The Stepford Wives is about a small suburb where the women happily go about their housework - cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking gourmet meals - to please their husbands. Unfortunately, Bobbie and Joanna discover that the village's wives have been replaced with robots, and Joanna's husband wants in on the action. Written by
It's ironic that the Stepford Husbands, who turn out to be a bunch of misogynistic sociopaths who turn their wives into wind-up toys, talk about "Toys for Tots" and doing charities for underprivileged children during their meeting at the Eberhardt's house. See more »
When Joanna has first moved into Stepford she is relaxing on the couch holding a drink. Between shots, her drink changes from dark to light color, and the glass from half full to full. See more »
If you're going to tell me you don't like this dress, I'm sticking my head right in the oven.
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This original of The Stepford Wives (remade in 2004, with Nicole Kidman) cajoles us in a typically 1970s middle class American way. The comfortable house, big estate car and cosy cinematography. The happy couple. This is all set to coax one into a sense of comforted security, one which, by the end, will send a real chill up through the spine.
Or, are they? Obviously not, since they've moved from the City and out to the town of Stepford, which at first, seems gentle and almost too perfect. However, it is run by a secret committee of prominent men. They all have busy and difficult jobs and they all prefer a quiet and hassle- free home-life.
I'm not giving too much away to say that the Stepford 'Wives' are in fact manufactured and mind-controlled servants to their husbands and perfect, physically. Our protagonist, Joanna, superbly played by Katherine Ross, doesn't agree with her husband, Walter, or his involvement with this men's committee and starts to rebel, a behaviour that doesn't go unnoticed.
Attempting to start a rival, all female group, she also gets more and more aware and concerned by the sudden placidity of some of her new friends. Then, she feels for her life and for her children and then her worst nightmare begins.....
The build-up, as I said, is skilfully and subtly built up, meaning that when, in its final throws, it's all the more shocking. I actually felt rather unwell.
Many, quite rightly, highlight how perceptive this near 40 year old story was - and still is. The quest for eternal youth and women's rights and the changing role of women in the home is always a contentious one and this film is among the very best of its kind and is still very watchable - and much more sinister and original than the plastic re- make.
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