One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children

One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children

1999, Society  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 6.00/10 from 74 users.

First produced in 1999, One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children tells the revealing and surreal story of a practicing polygamist who lives with his large brood in the middle of a Utah desert. The filmmakers document the family's daily existence, and probe the controversial aspects of the fundamentalist Mormon faith which define their way of life.

At 51 years of age, Tom Green is the patriarch of the family. He left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints two decades earlier so he could indulge in multiple marriages, a practice which had long been forbidden by church officials. Green, who was convicted for his crimes in a court of law following the release of the film and released from prison on parole in 2007, comes across as a genial man who rationalizes his actions on the basis of impenetrable religious conviction.

His wives echo this sentiment. While they acknowledge the misgivings of the outside world, they feel their lifestyle reflects a sacred calling from God and one they've all aspired to from an early age. They don't view their shared husband as a pervert in any respect, and they all contend that they feel valued, supported and free to express their own individual personalities. The cameras fail to detect any semblance of jealousy or discord even when it's revealed that two of the wives are mother and daughter.

The children are home schooled, and some are the same age or older than one or more of their father's wives. This situation is further complicated when their father ponders taking a seventh wife who is also the romantic crush of one of his young sons.

During the course of the film, we gain insights into the family's bizarre living arrangements, sex lives, and the challenges of supporting such a large family on just over $36,000 a year. We also learn that Green and his family are not as unique as one may assume. At the time of the film's production, we are told there are more than 50,000 practitioners of illegal polygamy in the region.

Most viewers will likely greet the realities depicted in One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children with equal parts horror and fascination.

Directed by: Jane Treays

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helen pienaar
1 year ago


Maria Kelly
3 years ago

I've watched this documentary at least 8 times, because it's so surreal that I want to be sure that the things I heard really were being said. What's really heartbreaking thing is when the wives show show off their trailers and how Tom is going to fix them; Tom's plans for the front yard, and last but least, one of the youngest wives fantasy for a front yard that will feature an ice skating rink (and no I am not making this up).The audience's reaction to these daydreams is mostly laughable, I hoped that these wishes would happen, but knew that unfortunately they wouldn't. Heartbreaking.

3 years ago

Oh them crazy Mormons!!!

5 years ago

A marriage is supposed to be a close, close bond between two people. Just the thought of a husband being physically intimate with other women is gut-wrenching. Where is the partnership, the two becoming one? In this case, these wives and children are living in poverty and may be on public assistance while he wants more wives and more kids. If a man has six or more wives, how does a young man in this community find a wife if the women are being hogged and snapped up by a few having more than their share? It seems like there would be a shortage of marriageable women for the young men in the community. I feel sorry for the poor boy who likes the girl his father wants to marry.

Nalva Oliver
5 years ago

I'm in shock. Its 2018. What kind of laws is there in the USA that still having someone out in the streets like him??? all the wives seems to be mentally disturbed/ brainwashed . Their body language can say it all. Feel sorry for the children, been in such a disturbed environment. Sad.

E. Mo
6 years ago

How tragic. None of these people are dumb, quite the contrary. But this is just weird. Is the entire state of Utah completely brainwashed? A young woman and her mom being 'married' to the same man? Having to birth your baby on the same spot your mother just had her baby on that morning, having conceived those babies by that same man? Considering marrying your son's 'girlfriend'? The compound they live on is full of hazards. The children run around barefoot with rusty metal strewn about everywhere. The trailers look as if they're about to fall over. One poor child burned to death in a fire due to faulty wiring and too many other children getting rescued before they got to him. The patriarch admits he is 'in over his head', that he can't attend properly to all of his children, and then says he wants another wife and still more children. How does that make sense? They're living hand to mouth on the efforts of two wives' gigs as magazine subscription sellers, they're expecting the sheriff to come and haul the guy away at any time, and yet the wives still believe they are going to have the wonderful grassy paradise for the children like he promised them. What are they going to do when all these children get older and harder to control? This guy sees women as second-class little pleasure creatures put on Earth to serve men. He's so much older than they are. He'll either go to jail or die, leaving his family with nothing. And yet it's the wives who say they're the selfish ones if they expect a husband to be faithful to just one woman; he gets to go to 'la-la land' with another young girl while they sit in their dilapidated trailers and fold the mountain of laundry for whatever age 'team' their children are on. I could go on, but ugh. Geez, what a mess. I hope things work out for the women and children, but I see some painful times ahead for them. I don't think he's an evil man, but he's dangerously misguided. Recommended, only because people need to know this is happening in America.

