The Most Hated Woman in America

Watch The Most Hated Woman in America

  • TV-MA
  • 2017
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.1  (7,264)
  • 41

The Most Hated Woman in America is a biographical drama film that premiered in 2017, directed by Tommy O'Haver and starring Melissa Leo, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Juno Temple. The movie is based on the true story of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who was an American atheist activist who fought against mandatory prayer in public schools and was famously referred to as the most hated woman in America.

The film opens with a glimpse into O'Hair's life as a single mother living in Baltimore in 1959. She is portrayed as a fiercely independent woman, who refuses to conform to societal norms and beliefs. The movie then jumps ahead to the early 1960s, where O'Hair is living in Texas and continuing her activism. She establishes the American Atheists organization and becomes a figurehead for the movement.

As O'Hair's popularity grows, so does the backlash against her. She receives numerous threats and hate mail and is even kidnapped at one point. The film explores the consequences of O'Hair's decision to fight for what she believes in, and the toll it takes on her personal life, particularly on her relationships with her son and granddaughter.

Melissa Leo delivers a strong performance as Madalyn Murray O'Hair, portraying her as a complex and multi-dimensional figure. Leo perfectly captures O'Hair's fiery personality and her unwavering commitment to her cause. Brandon Mychal Smith plays the role of David Waters, a former believer turned atheist, who becomes O'Hair's closest associate and ally. Smith's portrayal of Waters is a standout, bringing depth and emotional resonance to the character.

Juno Temple takes on the role of Robin Murray O'Hair, Madalyn's estranged daughter. Robin is torn between her love for her mother and her disagreement with her beliefs, leading to a strained relationship between the two. Temple delivers a nuanced performance, showcasing the character's inner turmoil and the pain of not being fully accepted by her mother.

The film is set in different time periods, with the story jumping back and forth between the 1950s, 60s, and 90s. Despite this, the narrative flows smoothly, thanks to the efforts of the director, writer, and cast. The story is driven by O'Hair's quest for social justice, but it is also a story of family dynamics and personal struggles.

The film deals with serious topics such as religion, freedom of speech, and the nature of belief, but it does so with great sensitivity and tact. It avoids being preachy or didactic, instead, it offers a nuanced portrayal of a complex figure and her beliefs.

The Most Hated Woman in America is a thought-provoking and powerful movie that offers a rare insight into the life of an extraordinary woman. The film is a tribute to Madalyn Murray O'Hair's legacy, but it is also a reminder of the importance of questioning authority and standing up for what you believe in.

In conclusion, The Most Hated Woman in America is a must-see film, especially for those interested in social justice, civil liberties, or atheism. The performances are superb, the writing is incisive, and direction is deft. The film tells an important story with passion and integrity, making it a valuable addition to the genre of biographical dramas.

The Most Hated Woman in America
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (7,264)
  • Metascore