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Drama -Erotic

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Duration1h 48m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 12,
Source of storyBased or inspired by real events
DirectorAngela Robinson
Writers/ScriptAngela Robinson
StarringLuke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, JJ Field, Oliver Platt, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.1 by 23,304 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 86% by 176 critics.

Elevator Pitch: Professor Marston is an academic and inventor. In the 1920s he and his wife, also an psychologist carry out research at American universities. He hires Olive Byrne to be a research assistant, and from the start the three of them have frank discussions about sex. During the development of the lie detector they find that they have feelings for each other and Marston fathers children by both women. When the threesome is revealed they are sacked by the university, but Marston finds work as a writer, and develops the story of “Wonder Woman” with considerable success. Later someone walks in on them when they are at it, temporarily breaking up the family. How ill it end?

Content: One fairly explicit scene of the three of them at it apparently in a theatrical costumiers, then  fairly memorably the trio being tutored in bondage  in a fetish themed shop. There is drama as their sexual preferences are revealed firstly in the university and then to the neighbours around their house. And there is distress when Olive leaves with her two children. Almost constant smoking, a trick used by many directors to anchor the events in a time frame. The story told in flashback as Marston is giving evidence to what I learnt afterwards was “The Child Study Association of America”.

A View: Despite the positive reviews it is pretty certain that this film lost a lot of money. It was failing to hold my attention until I found out that Marston had been the writer of “Wonder Woman”. The signposts to the response of the public to the sadomasochistic aspects of the character were supposedly revealed by the public burning of copies of the graphic novels. I saw it happening but did not know why. So if you were not already aware this knowledge will make the film much more watchable. Just as well, because it is an expensive hire.

Additional Info: Marston died in 1947 but Elizabeth and Olive remained together for more that 30 years. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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