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
Guinevere Turner was originally set to star as Bettie Page. Though she did not appear in an acting capacity, she stayed as screenwriter. See more »
In one 'bondage shoot' scene, Jared Harris shoots the bound Betty with a Leica camera, lens retracted. Collapsible lenses on Leicas need to be extended to shooting position for proper focusing. Shooting with a lens retracted will result in blurred pictures, and all photographers who shot with Leicas should know that. See more »
[Bettie reacts angrily when John sings a ribald song during a bondage photo shoot]
What's the matter, Bettie?
[John pulls the gag from Bettie's mouth]
It's your language, Mr. Willie.
Oh, it's just an old army ditty to help keep our spirits up while fighting the beastly Hun. Do you approve?
I believe in Jesus.
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craft service - Grover Cleveland, craft service assistant - Benjamin Harrison See more »
For a film that's ostensibly about sex and leather, it doesn't have any right to be as oddly sweet as it is. The story of Bettie Page, a good Christian girl from the South who's momma wouldn't let her date until she married, who moved to New York and ended up becoming the most successful pin-up of her age, is driven by an outstanding performance from Gretchen Moll. Her Page can't quite reconcile the pictures that she takes (nobody's allowed to touch, it's all fun and respectful) with the pornography trials and supposed ill-effects that her images have on the world around her.
Page has been an inspiration to every burlesque artist since, not just because she had a figure to die for, but because she invested every picture with an innocent sense of fun that was uniquely sexy and simple at the same time. Rather like this film, in fact. Filmde in both black and white and glorious technicolour, it's a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
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