Down 868 this week

The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  5 May 2006 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,774 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 98 user | 112 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

The life of Bettie Page, a 1950s pin-up model and one of the first sex icons in America, who became the target of a Senate investigation due to her risqué bondage photos.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas who was a 60s radical preaching hatred toward men in her "Scum" manifesto. She wrote a screenplay for a film that she wanted Andy Warhol to ... See full summary »

Director: Mary Harron
Stars: Lili Taylor, Jared Harris, Martha Plimpton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The world's greatest pinup model and cult icon, Bettie Page, recounts the true story of how her free expression overcame government witch-hunts to help launch America's sexual revolution.

Director: Mark Mori
Stars: Bettie Page, Dita Von Teese, Hugh M. Hefner
The Beatnicks (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The Beat Nicks are musician Nick Nero and poet Nick Beat, a pair of self-styled truth-seekers who'd better find a gig or they'll be out on the street. Their luck begins to change when they ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholson Williams
Stars: Norman Reedus, Mark Boone Junior, Élodie Bouchez
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa's bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

Director: Mary Harron
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole
Moscow Chill (2007)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A loner American computer hacker is brought to Russia to commit bank fraud, only to find a family and love in the incomprehensible, violent, and chaotic Moscow underworld.

Director: Chris Solimine
Stars: Norman Reedus, Konstantin Yushkevich, Slava Schoot
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Eighteen-year-old mothers' son Harry (he lives with his overprotective mother Kate) shows his cruel side at one occasion and is hired as hitman/enforcer by the Jewish mob.

Director: Adam Bernstein
Stars: Norman Reedus, Debbie Harry, Adrien Brody
Tough Luck (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A tense and intricate web of deceit and betrayal entangles Archie, a wandering grifter who is hired by a traveling carnival owner to murder his beautiful wife.

Director: Gary Ellis
Stars: Norman Reedus, Marco St. John, Rick Negron
Beat (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.

Director: Gary Walkow
Stars: Courtney Love, Kiefer Sutherland, Lisa Sheridan
Floating (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Floating is the story of a young man's struggle to come of age during a violent period of emotional and financial bankruptcy. The film stars Norman Reedus as Van, a son shouldering the ... See full summary »

Director: William Roth
Stars: Norman Reedus, Chad Lowe, Will Lyman
Bad Seed (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Preston Tylk is an ordinary guy living in Seattle. When he discovers that his wife, Emily, whom he adores, is having an affair, he is devastated. Storming out of the house, he returns later only to find her brutally murdered.

Director: Jon Bokenkamp
Stars: Luke Wilson, Norman Reedus, Dennis Farina
Meskada (2010)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Passions run high when hope for a economically strapped town seems blocked by the investigation of a murdered kid, son of a county commissioner.

Director: Josh Sternfeld
Stars: Nick Stahl, Rachel Nichols, Kellan Lutz
XX (2016)

An anthology of female-driven horror-movie segments.

Directors: Sofia Carrillo, Mary Harron, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Natalie Brown, Mike Doyle, Peter DaCunha


Cast overview, first billed only:
Preacher in Nashville
Nervous Man
Billy Neal
Minister in Miami
Jerry Tibbs


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Pin-Up Sensation That Shocked The Nation. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nudity, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Bettie Page  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$143,131 (USA) (14 April 2006)


$1,410,778 (USA) (23 June 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


In the scene mentioned above (with the improperly used Stereo-Realist), many photographers are seen using simple 1940s-50s box cameras indoors. No large window or strong artificial lighting seen. Yet, the photographers were shown shooting with ease, as if they were shooting outdoors in bright light. In the 1950s, box cameras and the less sensitive films can only be used satisfactorily outdoors in good light. See more »


[Bettie reacts angrily when John sings a ribald song during a bondage photo shoot]
John Willie: What's the matter, Bettie?
[John pulls the gag from Bettie's mouth]
Bettie Page: It's your language, Mr. Willie.
John Willie: Oh, it's just an old army ditty to help keep our spirits up while fighting the beastly Hun. Do you approve?
Bettie Page: I believe in Jesus.
See more »

Crazy Credits

craft service - Grover Cleveland, craft service assistant - Benjamin Harrison See more »


Featured in HBO First Look: The Notorious Bettie Page (2006) See more »


Mucha Muchacha
Written by Juan García Esquivel
Performed by Juan García Esquivel (as Esquivel)
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
Under license from BMG Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Appealing but none too Revealing look at an Icon
7 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the great pioneers of Pre-XXX exploitation cinema, David Friedman, has often said that one of the main keys to his success (particularly in regards to his sexploitation films) was that he always teased the audience. Show them just enough to lure them in (and give them some of what they want), but not enough so that were satisfied and didn't have to come back (but leave them asking for more).

Certainly, Bettie Page and the Klaws knew how to tease their audience when they did their photo and film shoots. Unfortunately, the same could be said for this film and it disappoints for that reason. Harron's film is all surface and tease (and well done in that regard), but we never learn that much of the person behind the bondage.

For a low budget film Harron is quite deft in combining stock footage, set decoration-wardrobe and film stock manipulation to bring the era to life. The recreations of Bettie Page's career are handled with care and attention to detail. Were the same only able to be said about the screenplay which is banal and...ahem...only skin deep.

Judging the acting is more problematic in that Harron has chosen to go along with what seems to be the prevailing technique current filmmakers have when portraying characters of the 1950's - They seem to smile, grin and leer in a bizarre ritualistic way as if they were the members of a cult who can communicate with one another through their teeth and eyes! Mol does her best within this construct, even if she's too thin to realistically depict the voluptuous Page as she was (fortunately, Harron was wise enough to find a suitable actress without anachronistic implants).

It's not quite correct as many have contended that the film doesn't tell a linear narrative story (many have argued that it's just a slice of her life, nothing more). There IS an arc to the story. What's crucially missing are the thoughts and feelings of Bettie herself. Surely, a girl with such a strict religious background (which she returned to), would have believed something more strongly about the sexual nature of her work than "Adam and Eve were naked". When the film gets more serious towards the end, both it and Mol's performance are harmed because the audience has gotten used to the winks and the smiles, and haven't been given reason to think any more deeply than that.

In the end, it's like that glossy magazine you see on the newsstand, all bright, shiny and alluring, but you suspect that inside it will be a teasing disappointment.

P.S. Just a note on the Black & White photography. Pity that better care wasn't given to the film stocks used for the release prints. They seem to have blue tint to them, so you don't get the full dark blacks and bright whites of true B&W film stock. Hopefully, this will be corrected on DVD.

Also, because Page is such an icon, there's an odd sense that you don't WANT to know the details behind the image (even when they are so superficial as here). Of course, recent biographies and a recent L.A. Times interview with Page herself have sort of let the cat out of the bag prior to this film.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rose McGowan as Bettie? AngelWhoWaited
Bettes Rape kbkatz
What did the real Bettie think of this movie? XDumbledork
contradictory grppaperboy
Comming to Australia? unsocialite
what was the point? movie_madam
Discuss The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: