Dramatization of the little known side of the writer Emily Dickinson's life, in particular, her relationship with another woman.


Madeleine Olnek


Madeleine Olnek
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Molly Shannon ... Adult Emily
Amy Seimetz ... Mabel
Susan Ziegler ... Adult Susan
Brett Gelman ... Higginson
Jackie Monahan ... Adult Lavina
Kevin Seal ... Adult Austin
Dana Melanie ... Young Emily
Joel Michaely ... Edward Dickinson
Sasha Frolova ... Young Susan
Lisa Haas ... Maggie
Casper Andreas ... Joseph Lyman
Allison Lane ... The Widow Kate
Robert McCaskill ... Ralph Waldo Emerson
David Albiero David Albiero ... David Peck Todd
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marc Alan Austen ... Guest at the party


Dramatization of the little known side of the writer Emily Dickinson's life, in particular, her relationship with another woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Historical inaccuracies and anachronisms abound throughout the film in the costumes, sets, and props, but it is not intended to be a faithful period piece. One notably accurate detail is Emily's unshaven legs in the next-to-last scene. See more »


Piano Sonata No. 30 in D Major, Hob. XVI:19
Written by Joseph Haydn
Performed by Vadim Chaimovich
See more »

User Reviews

WIldly different take on one of history's best poets.
18 May 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me." Emily Dickinson

Most cultural historians had pegged Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) as about dead long before her time when they depicted her to be shy, reclusive, and virginal. Recent scholarship, upon viewing letters from her to sister-in-law Susan (Susan Zieglar) shows a secret passionate love between the two. Hurray for those of us who suspected that poetic soul had more than death on her mind.

Director/writer Madeleine Olnik bouncily constructs the story with different episodes, some flash backs, to give it the feel, as one critic puts it, of a "Victorian vaudeville." Yes, it has some stock characters, almost winking eyes breaking the wall, and laughable social conventions. More than that, however, it has the roguish tone of a character who is brainy but not above unconventional high-jinx in the love category.

Happily, some of Emily's prose and poetry is run across the screen at appropriate times in the jagged sequence of mildly torrid scenes. In a sense, these are as minimalist like Emily's poetry, suggesting much more than the shots reveal. So be it. A poet suggests and does not report.

Although Wild Nights with Emily is titillatingly titled, the film itself is a rather mild exposition of a similarly mild poet, on the outside, mind you. For us English majors, it's nectar; for the rest, it's entertaining vaudeville.

"Dying is a wild night and a new road." Dickinson

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Release Date:

11 March 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wild Nights with Emily See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,209, 14 April 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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