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The Stepford Wives (1975)

The Stepford Wives (1975)


Katharine Ross
Paula Prentiss
Peter Masterson

Directed by Brayn Forbes

My first taste Ira Levin's 1972 book The Stepford Wives was the 2004 remake starring (Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick) and it always made me feel that it danced to the same tune as the cult original. That is not so, the 1975 film is in the thriller category (although the movie is said to be a thriller/horror, but there is nothing horrific about it).
The movie strikes a sad tone as you watch it unfold with a different direction than the 2004 comedic remake and for its worth, it is a fine film.

The movie tells the tale of Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) a young wife and photographer who moves with her husband Walter (Peter Masterson) and two children from New York City to Connecticut suburb of Stepford.
Joanna quickly starts feeling lonely from the first day, unable to understand why all the women in the town are unable to connect with her.

Her disappointment grew when her husband decides to join an all men’s club. A decision that she couldn’t understand why he was somewhat crying when he returned home from his first visit and heralding his love for her much too often.

She then later finds another person, Bobbie who is just as free as her and is also finding the Stepford behavior odd. Together they decided to form a club, an all-women’s club and invite the women of the town so they can gossip. Only one of the ladies Charmaine in the town seemed to be interested in joining, the others joined in only to be discussing house chores and ironing.

Charmaine express her feelings about her husband not loving her and discusses their planed trip. But, when Charmaine returns from the trip with her husband she had changed. She was now a devoted wife who fired her maid, cleaned up her house and destroyed her so loved tennis court.
Joanna and Bobbie decided to investigate, with a fear that something in the environment is the cause of all this odd behavior in the women. As they could not put their finger on why Charmaine who was loud, happy and carefree will now become like the other wives submissive and bland.

Their investigation didn’t lead much to know where, other than discovering that the women of the town where high-class ladies who once had a mind of their own.

Something wasn’t right with the town and Joanna and Bobbie felt a need to get their families out.

The Stepford Wives is a different movie from the 2004 remake and it is worth seeing. Although many sequels were made after this movie, but them and even the remake have had poor ratings.


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