Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Archie’s Betty (Review)

Review by Elizabeth Weitz
Produced by Gerald Peary, Shaun Clancy,
 Ellen Poss, David Reeder
Written and Directed by Gerald Peary

For a vast majority of comic fans, one of their first introductions to the medium were the adventures of Archie Andrews and his life in Riverdale.

Sure, the comic wasn’t as exciting as say, Superman or Batman, but there was something sweet about Archie and his band of friends (and frenemies) that made you return to the story time and time again…even if you wouldn’t openly admit it lest you were branded a sentimental fool.

In Gerald Peary’s sweet documentary, Archie’s Betty, the simple and idealized life of Riverdale (which, surprisingly, has managed to survive a society as cynical as ours over the decades) is explored in the form of a quest to see if the characters in the comic were based on the real life people that Archie creator Bob Montana knew during his formative years.

This quest turns out to be a race against time to sort out answers from the elderly possible contenders, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s.

From the town of Haverhill, MA (the inspiration for Riverdale) Peary manages to track down the various people most associated with the characters in the comics via interviews, Montana’s own diaries and superfans of the comic (although there is still lingering debate on who’s who) but the one elusive gem is Betty, while many have speculated on the true identity of the All American Girl Next Door, no one has been able to really get a definitive answer.

Is she a composite of several girls? Is she based on Montana’s real next door neighbor and prom date? Or is she based on a girlfriend, not from Haverhill at all?

Let the hunt begin!

If you are a fan of the Archie comics, this one part investigative journalism/one part road trip, will give you a deeper look into the creation of the characters and into Bob Montana himself, if you are interested in comics as a genre, this is a neat look at where inspiration for comic characters can come from.

The only real criticism of the film (which can be difficult to get past at times) is in Peary’s narration style. Stunted and monotonous, it can feel that he is reading off a piece of paper instead of giving the topic the feeling it deserves, pulling the film down a bit (as writer, director and producer perhaps it’s simply a matter of “Doing too much”).

Thankfully the documentary is peppered by enough interviews and interesting content that you are able to trudge through the narration and still find enjoyment in it, another real testament to enduring quality and charm of the Archie Comics universe.

So come along for the ride.

For more details, including screening information visit Archie’s Betty Facebook Page
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like


A masterpiece of off-the-wall comedy, AIRPLANE! celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 with a brand-new Blu-ray in the Paramount Presents line, as well as...


Batwoman Season 2 To Replace Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane With a New Character Leaving behind a season of unresolved plotlines, Ruby Rose’s exit, as...


FilmRise is proud to present special collectors editions of Sukiyaki Western Django on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats on June 16th. The film is...


HBO Releases Perry Mason Trailer HBO has released a trailer for the upcoming series reboot of Perry Mason starring Matthew Rhys (The Americans), giving...

%d bloggers like this: