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The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  5 May 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,708 users   Metascore: 64/100
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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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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 <>

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?


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 an early scene, a parked 1947 De Soto sedan is seen wearing modern narrow-whitewall tires which were not available until the early 1960s. See more »


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?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References B.F.'s Daughter (1948) 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

The Truth About Sex in America
28 September 2005 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron is a cultural gadfly whose previous films laid bare some the artistic excess of the Sixties and the hollow avaricious Eighties. With "The Notorious Bettie Page" she points her unswerving eye at Fifties America, an era cloaked in the moral righteousness of Joe McCarthy, while experiencing the beginnings of a sexual awakening that would result in the free love of the next decade. Harron and her co-writer Guinevere Turner, are clearly not interested in the standard biopic of a sex symbol. This is a film about the underground icon of an era and how her pure unashamed sexuality revealed both the predatory instincts and impure thoughts of a culture untouched by the beauty of a nude body. If the details of Bettie's life were all the film was concerned about, then why end it before her most tragic period was about to begin. Clearly, Harron is more interested in America's attitudes towards sexual imagery then and now. Together with a fearless lead performance by Gretchen Mol and the stunningly atmospheric cinematography of W.Mott Hupfel III, she accomplishes this goal admirably, holding up a mirror to the past while making the audience examine their own "enlightened" 21st Century attitudes towards so-called pornography. As America suffocates under a new conservatism, this is a film needed more than ever.

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