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Thread: PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN

  1. #1

    PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN

    When the PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN was made last year, they likely felt it would be fortuitous to come so soon after the big budget WONDER WOMAN this summer (there's also a line about the first female President that they figured would have tied in as well). But, virtually all the girls and women dressed like Wonder Woman at Comic Con this July (by far the most popular costume), would be shocked to know the kinky origins of their female superhero as depicted in PROFESSOR MARSTON (Note: the Marston heirs dispute much of the depiction of the personal lives of their ancestors). But, there is no dying the fetishistic B&D and S&M artwork in the early comics themselves.

    The movie begins at Radcliffe college where the Professor (Luke Evans) and his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) teach psychology. Elizabeth isn't allowed a full professorship because she is a woman. A new student, Olive (Bella Heathcote) catches their eye and she becomes their assistant. Their work includes the development of the lie detector (which they failed to copyright to their economic detriment) and the Professor's DICE theory (Dominance, Inducement, Submission & Compliance). According to the screenplay by Writer-Director Angela Robinson the trio begin a full-on menage a trois open marriage (again, the descendants resist this interpretation). According to the screenplay, the hanky panky leads to the couples' expulsion from the university. Flash forward to 1947, and Marston is being interrogated by the legion of decency (the movie seems to fudge the date a bit as most of the crusade against comics happened after the Professor's passing).

    Regardless of the accuracy of the script, the movie itself is dominated by Elizabeth - partially because of how the movie is written and directed, but largely because of the superb performance by Hall. Luke Evans is decent, but, fairly pedestrian, while one wonders what the couple sees in bland Olive other than her attractiveness and her submission to their needs (that does play out in the movie's theory of the creation of the Wonder Woman comic character). Heathcoate is earnest, but, also rather a cipher - particularly in contrast to Hall's fireball of a performance.

    PROFESSOR MARSTON is decently made and pleasant enough if rather bloodless. The big three-way sex scene has all the eroticism of a soap commercial. Masterpiece theater with kinky sex, if you will. One also wishes that more were made of the connection between the kinky imagery and the sexual suppression of the era (continuing on into the 50s with it's own S&M sex symbol in Betty Page). One thing the filmmakers couldn't have predicted last year during production was the passing of Hugh Hefner so shortly before the movie's release. In many ways, the wholesome Girl-Next-Door look of Hef's Playboy Playmates overtook the fetishism of 40s & early 50s pornography and shuffled that stuff off as niche. Now that the perfect Playmate could be your neighbor, one didn't need the rough stuff. PROFESSOR MARSTON isn't bad, but, it's fortuitous release date didn't seem to help at the box office despite moderately positive reviews. Folks may want their female superheros in bright splashy blockbuster features, but, they don't necessarily want to know the perverse story behind the story. Consider PROFESSOR MARSTON a DVD extra - strictly for adults.
    Last edited by JoeS; 10-16-2017 at 10:35 PM.

  2. #2
    About the claims of the Marston heirs, I think they can be safely discarded. I don't have any idea what kind of sex my grandparents (or even my parents) were regularly engaged in, and I don't want to know. I can't imagine too many grandparents telling their grandkids, "Yah, me and that woman you thought was your great aunt were having sex, and we both were boning your grandfather, too." Especially women who grew up in the 1920s...

  3. #3
    First of all, the 'accuracy' isn't the basis of my critique (I liked it, but, it was hardly great). And, the claims of possibly inaccuracy isn't just based on their heirs not knowing of their sex lives, but also from writers who have researched and written extensively on Wonder Woman and its creators (here is one example: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...n-m-nage-trois). Further, writer-director Angela Robinson freely admits freely adapting the facts to suit her "interpretation" of her "true story".

  4. #4
    I know all of those things, and I wasn't taking aim at your assessment of the film or its accuracy. Only at the family's claim that they know more than everyone else on the subject of their grandparents. I was taking aim at the notion that family is somehow an impartial arbiter of the truth, particularly when it comes to their own family members.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by C.D. Workman View Post
    I know all of those things, and I wasn't taking aim at your assessment of the film or its accuracy. Only at the family's claim that they know more than everyone else on the subject of their grandparents. I was taking aim at the notion that family is somehow an impartial arbiter of the truth, particularly when it comes to their own family members.
    Copy that. But, I'll still take the family's word over a Director who admits pulling stuff out of her posterior just to make a spicier flick.

  6. #6
    Print the legend. Do I want to see a movie about the creator of Wonder Woman where he's NOT having a three-way? Of course not.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Crist View Post
    Do I want to see a movie about the creator of Wonder Woman where he's NOT having a three-way? Of course not.
    Well, if that's the primary reason you want to see it - you will be severly disappointed. Unless you find a gauzy perfume ad to be the height of eroticism............

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