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
The interior scene church in Florida were shot at a church in New York, on the last day of the New York shoot. The choir in the scene, according to the director, was a real New York-based choir that sounded so good that it was decided that they sounded too polished. The hymn heard in the scene was rerecorded with a choir in Nashville, Tennessee, with some non-professional singers mixed in. See more »
On Bettie's trip to NYC we see historically accurate Greyhound buses, most likely the 'Silverside' model built in 1948. The problem is the scene when her bus enters the terminal in New York. The bus is distinctly a General Motors GMC PD 4106 model, which didn't enter service until 1964. See more »
[for her photo shoot, Bettie is tied up wearing slinky lingerie]
Do you mind if I ask you a question, Bettie? What do you think Jesus would think about what you're doing now?
Well, Mr. Willie, I've thought about this quite a lot and I'm not really sure if I know anymore. I think God has given us some kind of talent and he wants us to use it. That's why he gives it to us.
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craft service - Grover Cleveland, craft service assistant - Benjamin Harrison See more »
Bettie Page was a icon of the repressed 1950s, when she represented the sexual freedom that was still a decade away, but high in the hopes and dreams of many teenagers and young adults. Gretchen Mol does a superb job of portraying the scandalous Bettie, who was a small town girl with acting ambitions and a great body. Her acting career went nowhere, but her body brought her to the peak of fame in an admittedly fringe field. Photogrsphed in black and white with color interludes when she gets out of the world of exploitation in New York, this made-for-TV (HBO) film has good production values and a very believable supporting cast. The problem is, it's emotionally rather flat. It's difficult to form an attachment to the character, since Bettie is portrayed as someone quite shallow and naive given the business she was in. The self-serving government investigations are given a lot of screen time, which slows down the film towards the end. But it's definitely worth watching for the history of the time, and to see the heavy-handed government repression that was a characteristic of the fifties. 7/10
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