What Really Happened To Bettie Page

Oct 31, 2013
Shows and Stage
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‘They claim that I opened up the sexual revolution,’ an elderly Bettie Page says in the trailer of  Bettie Page Reveals All, a soon-to-be released documentary that looks at the sex symbol’s controversial rise and eventual fall.

The iconic pinup girl, who died at the age of 85 in December 2008, famously disappeared from the spotlight at the height of her career during the late fifties and the public has continued to wildly speculate what happened to her.

Set to be released in select theaters on November 22 in New York and on November 29 in Los Angeles, the documentary finally gives voice to the sultry siren of the Southland as she unveils her previously unknown personal life after 40 years of enigmatic seclusion.

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Narrated by Page herself, from interviews recorded by director Mark Mori in 1996 and 1999, the film reveals how she spent some time in an institution after a genetic predisposition for paranoid schizophrenia got the better of her.

‘It had built up so much that my mind snapped,’ Page says in the documentary of her illustrious career and her sudden departure.

Page’s name, synonymous with sexual freedom, continues to inspire artists, music and fashion more than half a century after her last photo shoot — something that Hugh Hefner puts down to her perfect ‘combination of naughty and nice.’

‘Bettie Page is revolutionary,’ says Playboy founder, who chose Page to be a Playmate of the Month in 1955, and is also featured in the film.

But Page, who brushes off such remarks, says: ‘I was just doing my job and enjoyed every bit of it.’

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Mr Mori’s rapport with the publicity shy star (they often shared Christmas cards and the director visited her in hospital one week before she died) gives way to dozens of rare and intimate audio comments as she recounts her troubled childhood (she spent a brief amount of time in an orphanage) and movie star dreams.

But Page’s rise to fame, which coincided with the conservative McCarthy era, was short lived. ‘The whole Bettie Page phenomenon developed while she was simply off the scene, Mr Hefner explains in the trailer.

Too racy for the times, her images were confiscated during a police drug raid, and despite cooperating with an FBI investigation, the trailer alludes to a court case in which Page was embroiled over her sexy pinup images.

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