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Film / The Notorious Bettie Page

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"I'm not ashamed. Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden, weren't they? When they sinned, they put on clothes."

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.
  • Bowdlerized: A mild case, but the film gives the impression that all Bettie did was fun Casual Kink. She did some pretty hardcore BDSM stuff in real life, too. The film also ignores her later mental illness.
  • 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.
    Bettie: Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden, hm? When they sinned, they put on clothes.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: The film is framed around Bettie being hauled in for testimony against photographer Irving Klaw.
  • Hypocrite: Irving's lawyer brings up the fact that mainstream work, such as Tarzan And The Slave Girl do the exact same kink that the Klaws do, and in some way worse as the victim often has wounds on her.
  • 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.
  • Southern Belle: She lives up to her Nashville heritage.
  • Title Drop: Inevitably, near the end, someone recognizes Bettie when she's handing out religious pamphlets as "the notorious Bettie Page!"