Movies: The Undressed Christian

A genial movie chronicles the life of Bettie Page, the church lady who liked to pose for dirty photos

The test of a good mind, it is said, is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts simultaneously. The question raised by The Notorious Bettie Page is whether that aperçu also applies to hearts. For Page, who in real life gained a dubious fame by posing for risibly risqué pictures back in the 1950s, is portrayed as both a sweet-souled religious fundamentalist and a genial exhibitionist. She seems to feel that the good Lord gave her an attractive body for the excellent reason that it pleasured men to ogle it in various states of undress.

Whether he really meant for it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!