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Stepford Wives

The Stepford Wives

3.6 6
Director: Bryan Forbes

Cast: Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson


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In the William Goldman-scripted, Bryan Forbes-directed adaptation of Ira Levin's savagely satiric sci-fi novel The Stepford Wives, housewife Joanna (Katharine Ross) moves with husband Walter (Peter Masterson) and their children to the "ideal" suburban community of Stepford, CT. Slowly, Joanna


In the William Goldman-scripted, Bryan Forbes-directed adaptation of Ira Levin's savagely satiric sci-fi novel The Stepford Wives, housewife Joanna (Katharine Ross) moves with husband Walter (Peter Masterson) and their children to the "ideal" suburban community of Stepford, CT. Slowly, Joanna deduces that something is amiss; most of the other housewives are vapid creatures who speak in trivialities and live only to please their husbands. Together with new friend Bobby (Paula Prentiss), she investigates this curious status quo. When Bobby also succumbs to cloying sweetness, Joanna discovers that Stepford's husbands have conspired with male chauvinist scientists to replace all the wives with computerized android duplicates. The Stepford Wives became a massive, runaway hit, earning four million dollars domestically. Mega-producer Scott Rudin and director Frank Oz teamed up for a remake in 2004.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A dark secret lurks beneath domestic tranquility in The Stepford Wives, an oh-so-'70s psychological thriller from director Bryan Forbes. Screenwriter William Goldman (Marathon Man) adapted the novel by Rosemary's Baby author Ira Levin that imagines nightmarish underpinnings to a suburban dream. New York City housewife Joanna (Katharine Ross) moves with her husband and children to the town of Stepford, Connecticut, a haven of good schools, low taxes, and clean air. Oddly, though, Joanna's female peers all exude a zombielike placidity. The Stepford Wives hits all the beats of the classic conspiracy story, as Joanna increasingly suspects evil is afoot, questions everyone and everything around her, and eventually fears for her own sanity. The story serves up classic stereotypes along the way: children pile into station wagons, neighbors offer casseroles, women shop in cheery, shiny supermarkets, and men work the backyard grills -- it's an idyllic upper-class setting of green, green lawns. Paula Prentiss is nicely spunky as a fellow newcomer to Stepford who shares Joanna's suspicions, and Patrick O'Neal has a small but sharply sinister role as the founder of the secretive local men's association. But Ross is the real attraction here: This uniquely beautiful actress's girl-next-door allure perfectly suits this strangely asexual feminist allegory.
All Movie Guide
Based on the novel by Rosemary's Baby author Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives incorporates the same basic plot as that story: a woman in a strange place becomes convinced that the people around her are plotting some kind of evil. In the case of the town of Stepford, it's the fact that every housewife is consumed only by cooking, cleaning, and pleasing her husband. Katharine Ross turns in a strong performance as the paranoid victim in this case, a liberated photographer who leaves New York City for an all-too-perfect Connecticut town along with her husband (Peter Masterson) and two children (one of whom is Masterson's seven-year-old daughter, Mary Stuart Masterson, making her film debut). Though a bit too slow at times, the film builds to a chilling, downbeat conclusion. Particularly noteworthy is the screenplay by William Goldman, which features some truly inspired dialogue. In one scene, Patrick O'Neal, in the role of the local men's club leader, comments, "I like to watch women doing little domestic chores," to which Ross responds, "Well, you came to the right town." The cast does a solid job across the board with Paula Prentiss standing out as Ross' lively best friend, who becomes a robotic Stepford wife after a weekend "vacation." While it will never be considered more than an interesting cult horror film, The Stepford Wives nevertheless has left its mark -- its title has become a slang term in American culture.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Katharine Ross Joanna Eberhart
Paula Prentiss Bobby Markowe
Peter Masterson Walter
Nanette Newman Carol
Patrick O'Neal Dale Coba
Tina Louise Charmaine
Paula Trueman Welcome Wagon Lady
Remak Ramsay Atkinson
John Aprea Policeman
Joanna Cassidy Actor
William Prince Artist
Carol Rossen Dr. Fancher
Carole Mallory Kit Sunderson
Toni Reid Marie Axhelm
Judith Baldwin Mrs. Cornell
Barbara Rucker Marie Ann Stavros
George Coe Claude Axhelm
Franklin Cover Ed Wimpiris
Robert Fields Raymond Chandler
Michael Higgins Mr. Cornell
Martha Greenhouse Mrs. Kirgassa
Simon Deckard Dave Markowe
Mary Stuart Masterson Kim Eberhart
Matt Russo Moving Man 1
Kenneth McMillan Market Manager
Dee Wallace Nettie the Maid
Tom Spratley Doorman
Josef Sommer Ted Van Sant
Michael Small Conductor

Technical Credits
Bryan Forbes Director
Gustave Berne Executive Producer
Gene Callahan Production Designer
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
Robert Drumheller Set Decoration/Design
Timothy Gee Editor
William Goldman Screenwriter
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
Owen Roizman Cinematographer
James J. Sabat Sound/Sound Designer
Edgar J. Scherick Producer
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
Michael Small Score Composer
Juliet Taylor Casting
Dick Vorisek Sound/Sound Designer


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The Stepford Wives 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In today's era of slasher movies and blood and gore, it is fun to just watch a silly movie. It wasn't made to be one of the worlds greatest mysteries of all times, but I think it does what it sets out to do, entertain. If you are a seventies kid like me, I'm sure you will enjoy it. I can't wait for the re-make. I bet Nicole Kidman will be great in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you loved the horror film Jack Frost, if you listen to Kidz Bop cd's, if you think 40 days and 40 nights is the best teeny bopper movie ever, then you'll love this one. As for me, this charmer is the biggest waste of my time...what a shame they are making a remake
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the creepiest movies of all time, especially if you are a professional woman whose husband has, at times, wished you were June Cleaver with enhancements! Ira Levin (Sliver, Boys from Brazil, Rosemary's Baby) articulates the thinking woman's nightmare! I can't wait for the remake (Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, and co.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of you who liked Rosemary's Baby, Psycho, and The Shining, you will definately find this one enjoyable. There is a lot of suspense, many laughs, and some great acting. The ending is a little wobbly, but other than that, a guarenteed good film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
first off, i've only heard about this movie from seeing trailers of the remake. finally got to see this and have to say it was interesting creepy and just wrong. had a feeling it would be what it revealed at the end. anyway basically its the story of what would happen if you arrived in a town with only perfect ladies that was like something from the 60s, thank goodness times have changed but others are still in the loop to be exact.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some people may dismiss this film as a silly piece of fluff. It is, in fact, a darkly humorous commentary on chauvinism and the housewife. Beautiful Katharine Ross shines in this dark comedy about a woman whose two acquaintances become hausfraus obsessed with housework. This chiller is not for those of you who watch films such as this one for mindless entertainment. This is for all the women, whether they're housewives or not, who refuse to be June Cleaver-esque throw-backs. This is also for men who, hopefully, will wake up and accept women as equals and not appreciate them only for their looks or what they want to them to be.