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The Notorious Bettie Page | 2005 | R | - 8.6.5

Gretchen Mol stars as Bettie Page, who was the most popular pin-up girl of the 1950s. Having been brought up in a conservative religious family in Tennessee, she became a photo model, specializing in fetish poses that made her the target of a Senate investigation into pornography. Also with Lili Taylor, David Strathairn, Jonathan M. Woodward and Cara Seymour. Directed by Mary Harron. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A woman wearing a bikini poses for photographs: she removes her top revealing her bare breast, the photographer asks her to remove the bottom, she does and she is shown fully nude (her bare breasts, pubic region and bare buttocks are visible). A woman removes her top and reveals her bare breasts. A woman poses fully nude on a beach while being photographed (bare breasts, bare abdomen to the hip and bare buttocks are visible). Several men look through magazines with photos of nude and scantily clad women (bare breasts, buttocks and hips are visible).
 A girl goes into her house, her father says that he wants to see her, and he takes her upstairs (although nothing is shown it is implied that he is sexually abusing her). A woman dresses, while a man sits on a bed with his shirt unbuttoned (it is implied that they have had sex). A wife sits on her husband's lap and they kiss.
 A young woman gets into a car with several young men whom she does not know; they stop at a dark lot and several other young men pay to have sex with her: one young man begins to unfasten his pants, and we see her running away after the attack, crying and with a torn dress.
 Two scantily clad women tie a third woman by the hands and feet, put a gag in her mouth and put her in the trunk of a car (the women appear to be playing) as they are being photographed. Two scantily clad women are filmed and one has chains on her neck, while the other leads her around and smacks her on the buttock.
 Scantily clad women are bound and gagged while other women hit them with whips (in order to take photographs). A woman is tied into a chair and another woman stands over her with a whip (both women wear leather outfits that reveal cleavage, shoulders and legs) in order to take photographs. A scantily clad woman's hands are chained to a wall, and a man places a ball in her mouth (in order to take photographs). We see photos of women wearing bras, girdles and stockings (revealing cleavage, bare abdomens and thighs) and in bondage (tied up and gagged).
 Several women are shown in swimwear during a beauty contest. Two women wearing undergarments (bra, panties, garters and stockings) pose for photographers who ask them to take provocative poses; one woman bends over and part of her bare buttocks is visible. A woman is laced into a corset (cleavage, bare shoulders and legs are shown). A woman on a stage in an acting class removes her stockings and begins to remove her sweater while other students watch (she is stopped before taking off the sweater). A woman wearing a bikini poses for a photographer who suggests that she put tissue in her top to enhance her bust line. A woman wears a halter-top that reveals her bare back, shoulders and cleavage, and a man photographs her on a beach and people gather around and watch. We see people in swimsuits in a beach scene. Two girls pose like fashion models for a boy with a camera.
 While presenting evidence, a man compares photographs of Hollywood starlets posing for publicity photos and photographs that were termed pornography, and measures the amount of exposed cleavage.
 A man asks a woman for an autograph, and then begins to make remarks about domination and S&M sex. Two men comment about a woman looking different with her clothes on. A man in a store asks for a magazine featuring women in "unusual footwear" and showing bondage. A woman talks in a matter-of-fact manner about posing nude and how she can justify doing so and being religious at the same time. We hear about Senate hearings on pornography, and there are discussions of selling pornographic photographs through the mail.
 A young man and a young woman dance and hug. A woman asks a man out on a date and we see them dancing together. A young man flirts with a young woman and asks her on a date. A boy looks at a girl, waves at her and she smiles.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A young woman gets into a car with several young men whom she does not know; they stop at a dark lot and several other young men pay to have sex with her: one young man begins to unfasten his pants, and we see her running away after the attack, crying and with a torn dress. A girl goes into her house, her father says that he wants to see her, and he takes her upstairs (although nothing is shown it is implied that he is sexually abusing her).
 A man talks about having found his son trussed up and nude and that he was dead. A husband and wife argue and he hits her in the face.
 Two scantily clad women are filmed and one has chains on her neck, while the other leads her around and smacks her on the buttock. Two scantily clad women tie a third woman by the hands and feet, put a gag in her mouth and put her in the trunk of a car (the women appear to be playing) as they are being photographed. A scantily clad woman's hands are chained to a wall, and a man places a ball in her mouth (in order to take photographs). Scantily clad women are bound and gagged while other women hit them with whips (in order to take photographs). A woman is tied into a chair and another woman stands over her with a whip (both women wear leather outfits that reveal cleavage, shoulders and legs) in order to take photographs. We see photos of women in bondage (tied up and gagged).
 Two women fight over a negligee. A boy looks at a girl, he waves at her, she smiles, and her mother slaps her hand. We hear that a man has left his family.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 1 F-word, 8 sexual remarks, 2 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, 1 religious profanity, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People smoke and drink in a bar scene, people drink wine and smoke cigarettes at a dinner, and a man smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol. People are shown smoking in a malt shop, a man smokes a cigarette, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a few scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sexuality, sexual fetishes, sexual deviance, pornography, indecency, happiness, spousal abuse, child abuse, rape, divorce, hypocrisy, racism, S&M sex, humiliation, bondage, prejudice, suicide, murder, abandonment, jealousy, drawing similarities between looking at pornography and drug addiction, nudists, fate, lust, lascivious behavior, being born again.

MESSAGE - Pornography is in the eye of the beholder.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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