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A polygamist devout Catholic:
Transcript Excerpt from

The Pilot's Wife (2002)

"The Pilot's Wife" (2002), CBS television movie
Directed by Robert Markowitz
Adapted from the novel by Anita Shreve
Teleplay by Anita Shreve and Christine Berardo

Starring: Christine Lahti, Campbell Scott, Alison Pill, Kirsty Mitchell, John Heard, Nigel Bennett, Rick Burchill, David Christoffel

MPAA Rating: PG-13

This movie has no particular connection to Latter-day Saints. I simply thought the part about the "devout Catholic" who is a polygamist was interesting. Most polygamists in movies have no connections to Mormons, of course: They are Baptists, Catholics, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Methodists, Muslims, people of other faiths or people of no particular faith. Most of the time, these polygamist characters are not called a "polygamist," but are referred to by other terms, such as "bigamist," "polygynist," or simply "philanderer," "adulterer" or "cheater."

The movie "The Pilot's Wife" and this webpage are in no way intended as criticism of the Catholic Church, which -- to its credit -- has a clear and consistent record of teaching Biblical standards of sexual morality and interpersonal ethics. In defiance of Catholic teachings, the character of "Jack Lyons" in "The Pilot's Wife" leads a double life, with a wife and two children in Ireland who his other wife knows nothing about. Although he lives as a "devout Catholic" in Ireland and attends mass frequently, his wife in America (who was raised as a Methodist) thinks he is a lapsed Catholic.

Christine Lahti stars as the titular "pilot's wife": Kathryn Lyons. Her husband "Jack Lyons" is played by John Heard. Jack's Irish wife "Muire Boland" is played by Kirsty Mitchell. Alison Pill stars as Mattie Lyons, the 14-year-old daughter of Jack and Kathryn. Campbell Scott co-stars as "Robert Hart," Jack's fellow pilot who, as a representative of the pilot's union, both helps and hinders Kathryn's search for answers about what really happened when her husband's airplane exploded.

It seems that Jack Lyons married his second wife, an Irish Catholic woman, and engaged in smuggling for the IRA (Irish Republican Army) in an attempt to reclaim the Irish Catholic heritage of his youth. Ultimately, his choice to use his position as an airline pilot to smuggle contraband for the IRA leads to his death, when he is tricked into smuggling a bomb on board a 747, a bomb which explodes and kills him and everybody aboard.

45 minutes, 43 seconds after start of film:

KATHRYN LYONS (Christine Lahti): You knew my name... so you knew Jack was married.

MUIRE BOLAND (Kirsty Mitchell): I knew about you, yeah.

KATHRYN: When did this start with my husband?

MUIRE: Five and a half years ago. We met in the air. I was a flight attendant with vision. We fell in love.

KATHRYN: You had an affair.

MUIRE: [Addressing her infant son, who she is holding, as he starts to whimper or cry softly.] It's all right, darling. Sit tight.

[Kathryn at the 3-year-old girl sitting quietly on the floor.]

KATHRYN: This... This is Jack's child?

MUIRE: Yeah. They both are.


MUIRE: We were married four and a half years ago.

KATHRYN: How could you?

MUIRE: I loved him. I was willing to do whatever it took. [Looking down at her still-fussing baby.] I'll just go put her down. [Reaching out to take the hand of her 3-year-old-daughter.] Come on.

[Muire walks out of the front room, her two young children with her. Kathryn looks around at pictures, and other items in the home that her husband made with Muire.]

KATHRYN: How did it happen?

MUIRE: Jack was torn. He said he wouldn't leave Mattie. He couldn't do that to his daughter.

KATHRYN: So you knew about us from the beginning.

MUIRE: Jack and I never had secrets.

KATHRYN: No, no, you just--- just went ahead and married him, didn't you?

MUIRE: It was his idea.


[Brief flashback: Kathryn remembers her husband typing on his computer, now realizing that he was communicating via email with his Irish wife. Talking to Jack's back, Kathryn tells him, "You spend more time up here with the computer than you do with me." END of flashback.]

MUIRE: We were married after I became pregnant with Deirde. You know, it wasn't important to me. Jack wanted to be married in the Catholic Church.

KATHRYN: Jack never went to church.

MUIRE: He was devout. He went to mass whenever he could.

KATHRYN: A "devout Catholic" with two wives. Oh.

[Kathryn smiles. Almost chuckles. She is amused in an extremely hurt way, feeling betrayed but not yet sure what to say or do about this revelation.]

MUIRE: I saw your photograph in the papers. So are the FBI investigating the case?

KATHRYN: [mimics an Irish accent.] So they say.

MUIRE: And did they talk to you?

KATHRYN: No, they call you?


KATHRYN: What's your son's name?

MUIRE: Dermot. After my brother.

[Brief flashback.]

KATHRYN: How-- How did it work?

MUIRE: I'd pick him up near the crew apartment... and I'd bring him here.

KATHRYN: And-- you just stayed in touch by e-mail?

MUIRE: That's right.


Webpage created 21 February 2005.