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The 19th Wife


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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Czuchry, Alexia Fast, Chyler Leigh, Jeff Hephner, Lara Jean Chorostecki
  • Directors: Rod Holcomb
  • Writers: David Ebershoff, Richard Friedenberg
  • Producers: Andrea Baynes, Barbara Lieberman, Brian Leslie Parker, Laura LeFaivre, Tom Cox
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NYYDHU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The 19th Wife" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

In this thrilling Lifetime murder mystery based on the acclaimed New York Times bestselling novel by David Ebershoff, a polygamist is murdered and his 19TH wife, BeckyLyn (Patricia Wettig), has blood on her hands. Now in prison for murder, BeckyLyn’s only hope for freedom is her estranged son, Jordan (Matt Czuchry), who teams up with his childhood sweetheart, Queenie (Chyler Leigh), to find his father’s real killer before his mom is put away for life. Packed with startling plot twists and and non-stop action, this is a must-see movie for mystery and suspense fans alike!

Customer Reviews

Probably because those scenes aren't flashbacks.
Peter J. Hewson
Although I was certainly rooting for the heroine, I couldn't help but feel just a mote of uncertainty about the kind of freedom that would lie ahead of her.
R. Schultz
At about 95 minutes, it is really just too little time to represent either story very effectively.
K. Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on April 28, 2011
Format: DVD
The story centers on polygamy as practiced illegally today in small towns in Utah. A man is killed and wife #19 is blamed as all the evidence points against her. Her estranged son returns to the town and attempts to solve the murder, which his mother claims she did not commit. He is helped by Queenie, a female friend he knew until he was banished for touching her arm. Queenie is married to the town cop. There is also Sarah #5, a fifteen year old run away whose mother was one of the many wives of the victim. She ran away the day of the murder. The movie is set up as a who-dun-it but doesn't give you a lot of suspects.

Queenie has in her possession a banned book from the 19th century called "The 19the Wife" a story on how polygamy and religion imprisons women. As she reads from the book we get a glimpse of early Mormon life.

The movie has a made for TV after school feel, down to where you would put the commercial breaks. The acting was good, the ending was not exactly what I expected. Kudos.
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Format: DVD
In the world of Lifetime movies, a genre populated by "based on real incidents" docudramas, women in peril thrillers, and prurient "ripped from the headline" scandals or crime stories, they occasionally break the mold to adapt a popular fiction. In my mind, some of their more successful ventures have been these literary adaptations--"The Tenth Circle" and "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," for example, worked as stand alone movies even if fans of the books were disappointed by the oversimplification of the presentations. I think those who were intrigued by David Ebershoff's bestseller "The 19th Wife" will likewise be displeased by this by-the-numbers accounting--but more problematic, the film may also fail to appeal to newbies with no connection to the source material. This seemed a can't miss entertainment combining murder and polygamy, but the story is stretched too thin and the principle characters tend to be completely unbelievable.

The novel's hook is that it paralleled a modern murder investigation with a historical examination of one of Brigham Young's more rebellious wives. "The 19th Wife" benefits tremendously with the casting of Patricia Wettig (Thirtysomething) as a compound wife charged with murdering her husband. Unfortunately the film actually centers around Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy), a young progressive who sets out to prove Wettig's innocence. Enlisting her childhood friend and Wettig's son, Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife, Gilmore Girls), the two start to unravel the truths of the case and deal with unresolved feelings of betrayal and resentment. Wettig does well, as you might expect, and Czuchry is appropriately bitter having been cast out as a boy--but they are, by far, the best things about the movie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Hewson on April 24, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I read the book and thought it would be a good series but unfilmable as a movie. I was wrong. The movie concentrates essentially on the modern 19th wife and the murder of her husband. It's not necessary to have read the book to follow the story and it is a good 'who-done-it?'. The movie does refer to the history of the wives by brief scenes that take place in Salt Lake when Brigham Young was the profit. Those scene inform the viewer as to how we came to be where we are today. It's a film-making strategy that, in this case, works well. Probably because those scenes aren't flashbacks.

The movie adds colour to a dour book and illustrates (peoples?) the story with the multiplicity of the wives: a house full of wives (and their children is memorable. The setting is visually very pleasing.

As for the gay aspect: Jordan is played by an attractive young actor however the story is coy as to his sexuality hinting that he may not be attracted to women, or he may. It's a pity that the makers were cowerdly with this as Jordan's sexuality was a defining element to his character in the book and so the movie emasculates him.

I give it 3/5: well worthwhile to see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Zittel on September 20, 2013
Format: DVD
Got this movie to watch from the library, because I've been reading a lot lately about cults and polygamy, though I haven't read this book yet.

The movie is two different story lines - the past and the present - and I found the past storyline much more interesting than the current story line. The current story line revolves around a who-done-it mystery, but with very few suspects and a very slow moving plot, I didn't particularly care who did it.

I was definitely hoping for "more" from this movie.

The acting was OK, but Chyler Leigh, who I adored from Grey's, stole the show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorlee on September 20, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
It jumped around a few times but I understand that they were trying to condense a book to a movie. I still enjoyed watching it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brooke Barrios on March 19, 2011
Format: DVD
I would suggest watching the movie before buying it; as the plot can feel a bit stiff at times. However, the characters have a depth I don't usually see in made-for-TV movies, which I appreciate. Check it out if you are interested in interpersonal relationships, murder mysteries, and how different types of characters struggle against their culture/brainwashing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darlene D. Bauer on October 20, 2012
Format: DVD
This book was a very thorough "fictionalized" presentation of a so-called religious faith based on polygamy.
The story moves from the horrors of child abandonment (young boys left by the side of a road to fend for themselves because they pose a threat for elder men) in current America to the early days of a cult dictator who ruled with an iron fist while pretending to care for the women who kept his fiefdom functioning. this book points out that our laws are unable to reach out and stop this medieval Mideast type lifestyle that still flourishes in our United States. I came away understanding that Brigham Young University is named after a serial rapist!
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