Bettie Page Reveals All (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Bettie Page Reveals All</strong> (2012)

(On TV, July 2017) Much of what is true about Bettie Page of the biopic The Notorious Bettie Page is also true about the documentary Bettie Page Reveals All: Beyond the nude pictures associated with “Queen of the Pin-Ups” Page and the salacious details of her involvement with the earliest generation of men’s magazines, her story is a lens through which to examine America’s moral evolution from the fifties to the twenty-first century, the way celebrities can re-emerge in popular consciousness decades later, or how unlikely some lives can be. That’s certainly the case with Page, who (after rough early years) almost wholesomely started modelling, became a sensation, then left the limelight so thoroughly that, for years, people wondered if she had died. Instead, she did religious work for a while, then had psychological/legal/medical issues for a solid decade until she was rediscovered in the mid-nineties and spent the last decade of her life enjoying a much higher standard of living thanks to long-delayed royalties. Much of the documentary is narrated by Page herself, although a good selection of interviewees also help complete her story. It’s an amazing narrative in many ways, and unlike The Notorious Bettie Page, it goes beyond her years as a pin-up and as a religious worker to talk about the nadir of her life and the years she spent under state supervision for criminal acts. The documentary highlights Page’s creative side (she designed a number of outfits she wore during photo shoots) and her latter-day impact on pop culture. It also shows unpublished photographs, details the issues that her publishers had with the law and goes in quite a bit of detail about Page and everything that surrounded her. Far more than just a documentary excuse to show racy pictures, Bettie Page Reveals All ends up being a definitive statement on an exceptional woman, a fashion/pop icon and a terrific life story.

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