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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Gretchen Mol
Lili Taylor
David Strathairn.
Directors
Mary Harron.
Screenwriters
Mary Harron
Guinevere Turner.
Running Time
91 minutes

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The Notorious Bettie Page
Surprisingly sweet little picture about a 50's pin-up


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Plot
The true story of the 1950s’ most famous pin-up. Following a strictly religious upbringing, Bettie Page (Mol) moves to New York to model. But photographers are more keen on her modelling out of her clothes than in them. A successful career ensues, until the US Senate calls her in for questioning in a pornography investigation.


Review
The Notorious Bettie Page

The Notorious Bettie Page possesses many factors common to the sex scandal drama: women in skimpy get-ups, matter-of-fact ‘just paying the bills’ pornographers, and a seedy little businessman with a sweaty upper lip. Yet it also has something you never expect of the sub-genre: a pervading warmth and paradoxical innocence.
 
     Though Bettie Page may have made her name posing in scanties, bondage gear or nothing at all, she is not, as depicted by American Psycho director Mary Harron, a woman pre-occupied with sex. It’s just  “a bit of fun”; something she does for the money and because she enjoys it. How hairy-palmed gentlemen use her pictures is really none of her concern. So she’s knocked sideways when the Senate calls her to answer porn charges.
 
     Bettie’s charm is all down to Gretchen Mol, who maintains the perfect balance of Bettie’s sexuality and sweetness. Even tied spread-eagled for one of her more ‘specialist’ pictures, she still exudes good ’ol Southern charm. Given the film’s rather narrow scope — there’s little interest in the scandal outside of Bettie’s direct experience of it — she’s required to carry the entire picture, and she does so flawlessly, despite impractical shoes.


Verdict
A small, strangely sweet tale well told. But this is all about Mol, who puts in a performance that gives her a very early lead on next year’s Oscar race.


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Average user rating for The Notorious Bettie Page
Empire Star Rating

... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:25, 10 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: An Unsatisfying Tease

L: themessiah I saw this a few days ago, I can't really understand where the idea of such a film should be released onto cinema release, as it feels more of a TV movie; hint: seeing that the production was made around with HBO films. When it comes to Gretchen Mol's acting although it is OK it could be better and the only reason why she seems great in the part is only because the rest of the cast are so wooden it is shocking. I would also possibly not give any hint of an Oscar to... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by steelydan3 at 22:20, 30 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Notorious Bettie Page

asy to see how some filmgoers might be disappointed by this 50s pin-up biopic as it shares the faults common to many true life films; fact seldom provides the satisfying narrative structure possible in fiction, and - despite screenwriters' best efforts - such films often lack dramatic momentum and tension.  The Notorious Bettie Page, however, offers much that compensates for this.  It is an appealingly subtle and stylish film: a sweet and seductive delight packed with lovely clothes a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by actaeon at 15:43, 30 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: An Unsatisfying Tease

I saw this a few days ago, I can't really understand where the idea of such a film should be released onto cinema release, as it feels more of a TV movie; hint: seeing that the production was made around with HBO films.   When it comes to Gretchen Mol's acting although it is OK it could be better and the only reason why she seems great in the part is only because the rest of the cast are so wooden it is shocking. I would also possibly not give any hint of an Oscar to Mol as ... More

Posted by themessiah at 13:41, 13 August 2006 | Report This Post


The Notorious Bettie Page

Who was Bettie Page? Well, most people will be able to tell you that Page was one of the most famous, or infamous, pin-ups of the 1950's; notable in particular for her bondage pictures. From Mary Harron's film orious Bettie Pagers may learn that Page was born into a strictly religious Nashville family, suffered from all manner of sexual abuse during her formative years, and, after achieving fame with her saucy photos, she turned her back on the world of pornography and became a born-again Chris... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Philconcannon at 21:04, 06 August 2006 | Report This Post



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