With a natural photogenic poise and a vivaciously innocent risqué flair, there never was a pinup model like Bettie Page. Through Page's own words and interviews with her closest associates, we explore her extraordinary life growing up in a troubled childhood until she found a wild career as the Queen of the Pin-up Girls. In doing so, Page would challenge the paranoid sexual repression of the 1950s with uncommon grace until she walked away at the peak of her career. We also follow her quiet troubled later years struggling with unhappy marriages and mental illness that threaten to consume her even as she found a higher faith. Despite those challenges, Page's popularity would rise again in a more accepting time to become a celebrated icon of fearless sexuality and beauty.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In fact Bettie does reveal all: from front to back, side to side, and top to bottom, all with inimitable style and charisma. She was truly one of a kind in a field packed with alluring girls. The flick generally follows her life in chronological fashion, from unwanted childhood to pin-up ascendancy to older age retreat. The context is revealing not only of Bettie but of the sexual mores of the time, especially of the constricted 1950's with Bettie reaching her physical and professional peak. Here Hugh Hefner, an admirer, situates her role in challenging the puritanical norms, especially the Kefauver Commission's equation of pornography with criminal incitement ! There's also abundant use of period street scenes to provide period context, along with commentary from her friends and associates to lend detail. Much of the narration comes from Bettie herself down to her last years and turn to religion. All in all, male oglers like myself have lots to feast over. Nonetheless, even if at times repetitious, it's a revealing and entertaining documentary in more ways than one, even though my wife passed it up.
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