Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
We're taken back to a naive era, when the boundaries of “smut” were narrower, when even the images of an unlikely “adult” star (she never did sex films or “real” porn) seem now like good, clean fun.
[A] highly watchable portrait.
In one of Hugh Hefner's least creepy moments ever, he describes how they became friends later in life; with his help, she finally obtained the legal rights to her rampantly used image.
That she continues to invite not just Beyoncé and Katy Perry but millions of adoring men and women along for the ride is icing on the cake.
Page, who died in 2008 in Los Angeles at the age of 85, makes for a blunt but engaging narrator who's refreshingly candid about sex and her own inner demons.
Director Mark Mori, whose last feature documentary was the 1991 exposé “Building Bombs,” does an entertaining job of conveying Page's entire life in her own words and illustrating why she has become a worldwide symbol of liberated sexuality.
Mori - director of the 1991 documentary Building Bombs - assembles the information here with clarity and sensitivity.
After watching Bettie Page Reveals All, even longtime devotees may not be able to look at one of her pictures again without hearing her voice, remembering her story, and appreciating her joy all the more.
She is an engaging guide, humorous and honest, cynical and wise, with that same sense of innocent joy in her own fame that translated into in photos.
The New York Times
No life is seamless, and not every biographical portrait needs to be, but this one is so riddled with awkward transitions, including on the soundtrack, that it tends to lurch distractingly, as if Mr. Mori were still trying to figure out how to piece the whole thing together.
Why does the movie waste so much time on empty adoration from celebrity fans and skim past the significant tragedies that contributed to her complex life? Parental neglect, sexual assault, severe mental illness - all of these factors shaped the woman Page became. But perhaps even today, no one wants to consider the sadness behind her 1,000-watt smile.
It has a somewhat routine midlevel-cable-production feel. But the content is engaging, and the use of old movie clips to illustrate biographical details... is amusing.
Page's no-regrets spirit and the enraptured testimonials from those who knew her in her prime (including some swooning ex-lovers) overpowers clumsy filmmaking.
This film has all of the pieces to be a great and thorough documentary (a cult turned popular subject, new and old footage, interviews with admirers, friends and colleagues, authorization by the lady herself), but misses the mark.
Mark Mori goes a bit overboard in hammering home his appreciation of Bettie Page's significance, allowing the film to occasionally lapse into repetitiveness.
Only when it makes the claim for Page as a pivotal figure in American culture does it overstate the case and become tiresome.

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