New York Film Locations

 





The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

Portrait of an American innocent. In 1955, Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol) waits to testify before a Senate subcommittee investigating the effects of pornographic material on American adolescents and juveniles. In flashbacks, we see her childhood in Tennessee, a brief marriage, a gang rape, and her going to New York City in 1949. There she takes acting lessons, models for photos, and acts in short films for adults, earning the nickname, "The Pin-Up Queen of the Universe." We see her relationship with merchants Irving (Chris Bauer) and Paula Klaw (Lili Taylor), photographers John Willie (Jared Harris) and Bunny Yeager (Sarah Paulson), boyfriends, and the public. Through it all, she is wholesome, sporting, and forthright - Eve before the fall.


otsoNY Comments: The film opens with some archive footage of Times Square from the 1950s, when the area became awash with sleazy strip clubs, sex shops and adult cinemas.

Times Square, Manhattan.
  Times Square is a major commercial intersection, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Street.  

Times Square 1950 - 1990

The general atmosphere changed with the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Times Square acquired a reputation as a dangerous neighbourhood in the following decades. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the seediness of the area, especially due its go-go bars, sex shops, and adult theaters, became an infamous symbol of the city's decline.

In the 1980s, a commercial building boom began in the western parts of the Midtown as part of a long-term development plan developed under Mayor Ed Koch and David Dinkins. In the mid-1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (1994–2002) led an effort to "clean up" the area, increasing security, closing pornographic theaters, pressuring drug dealers and "squeegee men" to relocate, and opening more tourist-friendly attractions and upscale establishments. Advocates of the remodeling claim that the neighborhood is safer and cleaner. Detractors have countered that the changes have homogenized or "Disneyfied" the character of Times Square and have unfairly targeted lower-income New Yorkers from nearby neighborhoods such as Hell's Kitchen.

In 1990, the state of New York took possession of six of the nine historic theatres on 42nd Street, and the New 42nd Street non-profit organization was appointed to oversee their restoration and maintenance. The theatres underwent renovation for Broadway shows, conversion for commercial purposes, or demolition.

New York County Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street, Financial, Manhattan.
   

otsoNY Comments: The final scene, shot in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, is a re-shoot. It had originally been filmed in black and white, but it was decided that it looked too flat.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
   





 


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