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 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 »
A 1956 Pontiac convertible is seen in the pre-March 1955 beach scene where Bettie meets the young man in yellow. See more »
[Bettie reacts angrily when John sings a ribald song during a bondage photo shoot]
What's the matter, Bettie?
[John pulls the gag from Bettie's mouth]
It's your language, Mr. Willie.
Oh, it's just an old army ditty to help keep our spirits up while fighting the beastly Hun. Do you approve?
I believe in Jesus.
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craft service - Grover Cleveland, craft service assistant - Benjamin Harrison See more »
Bettie fans (and Mary Harron fans) won't be disappointed
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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