Netflix just released a trailer for The Most Hated Woman in America an upcoming true crime biopic that proves that real life can be so much stranger than fiction.
In a world where movies and television shows seem to turn more and more towards fantasy and comedy, doing a real life story, based on true events that are gruesome, difficult and notorious is a show of courage.
Since its „Making A Murderer series was a huge success, Netflix decided to start focusing on the American true crime genre. The incoming film is about a prominent activist who was kidnapped in 1995.
A true story of the rise and demise of one woman who was fighting for what she thought was right is coming soon. We love the all star cast of this film – Josh Lucas, Anna Camp, Sally Kirkland, Peter Fonda, Adam Scott, Vincent Kartheiser, Juno Temple and the Oscar winner Melissa Leo as Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
So, who was Madalyn Murray O’Hair?
She was known as the head atheist activist of America, she was the founder of the American Atheists organization and held the position of president for 23 years. Also, she was a woman who successfully fought for the Supreme Court to ban obligatory Bible reading in public schools.
Why would she do something like this? Well, when she learned that the school made her son to recite the Lord’s Prayer, O’Hair filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore Public School System. Eventually, Murray v. Curlett made it all the way to the Supreme Court. This is what led Life magazine to declare her the film’s title.
As the name of the movie says, her work made a lot of people angry, turned her into the most loathed person in the country. She didn’t stop there, she was an outspoken feminist, she took a stand for separation of the church from state. Her work included fighting for the rights of Atheists on radio and television, she had had removed from the Texas constitution a provision requiring a belief in God of persons holding offices of public trust and many more other sensitive subjects. This did not make her wildly popular, which in turn lead to a kidnapping that no one was especially interested in solving.
Her landmark Supreme Court case that lead to the end of praying in schools happened in 1963, and the Netflix film is focusing on a different period of her life – when O’Hair, her son, and grandson disappeared in 1995. At the time, many thought that they have fled to New Zealand, but the truth was much more ominous – as you will get to see in the movie.
It is a crazy story. They were actually kidnapped, murdered and mutilated by David Roland Waters, a convicted felon out on parole, and his fellow criminal Danny Fry. From February 1993 to April 1994, Waters was an employee of the American Atheists, first as a typesetter, and then as office manager.
The main problem with this kidnapping was the apathy of the Austin Police Department about the disappearance. Robert Bryce, a reporter from Austin wrote: Despite pleas from O’Hair’s son, William J. Murray, several briefings from federal agents, and solid leads developed by members of the press, the Austin Police Department (APD) sat on the sidelines of the O’Hair investigation…. Meanwhile, investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office are working together on the case … a federal agent was asked to discuss APD’s actions in the O’Hair case. His only response was to roll his eyes in amazement.
We expect these details to appear in the film. As much as we can say from the trailer, the film will focus the most on how long the torment lasted and how badly it ended.
We might be subjective here, but we kind of love this biopic movie in advance. Melissa Leo is amazing, and a role of a „difficult“ woman suits her well, even though we don’t love her makeup here.
If we say that Netflix under-advertised this movie, it will be an understatement. Seems that Netflix has amazing films coming out all the time, but they just don’t put any effort in alerting people that those movies are out there. We just hope the audiences won’t miss this promising story. The world premiere will be on March 14 at SXSW, but thanks to Netflix it’ll be available for streaming on March 24.