Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women


The true story of the women behind the man behind the woman.

Biopic on Dr. William Marston, the psychologist and inventor who created Wonder Woman. Stars Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) and Bella Heathcote (The Neon Demon).... More

The true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s. While Marston’s feminist superhero was criticised by censors for her ‘sexual perversity’, he was keeping a secret that could have destroyed him. Marston’s muses for the Wonder Woman character were his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, two empowered women who defied convention: working with Marston on human behaviour research while building a hidden life with him that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.Hide

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Flicks Review

The woman next to me, in her early 30s I'd guess, let out such a solid groan about 90 seconds into this bio-pic that I placed a bet that she would be gone within the hour. But like me she stuck it out. Despite the lame score, the often leaden direction and the comic sex scenes, the story of Professor William Marston, his wife Elizabeth Holloway, their lover Olive Byrne, and the resulting creation of the Wonder Woman comic, is utterly fascinating.... More

William and Elizabeth were a formidable team of psychologists with an interest in sexuality, which remarkably leads them to invent the lie-detector, though sadly they forgot to file a patent to cash in. The detector plays a big part in the movie and eventually in the rope that Wonder Woman uses to extract truth from evil doers, but the contraption is a famously blunt tool, and binary answers are the last thing suggested by the material which is complex to say the least.

The trio’s unorthodox relationship (Olive was William’s student) becomes a scandal and they get the boot from academia. The eventual creation of Wonder Woman the comic book, in 1941, has its roots in that relationship and with Marston’s social theories, taste for bondage and desperation to earn a crust. The early frames of the comic are famously raunchy and queer as hell, leading to outrage, censorship and book burnings.

Feminism, fetishism, free love and good old fashioned family dysfunction make for an ambitious undertaking, one which the film ultimately fumbles, rendering the lurid frames of possibility that leap from those early comic pages into something more beige. But what a story.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 12 ratings, 12 reviews
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BY SpikeDog wannabe

I must confess I have not seen Wonder Woman. I didnt really know what to expect from this film but was soon sucked in by the story and the dynamic of the three main characters. I loved the three performances from the actors and the way that the period piece format was subtly subverted. I found it delicately sexy in ways that most movies with sex scenes fail to be. Is this a consequence of a woman director I wonder? I particularly liked the shifts in power within the relationships over the... More length of the story. The clunkier bit were the intrusion of the committee questioning Marston that broke the narrative flow but that was an obvious narrative device. I found the ending rather poignant. Maybe I will watch Wonder Woman after all.Hide

BY AliRob nobody

Went along with little real idea of what the movie was about. After the menage a trois nature of the relationship between Professor Marston and his real life wonder women was revealed - some slightly awkward audience moments there! - we found the story itself interesting and entertaining. We now view Wonder Woman in a different light and as more than just a comic book character. Not the greatest movie but certainly not a waste of an evening. Thank you Flicks for the tickets.

Won a double pass. I found it lightweight, but enjoyable. The girlfriend thought it was a load of .......

A somewhat disappointing movie given that it is factually incorrect on several key matters and seeks to justify its existence by focusing on eroticism and titillating the viewer with sex scenes that are based on conjecture and probably only occurred only in the imagination of the writer/director.

In matters of factual accuracy the film fails by asserting that Prof. William Marston invented the lie detector when he did not. An early and less successful version of the lie detector or... More polygraph machine was invented by James Mackenzie in 1902. Marston and his wife only came up with the idea of incorporating the systolic blood pressure cuff. However, what is recognised as the modern polygraph machine was invented by John Larson in 1921.

Another key point where the film is incorrect is where it shows Prof. Marston witnessing a comic book burning somewhat reminisant of the book burnings of Fahrenheit 451 when in fact the first comic book burning did not take place until a year after Marston's death.

In an interview William Marston's granddaughter Christie Marston stated that the film is historically inaccurate. She said that the creators of the film did not contact her family and that the "depiction of the family and Wonder Woman's origins are made up".

On the whole however this is an entertaining albeit lightweight movie that in my opinion could have been better researched and presented the subjects in a more favorable light.Hide

Much like the subject matter this film surprised me by sticking close to a traditional romantic genre film, while dealing with an unconventional situation within that realm. While the first half plays out as expected, the true drama and energy arrives when the ropes begin to tighten and the investment in the characters, their relationships and their aspirations come up against the reins of normality in 1940's American Life. For the most part, the situation isn't played for laughs and the film... More avoids the obvious "raunch" factor that I might have expected from the story.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • Wonder Woman's genesis in bondage play and a willfully naughty attempt to subvert the mainstream deserves a more courageous film than this one, gauzy and overscored. Full Review

  • This is arguably the phoniest film you'll see all year, marred by clumsy direction, over-obvious acting and a wooden script that skews what was so radical about the thruple's arrangement into something tame and downright boring. Full Review

  • ...uses the template of the traditional biopic to put forward "non-traditional" gender roles... Full Review

  • You may long for a more disreputable, less buttoned-up telling, but there is something about this one's sleek, streamlined conventionality that feels both appropriate and pleasing. Full Review

  • This movie spreads an odd pall of sentimentality and period-glow nostalgia over a fascinating real-life story. Full Review

  • [Professor] Marston [& the Wonder Women] is simply a love letter to the amazing people who inhabit it. Full Review

  • A sly and thoroughly charming Trojan horse of a movie, "Professor Marston" tells the story of the man who created Wonder Woman and the women who inspired him, both in and out of bed. Full Review

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