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'Bettie Page': The Making of a Pin-Up Sensation

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'Bettie Page': The Making of a Pin-Up Sensation

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'Bettie Page': The Making of a Pin-Up Sensation

'Bettie Page': The Making of a Pin-Up Sensation

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5338552/5338553" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Gretchen Mol plays Page in Harron's film. Abbott Genser/Picturehouse hide caption

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Abbott Genser/Picturehouse

Director Mary Harron says of 1950s pin-up queen Bettie Page, "She's like Betty Crocker coming out with a tray of cookies, and yet she's posing with a whip. She's so wholesome and at the same time she's very sexual." Harron explores this dichotomy in her film about the icon, The Notorious Bettie Page.

Page, who grew up in a religious family in Tennessee, became a sensation via her photos in men's magazines such as Wink, Beauty Parade and Titter. But she also appeared for private clients in photographs and short films that featured her in S&M scenarios. Her sexually charged poses eventually led to her being targeted by a Senate pornography investigation.

Harron's film opens in theaters Friday.

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