Professor Marston & The Wonder Woman

500 Days Of Film Reviews Professor Marston & The Wonder Women Starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall And Bella Heathcote

In the 1940s, Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) was inspired by the two empowered women in his life - his wife Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) - to create a new comic book superhero: Wonder Woman.

Is It Any Good?

Cinema is littered with origin stories. We just can’t get enough of them it seems. What draws us to these films? Perhaps we are intrigued by how things begin - fascinated by the spark, the inspiration behind innovation and success.  


Few origin tales are as captivating as the story told in Angela Robinson's film Professor Marston & The Wonder Women. 


Wonder Woman is such an iconic figure it is hard to imagine that someone actually created her. It feels as if she arrived fully formed with her tiara, indestructible bracelets and Lasso Of Truth.


However, Wonder Woman was, of course, created and designed by Dr. William Moulton Marston (brilliantly portrayed here by Luke Evans). A Harvard psychologist interested in the educational power of comic books, he was inspired by the two women with whom he shared his life. 


Elizabeth (a superb, often scene stealing performance from Rebecca Hall) and Olive (a wonderful portrayal by Bella Heathcote) were amazing women in their own right. Intelligent and passionate, both struggled with the sexual and gender limitations of their time, hiding their love from a society that could see only perversion. 



It is fascinating to watch Wonder Woman develop into the figure we know so well today. This is an often surprising journey exploring aspects of S&M - much to the consternation of Connie Britton's Child Study Association of America official.


However, Robinson's film focuses less on Diana of Themyscira and more on the polygamous relationship at the heart of her creation. And rightly so. William, Elizabeth and Olive shared a remarkable life and a truly powerful love.


Robinson’s affection for her three characters is clear. In a film infused with gorgeous colour, they are often bathed in honeyed light or respectful shadow. All aspects of their relationship are treated with respect. Crucially, nothing in this film feels exploitative.  


Professor Marston & The Wonder Women is a compelling origin story and a beautiful tale of the incredible, undeniable power of love.


Random Observations

Have you seen Professor Marston & The Wonder Women? 


If you have, what did you think of this film? Let me know! Leave me a comment in the section below or let’s chat over on Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



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