The Notorious Bettie Page

Release Date: April 14, 2006
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Limited release

I'm number one!

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40/52 Les Winan Gretchen Mol is great and it looks good, but what is it about? Rarely do I complain about a movie being too short, but this one seems like it's missing 30 minutes.

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Born in Nashville, TN, Bettie Page was the ultimate girl-next-door. While working in New York as a secretary to support herself while seeking acting jobs, Bettie began to appear in a couple of Off-Broadway plays. Soon, she was modeling and doing work in commercials as well. In the beginning, she posed for camera clubs, with some of her work being nudes not intended for publication. As her face was appearing on magazine covers such as Eyeful, Wink, Titter and Black Nylons, she was working with photographer Irving Claw. The mail-order photographs that came from this collaboration resulted in Bettie being the first truly famous "bondage model".

While on a sun-worshipping pilgrimage to Miami, Bettie met Bunny Yeager, the top pin-up model in New York. Since Bunny herself was an aspiring photographer, Bettie agreed to be her primary subject matter, with the shoot taking place at the USA Africa Wildlife Park in Boca Raton, Florida. These particular pictures are quite famous, including a nude of Bettie with a pair of cheetahs and another in a leopard print "Jungle Girl" outfit.

Bunny sent some shots of Bettie to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and it wasn't long before Bettie was featured as Playmate of the Month. She became a source of obsession for Hefner, and soon a playboy of another sort, Howard Hughes, was wanting to meet her (she had the dark-haired buxom looks that he tended to go for). She declined.

Eventually, she was a subject in a Senate Committee investigation on juvenile delinquency (based on those earlier bondage photos), though the charges against her were along the same lines as a witch hunt. Still, her popularity didn't wane, but just as she was seeing her peak, Bettie disappeared. Since that time, numerous rumors have come and gone with regards to the pin-up model. One has her as a violent woman who tried to stab several people to death. Others say that she became a Christian missionary, though she failed at the attempt. Finally, she was institutionalized.

Her star rose again as comic book writer Dave Stevens used her as the inspiration for the female love interest of Cliff Secord, aka The Rocketeer. All in all, it's a fascinating life story that should make for a great biopic. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Notorious Bettie Page
Main Cast Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor, Jonathan M. Woodward
Supporting Cast David Strathairn, Cara Seymour, Tara Subkoff, Kevin Carroll
Director Mary Harron
Screenwriter Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
Distributor Newmarket Film Group
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 90 minutes
Screen Count 20
Awards Awards page for The Notorious Bettie Page
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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