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The Stepford Wives (1975)

4.2 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

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(Jun 15, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews


Special Features

  • Interviews with director Bryan Forbes, producer Edgar J. Scherick, and stars of the film
  • Radio Spots
  • Talent Bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, Nanette Newman, Tina Louise
  • Directors: Bryan Forbes
  • Writers: Ira Levin, William Goldman
  • Producers: Edgar J. Scherick, Gustave M. Berne, Roger M. Rothstein
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 2004
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00026L8US
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,000 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Stepford Wives (1975)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Simon Johnson on November 2, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Whether or not you've actually seen it, you'll probably have heard of "The Stepford Wives". Based on Ira Levin's novel, it was produced in the 1970s and has endured in the public consciousness ever since. Indeed the terms "Stepford" and "Stepford Wife" are now part of our vernacular. If you're in any doubt what these expressions mean, just imagine a woman who is the perfect male fantasy...a wife who cooks, cleans and keeps her husband's home to perfection whilst remaining an object of beauty, with well-preserved looks, sexy outfits and just the right-sized cleavage. A female who is there to service her man's every need - domestic, emotional, sexual - whilst never questioning her role as devoted housewife.<P... but the "The Stepford Wives" remains a powerful and disturbing movie, because it shows what could happen if men allowed their fantasies about women to become a reality.
The film tells the tale of New York housewife and photographer Joanna Eberhart, who moves with her lawyer husband Walter (sexy name - not!) and their two kids to the seemingly idyllic rural town of Stepford. Very soon Joanna becomes disenchanted with her surroundings, missing the liveliness of New York. Her feelings of isolation are compounded by the fact that the other women in the town appear content to stay at home for their husbands as loyal house fraus, with no outside interests whatsoever. Also, all new male arrivals in Stepford are invited to join "The Men's Association", an organisation from which the town's women are strictly excluded. Whatever goes on there remains a mystery; the women aren't told.
Fortunately Joanna meets the effervescent and rebellious Bobby Marco, another recent arrival in Stepford who shares her concerns about the strange behaviour of the women in the community.
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Format: DVD
After hearing references made again and again to The Stepford Wives, I decided to take a chance and buy it on DVD. It was only 12.99, so I figured I had very little to lose. The film is shot and directed in a very 70s style, which can be hard to follow or even annoying for younger, Gen-X viewers (like myself...I was born the year the movie came out) but if you just sit through it, it eventually gets EXTREMELY good. I did not know how the movie ended or what the plot even was, so I found the film particularly thrilling. I paid attention to the foreshadowing, but I figured that the Stepford wives were tamed into submission by coercion, beating, threats, or some other plausible method. It becomes obvious when Ross's character's best friend becomes a "Stepford Wife" that they are being replaced by robots. The sight of Ross coming face to face with her hollow-eyed double, a robot that is not quite finished, is terrifying. People my age don't have the cultural or historical perspective to understand what this film meant when it was released, but 25 years' worth of hindsight allows my younger generation to make the film our own. Feminists were extremely annoyed with this film, saying it was anti-woman, but I think the opposite is true. It is not exactly pro-woman, but it is definitely anti-man. The message I got was that men were too insecure to cope with their wives' growing independence during an era of cultural and sexual liberation, so they simply replaced them with robots.
p.s. watch out for Mary Stuart Masterson...this was her first film.
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Format: DVD
I didn't see this 1975 film until about 20 years after its release. Even though I knew the basic plot I was quite captivated by the events of the story. Well, I've seen it three more times since then and each time I'm taken in by the storyline, not to mention well entertained.

THE PLOT: Katharine Ross and her husband move to Stepford, CT, where many of the wives of the village seem to be oblivious to the current women's liberation movement; they seem wholly dedicated to their husbands, home & garden and keeping themselves well-groomed and primed for sex. Meanwhile Katharine's husband joins a mysterious all-male organization which seems to be up to something fishy. When two of Katharine's friends strangely morph into the typical Stepford housewife Katharine realizes something diabolical is going on and, to her horror, that she's next in line.

Paula Prentiss and Tina Louise (Ginger from Giligan's Island) are on hand as Katharine's friends.

The story is not campy at all (like the 2004 version). This is serious and creepy sci-fi of the highest order. "The Stepford Wives" powerfully succeeds where the similar-themed "Westworld" only passably gets by.
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Format: DVD
Well, not quite. The sad thing about Ira Levin's brilliant little satirical Gothic about the backlash against Second Wave Feminism is that it's never quite received a film adaptation that does it justice. The 2004 comic version is a travesty, but even this 1975 original is not quite as good as you'd like: the pacing is very slow, especially at the beginning; the crucial part of Walter is underwritten; and while Katharine Ross is much better (especially in the last ten minutes, when she's superb) than she was given credit for at the time it's not quite the knockout performance the part of Joanna deserves. On the other hand, there are many things that make this film worth seeing, particularly the great dialogue and the fine supporting performances by Tina Louise, Nanette Newman, and (especially) Paula Prentiss as the heroine's best friend Bobbie. Indeed, there are several parts of the film that are literally unforgettable: Newman's much-quoted "breakdown" at the pool party ("I'll just die if I don't get this recipe!"); Joanna's consciousness raising session, with the Wives breathlessly promoting the joys of cleaning products; and, most of all, the great last scene, with the Wives placidly sweeping through the supermarket in their ruffled prairie dresses and sunhats as they patiently push their shopping carts...
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