Multi-award winning documentary filmmaker Mark Moro’s “Bette Page Reveals All” is the authorized autobiography of the curvaceous, raven-haired Queen of the Pin Ups.
Built around taped interviews conducted near the end of her life, the film features Bette’s Texas twanged account of her adventures spiced with Celebrity quotes and talking heads interviews. Todd Oldham, Dita Von Teese, Model Paula Klaw and photog Bunny Yeager (responsible for her most famous photos), Illustrator and Fanzine publisher Greg Threakston, adoring ex-lovers, plus clients, members of the Photo-clubs that used nudie models, all weigh in. I could have dome Gary Guttman’s abrasive score but enjoyed the story.
Stock footage mixed with some unseen stills and film clips illustrate Page’s horrific life story. Her father Walter molested her and her sisters or made do with barnyard animals. She lived in an orphanage. Her first husband, Billy Neal, who she married before he went to war, was a jealous “maniac” who terrorized her. Despite this, Page planned to become a teacher. Selected as one of Hugh Hefner’s first “Playmate of the Month” (Miss January1955) Page’s career took off. Irving Klaw’s Mail-order pictures made Page a world-famous iconic Bondage model.
The elegant Page, who set the mark for fetish nudie shots, retired in her 30’s (preserving her beauty on her fan’s minds like Garbo) and her life spun out of control. She was institutionalized for years and preyed on and dominated by born-again religious fanatics, a after her religious conversion.
Page tells a story of a woman aged of her time, who chose to live a life by her own pre-feminist standards. Page died in 2008. Her life was fictionalized in the 2005 “The Notorious Bette Page”