, sporting, and forthright - Eve before the fall. Written by
The characters of real-life bondage photographers Irving and Paula Klaw were actually brother and sister, not a married couple as many critics erroneously reported in reviews. See more »
At Bettie's first Klaw photo shoot (in the early 1950s), the record Paula plays for Bettie to dance to is Esquivel's "Mucha Muchacha," recorded in 1961. See more »
[for her photo shoot, Bettie is tied up wearing slinky lingerie]
Do you mind if I ask you a question, Bettie? What do you think Jesus would think about what you're doing now?
Well, Mr. Willie, I've thought about this quite a lot and I'm not really sure if I know anymore. I think God has given us some kind of talent and he wants us to use it. That's why he gives it to us.
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craft service - Grover Cleveland, craft service assistant - Benjamin Harrison See more »
An interesting biopic about the pin up girl Bettie Page and shows how far we have come in terms of sexuality in America.
"The Notorious Bettie Page" is about a woman who always wanted to be an actress but instead became one of the most famous pin up girls in the history of America. Bettie Page played by Gretchen Mol was one of the first sex icons in America. The type of modeling Bettie Page took part in included nudity and bondage which lead to a U.S Senate investigation in the 1950s.
Walking out of the film, all I could think about was how far we have come in terms of pornography since the 1950s. You can go on the internet now and find some of most disturbing and shocking images ever shot, that the footage questioned in "The Notorious Bettie Page" seems almost childlike and innocent. Most of the footage including the bondage did not feature nudity when Bettie Page was involved yet today we have sick images where we can see women having sex with animals. I find that maybe the envelope has been pushed a little too far since the 1950s because looking at this movie in terms of today's pornography, it was very tastefully done.
To be honest, I was pretty impressed with "The Notorious Bettie Page," I found the film to be very well done and interesting. The movie is exactly what the trailer leads you to believe it will be and is a very interesting look at one of the first female sex icons in America. Gretchen Mol looks just like Bettie Page and gives a very fine performance. I also thought that since the movie was shot in black and white it made the film seem realistic because it made the audience believe they were watching a film created in the late 1950s.
My only complaint about the film was the running time, there seemed to be a few scenes that were cut and seemed to be a little shorter than they should have been. I looked this up and it seems that 10 minutes was cut from the film since its original showing at the Toronto Film Festival. Also the ending was pretty tame and I was expecting a little more from it or maybe some paragraphs to come on the screen to tell the audience more about Bettie Page's life where the film left off. Those are my only two complaints about the film other than that the directing was solid, the acting was great especially Gretchen, and the writing was good.
Mary Harron, who directed "American Psycho", which is one of my favorite films, is the director and writer of "The Notorious Bettie Page." I feel that Mary is a very talented director who knows how to create a setting and create great movies based on characters because like "Psycho", Bettie Page is a character study and a fine one at that. Harron captures the 40s and 50s with ease as well as all the characters. She is a very talented director who I hope will be around for many years to come.
Bottom Line: "The Notorious Bettie Page" is definitely worth a look. It's a very interesting story that shows how far America, as well as the world, has come in terms of pornography. The film also provides a fine performance by Gretchen Mol who literally nails the role of Bettie Page on the head. And top it off with a talented director who was able to capture the look and feel of a previous era and you have a good movie on your hands. Sadly, this film is probably going to flop since not many besides people who grew up in this era will show interest in the film but I think it's worth checking out.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "The Notorious Bettie Page" is a 8/10. It's an interesting character study about one of the most famous pin up girls and sex icons in American history.
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