|Stepford Wives [VHS]
|List Price: $14.99
Our Price: $4.84
You Save: $10.15 (68%)
Ira Levin's scary novel about forced conformity in a small Connecticut town made for this compelling 1975 thriller. Katharine Ross stars as a city woman who moves with her husband to Stepford and is startled by how perpetually happy many of the local women seem to be. Her search for an answer reveals a plot to replace troublesome real wives with more accommodating fake ones (not unlike the alien takeover in Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she faces--not to mention the likelihood that the men in town intend to replace her as well. Screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and director Bryan Forbes (King Rat) made this a taut, tense semiclassic with a healthy dose of satiric wit. --Tom Keogh
- Fabulous and Creepy 70's Sci-fi!
I didn't see this 1975 film until about 12 years ago or so. 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. [Spoiler Alert!] It turns out that the men of this organization are replacing their wives with android duplicates. Katharine's best friend ends up duplicated and Katharine slowly realizes, to her horror, that she's next in line. [End Spoiler].
Paula Prentiss and Tina Louise (Ginger from Giligan's Island) are on hand as Katharine's friends.
The story is not campy at all. 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. ...more info
- Great DVD feature
I couldn't beleieve someone was brave enough to make a remake of this film because I have an impression that this movie has attained a cult like status. Okay, so if you're gonna remake this film, couldn't you at least make it more interesting. The Nicole Kidman update was just god awful. I am basing my 5 star review on the DVD extras and just because I really like this movie. It is so memorable and funny in many ways. The DVD extra was neat. Apparently there was rancor between the English director, Bryan Forbes, screenwriter William Goldman and lead actor Peter Masterson. Forbes altered Goldman's script which Masterson didn't appreciate because he is a close friend of Goldman's. Excutive producer Edgar Shcerick wanted Brian DePalma to direct but Goldman refused. Also, Diane Keaton was the first choice to play Joanna Eberhart but backed out at the end. And as a footnote, Mary Stuart Masterson appeared as the Eberharts' seven year old daughter in her film debut. Overall everyone got along enough to make a real neat film. There's also interviews with Katharine Ross and Paula Prentiss on their prespective in making the movie. I like the DVD extra as much as the film itself. I did not read the book, but now interested in doing so just to see the comparisson. I think a reviewer based his opinion on the translation of the book to film, which I think is unfair because the book is always better. The movie itself is a hoot. There were loads of funny lines.. Like the exchange between the Ross and Prentiss characters "I dabbled in Women's Lib back in New York" "Yeah didn't we alll." (at least in college, anyway.) And the husbands are kinda pathetic because they all seem like a bunch of jeeks and nerds who grew up to be old professional bores scheming to build a super wife who will always be in the mood and will keep a clean house. They should have been replacing themselves. I didn't really see it as a feminist's movie even though it was made during 1975 when the ERA movement was gaining momentum. This movie holds up in many aspect because it is well made and the suspense build up was well paced and got real scary toward the climactic end. I am glad Ross ended up playing Joanna. She projected an innocent frailty just by her mere appearance. She has the most melancholic pair of camel eyes on screen, almost haunting. If you haven't seen this movie in a while, I encourage you to get the DVD, I think you'll like the extras as much as I did specially if you're a fan of this movie....more info
- Stepford Wives - a brave engagement against ritual abuse
Truly, this film is highly recommended to be purchased for any woman and/or man... What is seen as an exaggerated commentary on contemporary life carries with it more truth than may at first be understood in this cautionary tale. The lives of these people in Stepford are wasted and nothing shall retrieve them. Only the bravery of speech can begin to undo the machanisms of control as is seen by this film, it is an excellent work of true art....more info
- Stepford Wives
If you've seen the 2004 remake, you'd be best to catch a viewing of the original which keeps the atmosphere which the author intended.
I enjoyed the original, but my main concerns are that it is dated, and boring. When it was released, it would have been very fitting as women were expected to be the ideal housewive. Nowadays such a theme is irrelevant and just seems a bit silly.
