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The 19th Wife (2010)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  13 September 2010 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 524 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

Fundamentalist sect member BeckyLyn is accused of killing her husband. Queenie, another wife in the polygamist sect, doesn't believe BeckyLyn is capable of such violence and desperate to ... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (novel)
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Title: The 19th Wife (TV Movie 2010)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Queenie
...
...
Five
...
Ann Eliza
...
Desert Missy
...
Hiram
...
BeckyLyn
...
The Prophet
...
Mr. Heber (as Dave Brown)
...
Brian Jensen ...
Cop
Karl Pruner ...
Sawyer Scott
...
Chauncey
...
Angela Alton (as Malia Kerr)
Barbara Gates Wilson ...
Elizabeth
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Storyline

Fundamentalist sect member BeckyLyn is accused of killing her husband. Queenie, another wife in the polygamist sect, doesn't believe BeckyLyn is capable of such violence and desperate to prove her innocence reaches out to her excommunicated son Jordan for help in freeing his mother. Written by phoggy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Polygamy Can Be Murder

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

13 September 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

19ª Esposa  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a weird coincidence there is a non-fiction book entitled the Witness Wore Red (2013) by Becky Musser, who was the 19th wife of elderly FLDS prophet Rulon Jeffs. See more »

Soundtracks

Apologize
(uncredited)
Performed by Tim Mosley featuring OneRepublic
Composed by Tim Mosley and Ryan Tedder
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Average entertainment condemned by horrible choice of shooting location
14 September 2010 | by (Pasadena California) – See all my reviews

This made for TV movie was interesting to watch but is so deeply flawed that I had to down-rate it severely. The first jarring note which remained an annoyance was the fatal choice of filming location. The movie takes place in fictional "Mesadale, Utah" a thinly disguised reference to the state line straddling Polygamist Mormon fundamentalist twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. As anyone who has visited the vast region of the Southwest settled by Mormons can attest, it is arid with few trees. The 19th Wife was shot in Canada and features lush green forested landscape, whereas the real Mesadale/Hildale is brown and desert like.

The forbidding physical environment is an essential factor in Mormon existence. They were able to flourish over such a large area because the land was so harsh and undesirable. They had been driven out of all the nice places and found their refuge in areas other settlers didn't want or weren't willing to fight over. The isolation and clannishness is a key to understanding how such a bizarre and unbelievable belief system could flourish, so setting is vital to the story. A realistic bleak location would have highlighted the bleak, isolated lives of the sect members. Yes I know about the offshoot community in British Columbia, but that's another story.

The acting is the saving grace of this movie. The key players were able to establish and maintain believability and generally succeeded in showing the range of faith from the literal true believers through those who go along but have some reservations to those who reject the nonsense entirely. Chyler Leigh's performance was too much actor and too little character but Matt Czuchry, Patricia Wettig, and most of the others apparently studied their roles and did journeyman work. The glaring exception was the actress who played the teenage runaway working in a coffee shop. She is engaging and charming but blows the role or was misdirected. She could have been a kid from just about any suburb in America but not from an isolated fundamentalist polygamous community especially one who left only a month previous to her appearance in the story.

The final failure was the surprise ending. On reflection it didn't make much sense. The polygamist sect depicted is run as a patriarchy by the "Prophet." Loyalty is rewarded, disobedience is punished, and rivals are eliminated. In that context there was something lacking. I expect the book upon which this movie is based provided enough plot development to make the ending plausible if not inevitable. The movie did not: maybe it was lost on the cutting room floor or they left it up in Canada.

If you are fascinated by the topic, The 19th Wife is an entertaining way to spend a couple hours but I don't think low quality movie making like this should be encouraged.


23 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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