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The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  21 April 2006 (Canada)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,518 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 97 user | 111 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.

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Title: The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

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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

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 2006 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Bettie Page  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,410,778 (USA) (23 June 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Farce of the Penguins (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Life's Railway to Heaven
Written by W.S. Stevenson
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of Sony / ATV Music Publishing d/b/a Masters International
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bettie fans (and Mary Harron fans) won't be disappointed
17 September 2005 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

More a snapshot of the most popular pinup of all time than your typical dragged out biopic, this fun and fabulous film has the look and feel of the era with an excellent soundtrack and everything you would want in an indie-type film. I think the tendency would be to portray Bettie Page as some sort of sex vixen, like a Jayne Mansfield. But if you've truly looked carefully at Bettie's poses, she always looked happy. Not a "you wish you could get with me" haughty look, nor the "I'm just doing this because my acting career didn't work out" look of a porn star. And so, the ladies involved with this film (three female producers, a female writer/ director, female co-writer and the lovely Gretchen Mol, who I'm sure helped shape this role with her own sugary influence) really captured the idea of a sweet, somewhat naive, southern girl who really enjoyed having her photo taken and hoped that good ol' JC wouldn't be too upset with her.

Gretchen Mol turns out a career high performance (she may just have the most perfect breasts ever), which I am happy about, because she did have the curse. Several years ago, she made the cover of Vanity Fair when no one really knew who she was, touting her as the next It-girl. And let's be frank, that was a bit presumptuous. I mean unfortunately she has never made it to Gwyneth status, though not for lack of talent. Making a few poor film choices when you are a pretty blonde in fickle Hollywood renders you forgettable I'm afraid. If this doesn't put her back on the A-list, well I'll be a monkey's uncle.

Intensely private, Bettie herself has not seen the film yet. Bettie left the pinup party on a high note and fell in love with her old flame, Jesus. Whatever floats your boat honey. You were one helluva woman. I hope you're happy wherever you are.

Congratulations Mary Harron, you've done our cult idol justice.


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