Worth a rent if anything....more info
- prompt service, pristine product
Thank you for the prompt delivery - the DVD is new - just great!...more info
- Oh no! The big bad MALE is going to get me!!!!
As a feminist, I hate movies that portray women as victims who struggle futile against the big bad evil MAN.
There are no good men in this movie. There are no evil women.
Such portrayals of women are demeaning. We are human beings, just like men. We are capable of evil. Men are capable of good.
Yes, some men would turn their wives into robots if they could, but so would some women! And I find it ridiculous that not one man stood up for his beloved partner. I find it ridiculous that not one woman was capable of true evil. Are we puppets?
It also bothers me that if these women are so strong and powerful, that they are helpless against the big bad men. The message seems to be that we can't save ourselves. We are just doomed to be what men want us to be.
I hate this attitude. Men are not all powerful. Women are human beings, not saints.
Two stars, though, for capturing the fears of women everywhere....more info
- The Stepford Wives is an American Classic
I love this film. This is film-making at its American Classic best. There is so much depth to this film. And the subtleties are amazing. I've seen it more than once and it really does have a lot of layers. Maybe, as a previous review indicated, it seems slow-paced compared to the movies we're accustomed to seeing now. However, if you watch closely there are a lot of things that are revealed but not underscored in a heavy-handed fashion. Joanna insists her husband finish doing the dishes as she does other kitchen chores. Joanna is asked if she's ever made it in front of a fireplace by her husband and she replies "Not with you." Joanna was a strong and opinionated woman, and that obviously grated on her weak-willed husband. The reasons he loved her to being with are also the reasons he plots to replace her.
I also really enjoyed the documentary that sheds some light on the behind-the-scenes casting and writing issues, such as learning Diane Keaton was originally to play Joanna but dropped out, and master-screenwriter William Goldman wrote a draft of the script and fought with producers and was fired.
To me, the plot's seemingly slow pace actually furthers the central theme - one way or another, moving to Stepford is going to envelop Joanna either like quicksand or the more horrifying ultimate truth. Joanna even unwittingly contributes to her own demise, allowing herself to be studied by the guys from the Mens' Association. By the time Joanna realizes what is happening, it is too late.
I tend to think of this film as more of a European film in some ways, rather than 1970's style filmmaking, because they don't do blatant exposition. They allow the viewer to see the clues and arrive at their own conclusion. It is a matter of treating the audience's intelligence with respect....more info
- You Need More Than A 30 Second Attention Span To Watch This
I saw this movie when it was released back in 1975 (Gee. I was only 15 then!!) and I liked it very much then and I caught it a couple of nights ago on late night Television and I still liked it. It concerns a woman named Joanna , played by Katherine Ross who moves with her husband to the quiet small town of Stepford. Joanna soon realizes that there is something very weird about this town. All of the women walk around in evening dresses and their sole purpose in life seems to be finding new recipes to keep their men happy. I realize a lot of redneck "good old boys' won't see anything wrong with that but this movie is disturbing about the way it conveys the (incorrect)message that women only exist to please their men. What really surprised me about watching this movie for the secoind time is it's slow pace which makes the Horror that creeps in even more effective. One has to remember that this movie was made in a time where teenagers had more than a 30 second attention span , thanks to MTV.Ms. Ross gives a wonderful perforamnce and if you are in the mood for a good Horror movie with a change of pace this movie is for you!!!...more info
- I agree with Chuckju
I bought this title on-line from Amazon. It would not play. I returned it for another. Same problem. Apparently, according to customer reviews; those discs that do work are sub-standard anyway. For now, I'll stick with my widescreen VHS version - which looks damn good. I would like to have experienced those great extras though....more info
- "That's what I'm talking about--surviving."
