The 19th Wife (film)

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The 19th Wife
Written byRichard Friedenberg (teleplay)
David Ebershoff (novel)
Directed byRod Holcomb
StarringChyler Leigh
Matt Czuchry
Patricia Wettig
Jeff Hephner
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
CinematographyPeter Benison
Running time95 minutes
Production company(s)Sony Pictures Television
Original releaseSeptember 13, 2010

The 19th Wife is a 2010 Lifetime television film and adaptation of David Ebershoff's novel of the same name.


Amidst a Southern Utah Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints community, BeckyLyn (Wettig) is accused of murdering her polygamist husband. A fellow wife, Queenie (Leigh) is convinced of her friend's innocence and with BeckyLyn's son, Jordan (Czuchry) they work to clear his mother's name.[1]



The Huffington Post praised the "impressive" cast for bringing "life and credence to this fascinating story of murder and faith". The review continued: "It is fascinating to watch from beginning to end not just because of the "whodunit" factor but also because of the religious implications. Plus the cast strikes just the right tone of intensity and natural charm."[2]

Monsters and Critics described it posively as a "sweeping epic" that is both "compelling" and "thought-provoking."[3]


Ebsershoff, the author of the original novel, was not satisfied with the film over significant plot changes the producers made. Most significantly of these was to exclude Jordan's homosexuality, as presented in the novel, and present him as a heterosexual character.[4]

Ebsershoff explained his disapproval in an interview:

I had no role in the adaptation. A few weeks before filming began I learned that Jordan had been rewritten as straight. I was told that this was a network decision. Obviously I was offended, disappointed, and baffled. I hope that the movie sends people to the book so that they can meet my Jordan, along with his boyfriend, Tom, and their dogs, Elektra and Joey.[5]

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