The Notorious Bettie Page - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Notorious Bettie Page Reviews

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June 12, 2016
During the 80's I had a picture of Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe on my wall. I didn't know anything about Bettie Page until now after watching this film. I didn't know during the 50's you could be arrested for buying porn. Gees how life has changed.
January 17, 2016
Harron's biography, specializing on Page's early life, start in pin-ups and notoriety due to being the target for a Senate hearing on indecency and her subsequent born-again Christianity, is very enjoyable, and Gretchen Mol is great at portraying the inner sexiness, naivety and Southern charm that made the Nashville-born Page take the world by storm. Though it made the biopic more graceful by concentrating on the earlier times, it would have been more complete had it also included her later, troubled times, punctuated with brushes with the law and institutionalization for schizophrenia, as well as being greatly financially troubled due to not getting royalties for her years of photo-work and celebrity. Thankfully, late in life, that was rectified and she was able to live her last years decently and in happiness, dying of a heart attack at 85, three years after seeing Harron's work come to light, and her success come full circle...
June 13, 2015
Really interesting film. I was surprised to learn that Bettie Page was very religious. She also worked for really nice people according to the movie. I liked how some of the scenes were in color and some were in black and white. Also, lots of nudity but as someone says in the film when Bettie Page is naked it just seems natural. She's not at all perserve so it doesn't seem dirty or pornagraphic. She's just a happy naked lady.
March 6, 2015
Love this movie. So campy and fun
½ February 7, 2015
Not a true biopic but covers the model parts which i think most people are most interested in.
½ November 26, 2014
Betty Page doesn't come across as the sharpest tool in the box. Not Hammy acting and direction but I found this weirdly enjoyable!
October 4, 2014
I have no idea how much of this movie is supposed to be based on fact, but if you go be this, Betty Page was pretty stupid. I know they were probably going for naive, but she just seemed oblivious that she was doing anything more scandalous than modeling for the Sears catalog.
½ August 14, 2014
Although an entertaining film, the critics were correct on this one. You never get into how all the traumatic events of her life effected her, and contributed to her later bouts of mental illness that landed her in mental institutions. Just rather focused on her as a bondage/sex symbol and not her as a person. Rather antifeminist.
July 19, 2014
Gives a little more insight to the famous icon Bettie Page.