I had heard phrases like "Stepford wife," "Stepford wife-ish," and so forth over the years. After seeing this movie, I can see what people were talking about. This 1975 chiller features Katherine Ross as Joanna Eberhart, a New York City wife, mother, and budding photographer who moves with her husband and kids to Stepford, a beautiful, seemingly perfect suburb. I say "seemingly perfect" because while Stepford IS beautiful, there's something peculiar going on, particularly with the women. They are beautiful, polite, soft-spoken, and seem to live only for being Betty Crockers. It doesn't take long for Joanna and her new friend, spirited, lively Bobbi Markowe (Paula Prentiss), to notice that something is a little off about these women. As it turns out, something IS a little off--they're not human, they're robots. That is, robots who live only to cook, clean, and please their husbands 24/7. Were they always like this? No. Once upon a time, they were actually human beings, with minds, personalities, opinions, feelings, and talents all their own. So what happened? It seems that they've been turned into robots by husbands who decided that they needed quiet, smiling, and submissive wives who would do whatever--and I do mean WHATEVER, including have sex--they were told to do. Joanna and Bobbi--and a third woman named Charmaine (Tina Louise)--are the only women who still have a sense of themselves. But not for long, for soon thereafter, Charmaine becomes one of them, and eventually, even Bobbi, and sadly, Joanna, become Stepford wives, too.
Some of the reviewers have said that the ending--where the wives are seen strolling through supermarket aisles in their dresses and hats--was shocking. I didn't see it that way. To me, the ending was more sad than shocking--sad in that Joanna and the other wives were no longer themselves, no longer possessed the qualities that made them who they were. During the movie, Joanna talks to her husband about surviving--that is, surviving to stay true to herself even when the other women around her have literally become clones. When Joanna is turned into one of them, she has been killed--in more ways than one. That's what happened to the Stepford wives--in the end, none of them survived....more info
- are you next?
Joanna Eberhart has decided to get away from the chaos of the big city and moves with her husband and kids to the town of Stepford. at first, it seems like a perfect, quiet, and just to good to be true. everyone is friendly, the town has all the accomidations, and its family friendly. but theres something off about the town. for one thing, the wives are to...perfect, to bland, and just seem content with living in a kitchen. as Joanna meets another woman who suspects something odd, they begin to investigate but there investigation will lead to the towns most darkest secret and for Joanna, she will soon realize that in a matter of time...she's next. the original version is definently more close to Levin's novel were nothing is what it seems and the director keeps the film in a taut sense of dread. the actresses also bring exeptional performences and the ending is so shocking, it will leave people breathless. so if your looking for a frighting film, this is the one for you....more info
- Still a Disturbing social commentary.
I saw this film on TV when I was very young and I enjoyed the creepy atmosphere. Most of the social elements went way over my head. So suffice to say, when I rewatched it, it revealed a whole new level of creepiness.
A lot of the early feminist rhetoric was scary in it's anger and it shows thru Joanna and Bobbi. The movie also reveals that Stepford was once a big NOW town but has since become housefrau heaven. Joanna and Bobbi set out to find out why and are doomed.
The disturbing aspect, that noone ever mentions, in this film is that the Stepford men don't want new wives they want their old wives. I could never understand why Walter needed to change his beautiful wife. But now with a few years under my belt, I can see that the Eberhardt's marriage is on the rocks. Joanna is on the verge of becoming a professional photographer and it is a real, unspoken threat that she will take the kids, blow out of Stepford back to the big city. In fact, I would bet that 90% of the Stepford men were in marriages heading into divorce. The men's club program was a last ditch effort to keep broken marriages intact, to freeze their pretty wives at the height of their beauty and to never be bothered with feminine independence again. The end of the film is still spooky.
Stay away from the remake. It just focused on the campy aspects of the original and got it all wrong. Also, this is 70's film. Don't expect a lot of action but do expect a lot of great acting. One very good reason to see this is for Paula Prentiss' great character Bobbi, she never stops being funny....more info
- 70's Feminism Revisited
"The Stepford Wives," based on the novel by Ira Levin, is worth seeing (and for some, owning) and it is good, but I feel somehow it might've been better. Since the phrase "Stepford Wives" has become a part of the lexicon, I assume most know what it's about. Amateur shutterbug Joanna Eberhardt (Katharine Ross) and lawyer hubby Walter (Peter Masterson) move with their two children from New York City to the suburbs where Joanna quickly suspects something is off about the picture perfect Stepford women. Levin's novel reflected the burgeoning women's movement and a certain New York-bred bias about suburbia.
