The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
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Details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. Marston was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth, a psychologist and inventor in her own right, and Olive Byrne, a former student who became an academic. This relationship was key to the creation of Wonder Woman, as Elizabeth and Olive's feminist ideals were ingrained in the character from her creation. Marston died of skin cancer in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive remained a couple and raised their and Marston's children together. The film is said to focus on how Marston dealt with the controversy surrounding Wonder Woman's creation.
The Marstons' life has been previously adapted into the 2014 play "Lasso of Truth", written by Carson Kreitzer. The characters of Olive Byrne, Elizabeth Marston and William Moulton Marston were credited as "Amazon", "Wife" and "Inventor" respectively. The play premiered at the Marin Theatre Company in San Francisco. See more »
Marston says he was in the OSS during "The Great War," (ie, WWI). The OSS wasn't created until early in WWII. See more »
Luke Evans stars as William Moulton Marston, a professor of psychology at Harvard (and the inventor of an early version of the lie detector), who's theory of human emotions revolves around dominance and happiness being derived from submitting to a benign loving authority figure. His theories are acted out in his personal life when he slips into an open three-way marriage with his wife (Rebecca Hall), his research colleague, and their research assistant (and his student) Bella Heathcote. They set up a three-way household with children from both unions, and eventually discover fetish bondage. Marston is fired from Harvard for his indiscretions, and ends up going into the comic book business, inventing Wonder Woman as an expression of his theories and injecting elements of both women into the character. This movie tells a fascinating story, so it would have been nice if it had done it in a better way. It falls into many of the standard biopic traps, hitting the audience over the head with painfully obvious symbolism, using a wrap-around story that contributes nothing to the main story, and taking egregious narrative short cuts to get from points A to B many times. All that aside, the films general thesis is that Wonder Woman was a character intended to express liberation (sexual, social and political) for women, and this was an expression of his lifestyle. The film doesn't successfully show that his lifestyle is actually an expression of these ideals as opposed to just an expression of his personal sexual kinks. It's fine if that's all it was, but not fine for the point the film wants to make.
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