Annapurna Pictures

2017 has been the year of Wonder Woman, at least in the realm of pop culture, and now there’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes tale of the people who dreamed up the Amazonian superhero who stands for love. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is about William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), Elizabeth Holloway Marston (Rebecca Hall), and Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), three psychology researchers at Tufts University who fell in love during the liberated 1920s.

Eventually they had four children (each woman bore two) and lived together for their whole adult lives.

Along the way, they invented Wonder Woman together, though only William Marston (under the pen name William Moulton) was given credit for it.
It’s one of the most unusual love stories ever to be told on film, and it illuminates a time in history that most have forgotten.

Between roughly 1910 and the mid-1930s, there was a flowering of feminist and sexual liberation movements in Europe and the US, leading to birth-control clinics, women’s suffrage, the infamous Kinsey Reports, and even a 1919 German film called Different from the Others, about the urgent need for gay rights. Marston, who championed women’s right to vote, was deeply involved in these movements with his partners.

Byrne was the daughter of feminist activist Ethel Byrne, who cofounded the organization that later became Planned Parenthood with her sister Margaret Sanger.

Elizabeth Marston was one of the first women to earn a law degree in the US and had a master’s degree in psychology.
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