The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page seems to us to be pretty self explanatory as to what this film is about. In case you don’t know, Bettie Page is considered “Queen of Pinups” for her significant contributions to 1950’s modeling photography. The Nerd Mentality was able to view this latest release. Read on to find out our opinion.
Hugh Hefner once said in an interview about Page “I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society,” I agree with him and it’s really a shame that there are so few modern releases about Bettie or the Pin-up genre in general.
Thankfully, U.S. label Cult Epics has released the Irving Klaw short films which presents some of the early performances of Bettie Page (credited as Betty Page). These films have now been transferred from original 8mm reels in a new 2K High-definition transfer, including rare bonus Kamera Club films. Bettie Page posed nude but she never appeared in scenes with explicit sexual content. Therefore, if you are hoping for something along those lines this is not the set for you. Of course this set is still of an adult nature and should only be viewed by age appropriate audiences.
This release boasts a new 2K HD transfer and restoration (from the original 8mm films) that is 35 minutes and 38 seconds long. The short films include:
- Return of Teaser Girl
- Betty’s Clown Dance
- Flirtatious Dance by Betty
- Peppy Graceful Dance
- Waltzing in Satin Scanties
- One without a title card
- Tambourine Dance
- Joyful Dance by Betty
- Betty’s Hat Dance
- Dream Dance by Betty
- Betty’s Lingerie Tease Dance
Audio and Visuals:
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Dolby Digital 2.0
Black & White footage (also includes color Q & A special feature)
These were originally all silent films but this release features a 1950’s style Rock and Roll lounge soundtrack for your listening pleasure. I do think the music adds a bit to the flavor of the release but I think it is obvious that nothing is going to make use of your surround sound. It is a typical audio release.
The picture might be a bit surprising at first glance. The original film was 8mm. This type of film was originally created to be a less expensive version for home movies in the 1930’s. Honestly it looks the part, and the age of the film shows through. The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page has gone through extensive restoration in this 25th anniversary of the first VHS release. I imagine that this could sour some people completely out of viewing this Blu-ray, and yet others may be thrilled in comparison to earlier releases where much more detail is apparent in this release. In addition to the screen shots shown throughout the article I have included an official teaser of the release at the end of this review which shows a good sample of the picture quality. I think this will be the biggest help in determining if this release is right for you.
Liner notes with a brief bio and historical notes of how this production got to us on Blu-ray.
Bettie Page Kamera Club Films (8mm films in HD titled Nude, Black, White, and Red Lingerie 14:23)
Bettie Page/Irving Klaw HD Video photo gallery (1 minute 40 seconds)
Bettie Page Uncovered: The Private Life & Photographs 2016 Q&A Session with Ron Brem (nephew of Bettie Page) (22:25) This is a very interesting casual interview with some never before seen photos and stories of Bettie.
I think this Blu-ray is an interesting addition to my collection. If I didn’t know the history behind these short films I think it would be easy to be critical of the picture quality. However, considering the original format and how rare it is even to see them it’s amazing that these prints exist at all. This set is more a look at historical significance and preservation rather than matching today’s highest film standards. With that in mind I would suggest knowing what you are getting into rather than a mainstream blind buy. After being fully aware of all that this entails then you can be assured that this is the definitive edition of those Irving Klaw short films.
This Blu-ray can currently be found on Amazon if you decide to purchase a copy.
Note: This Blu Ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.