On the plus side is the cast: pretty Katharine Ross; ebullient Paula Prentiss; and Hollywood glamorous Tina Louise (here as red a redhead as you can get). Still, it isn't completely satisfying, to use a cliche and yet fairly apt film review phrase. One of the things that detracts, for me, is the fact that the men are so uniformly unappealing. Obviously this was partially supposed to be the point, but it doesn't work well for me, because at the very least, Walter Eberhardt should come across as an appealing character who has somehow gotten swept up into the Men's Association mania and changed. At one point, Joanna even says to him, when he calls the Stepford husbands "a nice group of guys," "Are you serious?. .That's not me and it's not you." Isn't it? He comes off as a rather obnoxious, self-centered character from the get-go, wanting to "christen" every room in the house, making a comment to another Stepford husband whose wife brings over a "welcoming" casserole, "She cooks as good as she looks" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and basically being domineering in a passive-aggressive way. I couldn't see what attracted her to him, and they seemed to have zero chemistry. The fact that Joanna and Bobbie (Prentiss) are commenting that the babes of Stepford have chosen husbands who are "nothing" is rather an irony, since their own husbands are nothing to write home about. Joanna's husband, moreover, is whiny.
Beyond this, there are some anomalies. What's with the older woman who writes about new women coming to Stepford? Is she representative of the active women's movement that once existed? I know this is in keeping with Levin's novel. And what about the children? What fate will they have with robotic mothers?
The ending is pretty creepy, granted (in fact, individual scenes are great) but I also feel this film unintentionally --at least in retrospect -- sheds another light on feminism, exposing some fears that weren't entirely justifiable. Being a strong feminist myself, I don't want to suggest in any way that feminism wasn't necessary and vital or that the need for it has passed. Heaven knows that women are still back in the Stone Ages in many countries without many rights to speak of. But the hysteria here of suggesting that men would literally turn their wives into robots (even if it is a metaphor for the subservient role that already existed -- the "decorative but mindless" ideal the media has long put out)-- well, it didn't happen, did it? The women's movement did happen and now women are in the boardrooms and fighting to have the luxury of being stay-at-home moms. You can't really have it all, whether you are male or female without some compromise. But, in any case, nothing on this scale in essence happened in our country or society. (Actually let me amend this! Something on this level DID happen, I see, judging from the scary feminist backlash that is suddenly popping up and fundamentalist communities in our country that DO turn women into baby-producing "robots" of sorts, completely under the dominion of men - and even beaten as part of their "conditioning." See Christian domestic discipline if you want your blood chilled. So I stand corrected here. It is frightening and depressing.) And if men were looking for ideals, would they choose those peasant dresses and floppy hats? I guess that was 70's chic.
Oh -- and the Tina Louise character -- irony of all ironies -- has a maid and makes the disparaging comment about her that being from whatever country she is from, makes her good at "serving." Joanna and Bobbie later are shocked and disturbed that Tina Louise has fired her housekeeper so she can do her work herself. I was uneasy that she had the housekeeper to start with! She was as oppressive and condescending in speaking about the woman as the husbands were about their wives.
But in spite of what I consider to be a sense of lacking in this film, it's still a good one. Seeing the women behave as robots is the thriller part and it is very effective. The companionship of Joanna and Bobbie is appealing, and the other "wives" are quite good, especially when they sound as if they are doing advertisements for cleansing products. It has a good musical score, highlighting all that is twisted and unsettling. And some of the dialogue is a hoot. All in all, it's worthwhile and fun to watch -- just not as great as what might have been.
