6.6/10
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The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

R | | Biography, Drama | 5 May 2006 (USA)
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.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Maxie
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Preacher in Nashville
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Nervous Man
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Teacher
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Billy Neal
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Scotty
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Minister in Miami
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June
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Jerry Tibbs
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Good Girl. Bad Girl. Sinner. Saint. Who is. . . See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Bettie Page  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real John Willie (portrayed by Jared Harris) never met Bettie Page. He did publish a photo of her in his Bizarre magazine, but it was shot by another photographer. Irving Klaw, who published many of Bettie's most famous photos, did publish some of Willie's Adv. of Sweet Gwendoline material. See more »

Goofs

A 1956 Pontiac convertible is seen in the pre-March 1955 beach scene where Bettie meets the young man in yellow. See more »

Quotes

Bettie Page: God gave me the talent to pose for pictures and it seems to make people happy. That can't be a bad thing, can it?
John Willie: Not to me it's not, but what does God think?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References B.F.'s Daughter (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Jordu
Written by Duke Jordan
Performed by Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An interesting biopic about the pin up girl Bettie Page and shows how far we have come in terms of sexuality in America.
24 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"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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