Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bettie's Booty

Ah YouTube, just when I think our love affair is over, you go and pull me in again with some new gem. First it was all the videos of Elliott Smith performing live and now it is 50s girlie films starring the one, the only, Miss Bettie Mae Page.

When digitizing my Grandpa's 16mm films from the 50s, I found a girlie movie in which a lady took off her top and tastefully shook her boobs around for about 4 minutes. I could almost picture my granddad spending his days working as a mechanic in the garage that he owned, grabbing a beer with his fellow Freemasons and perhaps playing this girlie flick - I mean, who knows what exactly those Masons are up to, right?!

These old films of Bettie Page have a mysterious quality to them. She dances around in a tightly choreographed dance number and is not half bad. I love the happy smile she seems incapable of wiping off her face (hmm, I can think of another person who has one of those neverending smiles...). Every moment or so she will try to do a sexy face but always falls back to her happy, warm, welcoming smile. No wonder so many men loved watching her films and perusing her photos.

This video starts off with a nice shot of Betty's bum and ends with the same generous sight. I love it how she manages to make a dirty girlie film seem classy somehow. It is partially that porn from that time period is a great deal tamer than nowadays but it is also a feeling specific to her. She has this pure, good girl persona which no amount of bondage, stripping and booty shaking can erase.

After being one of the most well known pin ups of her time, Bettie converted to Christianity and disappeared into thin air. In her 80s now, she was not even aware of her resurgence in popularity. I hope she has finally started to reep some profit from her million dollar images.

She rarely allows her picture taken as she doesn't want people to remember her old. That is understandable. Marilyn Monroe and James Dean will always be remembered as young and perfect, that is easier somehow. Despite the inevitable passing of time, Bettie's youthful figure and generous smile is burned into our country's collective consciousness.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the beautiful, the innocent, the ever smiling, Bettie Page.

For more dancing Bettie, check out Bettie as a harem girl (see video) and Bettie in a bikini (see video)! For all this and more, we love you YouTube!


the le duo said...

Is that her mugshot? If so, why?


Eva the Deadbeat said...

In August 1966, Bettie met Harry Lear at the Miami's Palace Ballroom. Harry was a WWII veteran, father of three children and recently divorced, working for Bell in Florida and also for a funeral home as a chauffeur. They wed on St.Valentine's Day in 1967, and how would you bet on the success of this union? Everything worked fine with Harry, but the three kids, according to Bettie, hated her and believed their natural mother's gossips about her. Of course, Bettie insisted on incessant daily prayers. In 1969, the family hoped for the best in a road travel taking them to Quebec. Soon after, Harry claimed that Bettie began to write religious parables and declared herself a prophet. In January 1972, they divorced. And Bettie found herself in a religious community in Boca Raton.

Some days later, she was arrested for going around armed with a pistol and proclaiming that God's wrath would be terrible. Ex-hubby Harry reclaimed her, and down on the sofa she went for sleep. On April 13, 1972, Bettie ordered Harry and the kids to stand before a picture of Jesus and pray, at the point of a butcher's knife. For the following four months, Bettie was detained at a psychiatric facility. Harry had a room built for her for her return home. On October 28, police once again seized her, as she was beating on her husband and breaking everything in the house. She voluntarily accepted to go back to the asylum for another six months.

Once again, she returned to her room at Harry's, agreeing to do chores for pay. When Harry decides to move in 1978, Bettie went back to her brother Jimmie in Santa Monica. She would again pursue moving around the country. In 1979, she lived in a trailer park and on April 19, assaulted an old couple with a knife, injuring both on their hands. Bettie would spin around from asylum to asylum, waiting for a trial date. She was found guilty of assault, but mentaly disturbed. Once free, she was treated by psychiatrists.

In March 1982, Bettie was employed as a housemaid by Leonie Haddad, a 62 years old recent widow, living in Santa Monica. On June 12 of the same year, Bettie attacked her employer with a bread knife, slicing her victim's face and hand. Once again arrested, she went to the Patton State Psychiatric Institute and faced charges of murder one on September 26, 1983. She was considered dangerous to others and faced a 10 year sentence at Patton State. In hearing the judgment, she became hysterical and screamed obscenities to everyone around. Doctors considered her as paranoid schizophrenic.

In 1992, she became a free woman at the age of 69, cured of her violent impulsions and religious fanaticism. A sad part of her life came to end, and it is not my place to judge.

The main events since Bettie "vanished" in 1957 were unveiled some short years ago. Like I wrote before, nobody really knew what had happened to her for decades. Numerous cookie rumors went around, proclaiming suicide, a mafia hit, or even a victimization by a satanic cult! Oddly, those who claimed that she had found religion were right. Too much right.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

sad story...i guess there was some dark shit underneath that smile of hers...