- Excellent Film
This is a remarkable film. Some say it is dated. Maybe so, but there is nothing wrong with being dated if you are making a valid point in a fresh, eye-opening style, about the time and place in history, as this film director and screenwriter do with The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin.
The early 1970s were the height of the Women's Movement. Like other movements before it, there was a strong current of ideological militance on the part of some at the time, (and incidentally began to include men as well as women) enough so that a film of this artistic power and validity appearing in the movement's aftermath would by definition be incredibly frightening.
Unusually enough, Ira Levin's brilliance includes his uncanny ability to write from the point-of-view of his heroines. Director Bryan Forbes and the screenwriter who adapted the work, rose to this task as well when they created this excellent movie.
Additionally, the casting of Katharine Ross as the heroine was an excellent choice--Ross was the epitomy of the 70s female with the combination of her strength of character, down-to-earth feminity and warmth, as well as her subtle, natural beauty. It is genuinely horrifying because women of the 70s identified so much with Ross and her character Joanna, as well as her feisty, wise-cracking friend Bobbi. What happens to these women happens to us all as we watch the film.
Those who did not live through the heydey of feminist consciousness-raising will also identify with this film, because of Joanna's human qualities that are universal, and because malevolence and abuse of power can be based anywhere, at any point in history where there are human beings who no longer feel connected to humanity, as happened when the men of Stepford betrayed their own wives and children in this finely crafted and horrifying movie.
Anyone who wants to see a fascinating and horrific tale that is short on blood-and-guts but long on genuine, horrifying intrigue that includes entertaining the impossible, would absolutely love this film.
- The Stepford Wives Siver Anniversary Edition
Although not number one among horror films, this is a classic psychological thriller of looking for perfection and finding perfection in one self. The movie is also a mystery with the main character tries to solve before suffering same fate as her new town's other women. This movie use to air every Halloween when i was growing up in the 1970s and I never missed it. I only wish that Revenge of the Stepford Wives and The Stepford Children; whch I love equally would come to DVD....more info
- What does anyone see in this?
I saw the terrible Nicold Kidman version of this recently and found out it was a remake. I thought i'd check out the original because veryone was saying it was so much better, and a thriller.
Quite frankly, Imo both movies suck on diffrent levels. This one set's up a womens fight to liberate herself and be strong, setting up various things along the way, only to fail and become what is expected of her. So, women are weak and wont win in the end is the moral of this film I guess. Thats why I I did not like it, it's typical 60's crap where men are always the ones who come out on top.
The flow was boring, the story left things un-anserwed or just added for no other reason then to kill time, and the whole thing is not a comedy, not a thriller, it's a boring drama with a small twist of robotics sci-fi.
I dunno what any one see's in this, the end result does not pay off and quite frankly it is just boring. Infact it was so boring, I think the remake was better and thats saying something shocking....more info
- Much Darker than the Remake
I had never seen or read any version of the Stepford Wives until the remake a few years ago. At that time, I saw the movie and was somewhat entertained. It was a male chauvinist fantasy gone wrong with plenty of elements of comedy. It was not a great movie but it was fun while it lasted. Now I have seen the original and they have almost nothing in common except the premise of men replacing their wives with alternates who would do their every bidding. As a recently married man, I can see the attraction but it is only a wistful view.
The story is deceptively simple. A couple from NYC move to the suburb of Stepford Village. The wife, played by Kathryn Harris, is not thrilled with the move but agrees to it for the sake of the children. When the family gets there, they find an apparently nice place, to all appearances. The houses are nice, the kids have plenty to do in a safe place and the women are...strange.
All of the women keep their appearance wonderfully. Each is a good cook and each positively LIVES for housework. It is not something that would appeal to a professional woman and the heroine finds it a lonely place until she finds a kindred spirit who has also recently arrived. They try to put together a women's support group which quickly degenerates into a group which discusses the best ways to deal with a tough stain or make cookies. Also worrying is the way that all of the newly arrived men seem to be fascinated with the local men's club.
