'Bettie Page': The Making of a Pin-Up Sensation Bettie Page was considered the "pin-up queen" from 1950 to 1957, based on photographs of her in the men's magazines Wink, Beauty Parade and Titter. Director Mary Harron discusses her new film about Page, The Notorious Bettie Page.
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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

'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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