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The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

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

Director:

Mary Harron
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gretchen Mol ... Bettie Page
Chris Bauer ... Irving Klaw
Jared Harris ... John Willie
Sarah Paulson ... Bunny Yeager
Cara Seymour ... Maxie
David Strathairn ... Estes Kefauver
Lili Taylor ... Paula Klaw
John Cullum ... Preacher in Nashville
Matt McGrath ... Nervous Man
Austin Pendleton ... Teacher
Norman Reedus ... Billy Neal
Dallas Roberts ... Scotty
Victor Slezak ... Minister in Miami
Tara Subkoff ... June
Kevin Carroll ... 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:

Show Some Restraint. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Picturehouse Films

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Days of Bettie Page See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,131, 16 April 2006

Gross USA:

$1,415,082

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,778,006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The film depicts Bettie as being OK with the fetish/costume/bondage modeling - and being quite naive as to the erotic uses of such photos. This is exactly opposite from how the real Bettie Page felt about modeling. Her attitude basically was that "God made us nude, so how bad could it be?" but the more extreme fetish posing fostered sexually deviant desires. The numerous fully nude shoots she did for amateur camera clubs bears this out. 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

References Destry Rides Again (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Good Day
Written by Dave Barbour (as David M. Barbour) and Peggy Lee
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Truth About Sex in America
28 September 2005 | by mhusherSee 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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