6 years ago

I admire how this family walks the talk and doesnt need your approval. To those who blindly criticize, can you say that about yourself? westerners worship mainstream nowadays.

Mack Niccolo
6 years ago

does it ever say anything about the fat devil working or having a job? i noticed alot of "were going to fix this soons" from the wives

Mack Niccolo
6 years ago

i wonder what dad will think when he finds out 43:23 is a homosexual

6 years ago

After reading Utah's sexual offenses code I find it hard to believe this has not been prosecuted. "It's my religion" is not an excuse to violate teenagers or anyone. It worries me that this man may soon be 'bonking' his own children; and it's obvious he's raising the male children to believe they have this same entitlement. Making this legal for him also sets a precedent for legalizing it in the name of 'religion' for anyone else.

Thanks to the videographers for bringing this to light. Unfortunately, they painted a picture of a peaceful 'happy' lifestyle. I would bet they will never see the trailer house improvements or the green grass that is being promised by da-da. And my god, taking teen wives to town to sell magazine subscriptions for a living? That's what they do for work? Geez what a mess!! I feel sorry for these brainwashed young ladies whose only ambition seems to be pooping out babies for this loser.

Rose-marie Rhéaume-Gravelle Gaudet
6 years ago

I really do not know how they do it.There is no way i would be able to share my husband.I honestly don't think its a religious thing, in my opinion this guy just likes little girls.This is not normal...disgusting.

6 years ago

As Hannah mentioned, these young girls are groomed from childhood that it's totally normal for a man to have many wives but a woman only one husband. And interesting that these men marry young, naive teenagers who are supposedly "mature" enough to handle the lifestyle (I read it as ignorantly conditioned to not question it). I seem to remember a pedophile Catholic priest saying he didn't have sex with a child, she was a 16 year old "woman"! This sounds a lot like the same reasoning. Also, you don't support a family this large selling TV Guide subscriptions. Many of these polygamist wives go on public assistance as single mothers to get money from the state (taxpayers) to support their own children as well as the larger group. Then the father of the brood doesn't have to get a real job to support the entire group. At least old-school Muslims believe a man should have no more wives than he can properly support.

Belinda Frank
6 years ago

I thought the women and children and Tom were happy and charming and beautiful. Too bad we have to but in to other peoples beliefs and try to force our's on them. Leave them alone.

Hannah M.
6 years ago

I'm afraid to watch this, because of other films I've seen, I know the young wives are groomed since early childhood to take this crap, and the young men are turned out of the herd before rutting age, unprepared for life on the outside. The only thing I'm curious about at this point: Are we taxpayers paying for this unfortunate lifestyle.

Manuel Ferreira
6 years ago

As usual "God's wish".

6 years ago

Starts out with a delusional ginger kid talking about how he wants 12 wives.... This will be amusing. The equivalent of circus freaks in a rural AF area.

Hank Small
6 years ago

I first thought it was the story Jacob Zuma, who is South Africa's president, who also has 6 wives (one divorced, one deceased), 29 known children, plus a few concubines with more children (unknown number). And he became President of South Africa!

ruth wells
6 years ago

in my view this is female abuse. these men should be in jail. i am surprised that these women are not children who he married since children are easy to brain wash . any person who thinks this a good healthy life , should do more reach on the topic.

6 years ago

How in the world can such a story be beneficial to viewers. Sects have been around for thousands of years, we know that ...
What is being celebrated here ? Power ? Submission ? Negation ? Ignorance ? Love ? Please stop.

6 years ago

I feel like I would cry watching this video. They all seem to be living such a happy and communal life. Lots of persons to give each other a hug. This man is so blessed. He has six wife mean while some men don't even have one.

linda James
6 years ago

Why hasn't this man been arrested for being a pedophile? How disgusting.

Gail Mooney
6 years ago

Very creepy.

6 years ago

Awesome and happy to be your mate forever and ever Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen