On Watching Professor Marston and the Wonder Women for the Second Time

Connie Britton in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is streaming on Amazon Video and Hulu now. Since I enjoyed it very much in the theater, I thought I’d give it a second look. My second viewing was very different from my first.

I was caught up in the romance between William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) the first time I watched Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. I didn’t give as much attention to the parts of the story that explained how William Marston created the Wonder Woman comics and where his ideas came from.

Bella Heathcote and Rebecca Hall in Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman
Where ideas are born

The second time around, I already knew what was going to happen in the romance department. My attention turned to Wonder Woman as an early comic book sensation. So much of who the early Wonder Woman was came out in the story through in the conversations Marston had with Josette Frank (Connie Britton) throughout the film.

In their conversations, Josette Frank point to specific pages and images in the comics. These sections of the comics were shown on the screen. We saw what Marston originally created using his theories of Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance.

We saw how his publisher M.C. Gaines (Oliver Platt) influenced Wonder Woman, and how he helped make her comic a commercial success.

Luke Evans in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
This is real life

Marston’s real life, his real women, made up Wonder Woman. I knew that the first time I saw the film, but I was in a hurry to learn about the three main characters relationship. I glossed over that creation story somewhat. It really hit me this time. Talk about writing what you know. Marston really did.

I’m so impressed by how skillfully writer and director Angela Robinson put together this education in Wonder Woman and made it compelling by wrapping it up in a polyamorous love story. She didn’t have to make it up. It was real. She simply put it together in a way that gave viewers the history of the creation of Wonder Woman in an entertaining wrapper.

I’ve been known to get invested in a particular part of a book and skip past a lot of detail to get to the “good part.” I feel like I did that same disservice to Professor Marston and the Wonder Women the first time I saw it. I’m so glad I watched it again.

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