Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Notorious Bettie Page (2005): The Story of the Iconic 1950's Raven-Haired, Pin-Up Girl (Risque Cinema)


     Although an HBO movie, The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) has the grittiness and feel of an independent film. The cinematography is superb, shot mostly in black and white with occasional color vignettes, it fits the subject and looks like a 1950s magazine. Overall the acting is strong and it is a fine effort and suitable tribute to Bettie Page, a true pin-up icon.
     The story traces Bettie Page's (Gretchen Mol) life from adolescence up to her "redemption" and retreat from the spotlight, but jumps around in a non-linear effort to make the storyline more interesting. After a youth, troubled with men who used her for her good looks, Bettie Page moves to New York City and decides to put her good looks to use as a model... 


     She eventually hooks up with camera club people (groups that surround scantily clad and nude women and snap photos), which in turn leads her to a Hollywood head-shot business that sells bondage photos on the side... 


     Naive to the trend, Bettie poses for the photos, but it eventually leads to her involvement in a Government investigation regarding pornography... 


     A vacation to Miami leads Bettie to Bunny Yeager, a fresh photographer with which she has an instant bond, and they take many beach photos together (nude and otherwise)... 


     Magazine covers and postcards abound...


     Bettie Page's life seems to be great, she is naughty but having fun with it. But the ever-pulling question of religion troubles her... and she seeks a new path...


The Notorious Bettie Page- movie trailer
Comparison: The real Bettie Page and Grethchen Mol playing her