As time goes on, the women get scared. The local women act more and more like male fantasy robots. When Harris's newfound best friend suddenly changes and also turns into a male fantasy, Harris gets frightened. She has good reason.
This production has none of the comedic elements of the remake. It has none of the light moments either. It does, however, have a gripping fascination all its own. It is dark and frightening look at the beast that lurks in the hearts of some men.
- Great Horror/Sci Fi Flick!
I refuse to watch the remake. How does the saying go? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"
Well, this 70's gem is a well made, scary film (in a rather subtle way). I can't imagine a suprerior version. The film starts off as a slow, upbeat film about a family leaving the big city to buy a big house in the suburbs. The plot slowly unfolds as the lead lady along with her friend suspect something is wrong with the Stepford housewives. Is it something in the water? Is there some type of conspiracy which causes them to love their chores and slave for their husbands?
The scariest part is that while I was watching the film I reflected on how much I love my wife. For if it wasn't for her being such a great wife and friend, I would probably prefer one of the Stepford Wives to a strongheaded feminist. I know that's not right, but this film brought out some deepseated ideas......more info
- "She cooks as good as she looks, Ted."
Writer Ira Levin sure has a thing for secret societies...just look at the some of the films based off his novels...Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Boys from Brazil (1978), and this one, titled The Stepford Wives (1975), all featuring some sort of shrouded community within the community, ones with chilling agendas. Adapted by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, Marathon Man), and directed by Bryan Forbes (The Raging Moon, International Velvet), the film stars Katharine Ross (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Voyage of the Damned, The Swarm). Also appearing is Paula Prentiss (Where the Boys Are, Catch-22), Peter Masterson (The Exorcist), Nanette Newman (International Velvet), Patrick O'Neal (Silent Night, Bloody Night), Josef Sommer (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Franklin Cover ("The Jeffersons"), Tina Louise ("Gilligan's Island"), William Prince (Kiss Me Goodbye), along with some early appearances by Mary Stuart Masterson (At Close Range, Some Kind of Wonderful) and Dee Wallace-Stone (The Howling, Cujo).
It's moving day for the Eberharts, as Walter (Masterson), Joanna (Ross), their two, young daughters (don't forget Fred the dog) pack up and leave the dirty, noisy, dangerous city for the quiet, picturesque town of Stepford, as depicted through a traveling montage. As the family begins to settle in to their new surroundings, Walter seems to take to the town like a fish to water (he even joins the local men's association), but Joanna, a semi-professional photographer, is having a bit more difficulty (we quickly get the sense moving wasn't her idea), exacerbated by the fact that a majority of the men in town seem like awful bores, while their wives are all stifled, bubble headed, prairie dress wearing housefraus, obsessed with all things domestic. Eventually Joanna finds a kindred spirit in Bobbie Markowe (Prentiss), a recent ex-Gothamite who's quite an outspoken character in her own right, and the pair embarks on a (fruitless) venture to raise consciousness among the women in the town. The duo eventually learns there was a woman's organization within the town at one point, but it has since disbanded due to a lack of interest. This, along with a variety other events, add up to Joanna and Bobbi believing the drone-like mentality among the housewives of Stepford may be the result of some sort of plot, perpetrated by the men in the community. The women both agree perhaps its time to move (both their husbands are surprisingly receptive to the idea), but soon Joanna finds herself alone as Bobbi has since `gotten with the program', after a weekend retreat with her husband. Fearing she's losing her mind, Joanna seeks outside, professional help, finally deciding on taking the children and leaving, but it may be too late as she realizes her time draws near...her time for what? You'll have to watch the film to find out...
