Archie's Betty

69 minutes 2015

In this earnest but unsatisfying documentary, Gerald Peary visits Haverhill, Massachusetts, the hometown of cartoonist Bob Montana, to find the real people who inspired his long-running comic book and newspaper strip Archie. Unfortunately there's a popular Archie, a down-to-earth Betty, and a snobby Veronica at every high school, so the fact that Peary finds them in Haverhill isn't surprising. More intriguing is the revelation, halfway through the film, that Montana's publisher, John L. Goldwater, also claimed to have created the characters. Peary doesn't pursue this twist, which complicates Archie's authorship (not to mention the premise for his film); instead he hits the road again to find an old girlfriend of Montana's who may have been the real Betty. Their meeting, though sweet, is anticlimactic.

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