Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.
Joanna Eberhart, a wildly succesful president of a TV Network, after a series of shocking events suffers a nervous breakdown and is moved by her milquetoast of a husband, Walter, from Manhattan to the chic, upper-class and very modern planned community of Stepford, Connecticut. Once there, she makes good friends with the ascerbic Bobbie Markowitz, a jewish writer who's also a recovering alcoholic. Together they find out, much to their growing stupor and-then horror, that all the housewives in town are strangely blissful, and somehow... doomed. What is going on behind the closed doors of the Stepford Men's Association and the Stepford Day Spa? Why is everything perfect here? Will it be too late for Joanna and Bobbie when they finally find out? Written by
Miguel Cane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Several scenes and some sub-plots were deleted and/or added to the film based on audience test reactions: - The scene where Faith Hill's character breaks down at the square dance ran a few seconds longer. - There was originally a scene of Walter contemplating whether or not he should go through with turning Joanna into a Stepford Wife, and the other husbands try to convince him that she'll be happy that way. - Filmed but deleted was an extravagant extended version of the scene between Bobbie and Joanna when Joanna finds out that Bobbie has been turned into a Stepford Wife. After Bobbie tells Joanna all of her shortcomings, Joanna stabs Bobbie above the breast with a butcher knife. Bobbie goes haywire, and sets about performing a number of household tasks in the manner of the old Tex Avery cartoons, with Bobbie's finger turning into a vacuum cleaner, her tongue into a squeegee and her head exploding off of her shoulders while demonstrating what an orgasm is like for a Stepford Wife. The scene concludes with Bobbie opening her breasts to reveal a built-in cooler and offering Joanna a beer. It was the biggest FX sequence in the film, but was cut out despite great expense and months of work by computer artists. This was done because preview audiences felt it was "too much". It can be found as a deleted scene on the DVD. - An extended scene of Walter in the basement of the men's club deactivating the Stepford program, and displays indicate that the women's real brains have been transplanted into robot bodies. At the end of the sequence Faith Hill's character shoots her hand out of her arm on a long robotic tether and holds her husband up in the air. - The original ending of the movie was an extension of the scene where Glenn Close kisses Christopher Walken's head. When she kisses it, the electricity throws Close up in the air, where she levitates, as in the old Tex Avery cartoons, and her shoes explode off of her feet and fly up against a wall and all of her hair stands on end. She falls down next to Walken's head, which briefly comes alive and croaks, "Good night. Thank you for visiting Stepford," while Joanna and Walter look on and the camera pulls back for the fade-out. See more »
At the picnic, background actors change hairdos from shot to shot. They look different outside than when they are square dancing. See more »
Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to introduce a legend in our industry. She's the most successful president in the history of our network and for the past five years has kept us at the very top of the ratings.
See more »
The opening titles are shown alongside various vintage clips from the 1950s of women operating high-tech (for the time) appliances. See more »
Ultra modern reworking of Ira Levin's bestseller from the 1970s (and the 1975 film counterpart starring Katharine Ross) about Connecticut suburb filled with perky, beautiful housewives and their boorish, piggy husbands. Nicole Kidman is very good as the newcomer in town whose husband (a rather stolid Matthew Broderick) immediately joins the Men's Association. Abandoning the sly dark humor of the original movie, this rather bombastic--and brief--92 minute version shows heavy signs of post-production tinkering. There are all sorts of things wrong with this movie, starting with the obvious hedging-of-bets pertaining to the mystery behind the wives (which might've been wildly successful if the filmmakers had just stuck to their original vision); Kidman's children disappear at camp, are brought home (off-camera), and then disappear again; one Stepford bunny coughs up money--exactly how is this done according to Christopher Walken's "home movie" near the finish? But the worst is saved for last, when an outlandish twist leads to the kind of teeth-grinding, Larry King-cameoed ending that undermines director Frank Oz's ability to even work on a movie much less direct one. Some of the cartoonish humor (though over-the-top) is entertaining and colorful, and the movie's first 45 minutes are good, but the thicker the plot gets, the more ridiculous the film becomes. *1/2 from ****
40 of 54 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?