Film / The Notorious Bettie Page

The Notorious Bettie Page is a 2005 biographical movie of the Fifties pin-up and centrefold Bettie Page. It was directed by Mary Harron and starred Gretchen Mol as the eponymous character. The screenplay was co-written by Harron and Guinevere Turner, the latter of whom was also the screenwriter for American Psycho.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Bettie and her sisters were sexually abused by her father.
  • Bound and Gagged: Bettie gets into fetish modeling.
  • Burlesque: Bettie's darker pinup costumes, and especially the bondage and films.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: B/W except for when the magazine covers are shown, the home movies, and the photo shoot in Florida.
  • Dominatrix: Many of her fetish photos had her in this role.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The iconic hairstyle is created when a photographer tells her that her high forehead reflects light and needs to be covered up.
  • Fan Nickname: (In-Universe) Notably The Dark Angel by her fans because of her dark hair and bangs as well as The Queen of Curves.
  • For Want of a Nail: Bettie missed a class at school, got an A- instead of an A, didn't get a scholarship, and the rest is history.
  • God Before Dogma: Bettie was very religious, but saw no conflict in her modeling with her faith.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: The film is framed around Bettie being hauled in for testimony against photographer Irving Klaw.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Bettie truly had no shame about her body. Photographers and consumers found her so appealing because she was extremely comfortable nude. One article describes her as "nude but not naked."
  • Kinky Spanking: Bettie's specialty, more or less (as the spankee).
  • Knocking on Heathens' Door: The film ends with Bettie handing out religious fliers on the street (which she did do).
  • Playboy Bunny: Bettie was the Playboy Playmate of the Month centerfold in January 1955.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Bettie.
  • The Soul Saver: Bettie wanders into a church in Miami after quitting modeling, lost and unhappy. An Evangelist priest is asking for anyone who wants to be saved, and Bettie steps forward.