Update: she did not like this film.
July 11, 2014
This is Bio Pic on the life of pinup queen Bettie Page. It's set during her hey days in the early 1950's with a little of her childhood in Tennessee. I remember when I was a kid in the late 1960's the drug store in Coyle, Oklahoma still had magazines in the magazine rack with pictures of Bettie Page. I didn't know who she was till years later when Playboy published some articles about her. In this movie they did a really good job of making up the actress to look like Bettie Page. They also did a good job of recreating the black and white silent S&M movie made with the real Bettie Page. Most of the movie is in Black and White until she goes to Florida where the movie switches to Color. The story fictionalizes some of her life events. Bettie was raised in the Baptist Church and after she quit modeling she went to work for Billy Graham. In the movie they tried to show her religious experiences but I don't think they got the Baptist religious services quite right. They also tried to portray her as a naive young woman. Near the end of her life Playboy published an interview with the real Bettie Page. There was nothing naive about her. She was tough old lady. She knew what she was doing in the 1950's. Her way of expressing herself reminded me of my Aunt Alice who was about the age of the real Bettie Page and also was raise in the country during the depression. The strength of the movie is visual. The story is weak and is more myth than reality. They ended the movie when she "disappeared" after the Congress began to investigate the early porn magazines and comic books.
May 1, 2014
Written and directed by Mary Harron, (I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and American Psycho (2000)), this is an engaging and entertaining biopic that could have been seedy and perverse, but it's not, it shows great respect for it's main character and her life. Plus, it captures the era it's set in brilliantly, with the new found liberalism in the 50's at odds with the puritanical moral guardians. This tells the story of Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol), who comes from a broken childhood in Nashville, Tennessee goes to New York in 1949 in search of a better life. She gets a new start after a chance encounter with amateur photographer Jerry Tibbs (Kevin Carroll), who asks Bettie to model for him. It's not long before Bettie becomes a favourite among local photographers, and amazingly, she has nothing against taking her clothes off for the camera. However, when she starts taking photos depicting sex fetishes for photographer John Willie (Jared Harris) that gets her into trouble, and she's soon hauled up before a congressional hearing. It's a compelling film, with Mol giving a likeable and cheery performance as Page, plus Harron and the film's cinematographer W. Mott Hupfel III make a brave descision to film it mostly in black and white, with certain moments filmed in high contrast hues like the films of Douglas Sirk. It gives the film a brilliant look and feel.
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2014
A bit stiff as a film - biopic by numbers - but Gretchen Mol turns in an excellent performance, having to play everything including a free-spirited pin-up girl at her first acting lessons (i.e., acting like someone who doesn't know how to act, which strikes me as impossible to even think about let alone pull off).
March 1, 2014
An entertaining story of a more innocent time when censorship ruled and God looked down on good Americans as if they were his own children.
½ February 1, 2014
Audiences expecting a complete biography of Bettie Page -- or a racy, sleazy spectacle -- will be disappointed, because in Mary Harron's hands this biopic is not so much about Bettie Page herself as much as it is about combating the moral attitudes some people take against sex and kink.
½ October 15, 2013
A perfectly tasteful and skin deep bio of Bettie Page, which would normally make the film a mild, if somewhat dull success, but in this case makes the film a failure. Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner (who had previously collaborated on "American Psycho") take the line that it's perfectly okay for Page to have been a pin-up girl, especially given the options available in her era, and then really betray the fact that they don't completely mean it by making such an oddly chaste film about her. The whole enterprise reeks of hypocrisy. For what it's worth, Mol is believable as Page, even though her character doesn't have a lot more depth than the average pin-up pic.
June 24, 2013
The Notorious Bettie Page feels like it wants to be more of a period piece about the "art" rather than about the girl itself, which feels lackluster in itself.
May 18, 2013
The 1950s were definitely a time of change, especially in the entertainment world. Television was becoming the norm, movie studios were losing audiences and the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was starting to create tension. One of these changes was adult magazines popping up and creating a controversy over what could be censored. The 2006 film "The Notorious Bettie Page" is a good combination of pornographic images and what the government thinks is "obscene". Though the film could longer, it definitely shows what went on during that time period of the 1950s.

The plot has Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol) going from the humble life of Nashville, Tennessee, all the way up to New York where she becomes a modeler. As said model, Bettie dresses up in provocative clothing to take photos for some interesting people. Unfortunately, the government tries to shut down the studio that Bettie is working for as the images that are being distributed are effecting the youth of the nation. Is Bettie's work hurting the American public, or is it all for fun?

"The Notorious Bettie Page" is a good biopic about one of the most leading women in the adult entertainment business. The story mainly sticks with Bettie's career as a model while asking the question: is it safe for everyone? The production team that went into this movie did an amazing job. Mary Harron, the director, was a very good decision on the studio's part, as had this film had been directed by a man, the movie would have been a completely different film. In terms of acting, everyone is perfect, especially Gretchen Mol, who delivered an outstanding performance. The soundtrack is good by bringing in a big band orchestra and early 1950s hits to play over the film to set the mood of the time period. While the subject matter isn't as quite as topical as it is today, it does bring up the notion of what can and can not be shown to the public. But what really sells the film is the cinematography.

For most of the movie, "The Notorious Bettie Page" is shown in black and white. The reason behind this is because the filmmakers wanted to recapture the entertainment world when it still was working in black and white. Yes, there are moments when the film changes from black and white to color , but for the most part, the movie is in black and white. The way the movie is shot is fantastic as black and white films are beginning to die out of the public media.

There is one minor problem with the movie, in which it could have gone a bit longer. If there had been an epilogue that showed the significance of Bettie Page, then the movie would have been perfect.

In conclusion, "The Notorious Bettie Page" is good movie about one of the most prolific women in the adult entertainment industry.
April 28, 2013
Excellent performance by Gretchen Mol and great cinematography capturing the feel of the 50's. Unfortunately there's not enough substance to complement the style. The movie feels rushed and incomplete, instead of a character study, we get a quick outline.
½ April 7, 2013
I liked the Miami "technicolor" era,well in fact,i liked how every scenario had its own cinematography.
February 24, 2013
watchable but nothing to write home about.
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