I did enjoy this film a lot, and while the pacing is fairly slow (at some points it virtually crawls), the characters and story were both generally interesting enough to keep my attention during the nearly two-hour running time. Katharine Ross seemed an excellent choice for the lead, as I think she's a strong actress who really seemed to embody an individualist quality that made her perfect for the role...not only that, but she's really beautiful to boot. As the story progressed I could actually feel her fear in terms of having that which made her who she, her creativity, spirit, and individuality, taken away from her by some unknown force bent on a sense of domestic conformity not seen since the late 1950s television show "Leave it to Beaver', a fear that changed from an amorphous apprehensiveness to a concrete nightmare once Bobbi was `turned'. I mean think about it...imagine all the things about you that make you who you are, your essence, and then imagine all those things, good and bad, drained away, replaced with only a sense of unquestioning servility to another, an unwavering desire to please. Some may be critical of the obvious, misogynist sentiment within the story, but I felt it was purely superficial as the idea of having a non-questioning, mindless, drone-like automaton catering to my every desire, no mater how filthy, may sound desirable on some primitive, socially retarded level, but eventually such obedience from my significant other would reveal itself for the drag it is, and ultimately force me to blow my brains out if only to provide an escape from the mind numbing tedium. I mean seriously, what reasonably intelligent individual knowingly wants to spend his, or her, life with a soulless husk of a human being? I really liked the ominous tone that permeated the story, although I felt the revelation of a prior occupation of the leader of the men's association, played by Patrick O'Neal, a little clumsy, as it give away a lot early on and in a short amount of time. The only thing left after this was the question of the fate of the women when it came to be their `time'. This aspect wasn't revealed until the end, and was handled perfectly, in my opinion (sometimes less is more). I thought Prentiss' character a bit over the top, but then I think this was purposeful if only to highlight the differences after the change, and to drive home the fact to Joanna that she's not going crazy, but that there is truly sinister forces at work within the town. While the female characters were definitely the strongest elements in this feature, the male characters, on the other hand, were relatively weak. I guess that's to be expected given what they were into, but I felt there could have been more involving Walter, as, at times, he seemed to struggle with his choice to commit Joanna to the process, eventually acquiescing to the group mentality. I thought director Bryan Forbes did very well presenting this story to the screen, keeping things low key and generally eerie (the ending was immensely creepy and effective), but the inclusion of his wife, Nanette Newman, in the cast smacked of a certain amount of nepotism. She seemed a capable actress, and attractive on an Earthy level, but hardly the trophy-type wife coveted by the men in the community, one that included Tina Louise. My favorite sequence in the film was when Joanna and Bobbi managed to get the wives in the community together in order to start a consciousness raising dialogue with regards to issues shared by women in the community, and it ends up breaking down into discussion about floor waxing and brands of coffee.
The DVD I own was released by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and states it's the Silver Anniversary Edition. The picture, presented in widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16X9 TVs, looks decent, although I thought the Dolby Digital mono audio could have been better (it seemed soft at times, and the loudness level varied from time to time). As far as extras, there are interviews with the director Bryan Forbes, producer Edgar J. Scherick, and stars Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, and Nanette Newman. Also included are a theatrical trailer, two radio spots, a Bryan Forbes biography, and an insert booklet with liner notes by someone named Jay Marks.
2004 saw the release of a remake featuring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, and Christopher Walken, which I have yet to see, but the reviews seem to indicate mixed feelings towards the production. Hey, at least we'll always have the original.
- Original Stepford Wives
The development of the caracters was clear concise and bone jaring. The message of mens desire for a perfect life gone astray is as compelling today as it was the day the movie was released. It further shows that the "Glass Ceiling" can at times fall down and crush those attempting to break it.
This movie remains one of my best 100 movies of all time....more info
- Great Story!
I just watched The Stepford Wives on VHS and was surprised. I didn't think it would be as good as it was! The story is as important today as it was in 1975, when the movie was released. Katherine Ross is a very good actress and Paula Prentiss also gave an interesting performance as her best friend. Patrick O'Neal's heavy was more than appropiate. The evil lurking in Stepford is chilling. I also enjoyed glimpses of one of my favorite cities (New York) as it was in the 1970s....more info
- "You're the best, you're the champ, you're the master...!"
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......more info
- You must obey!
I really enjoyed this movie, very good acting. I liked the "slow" place of the beginning of the movie because it really gives a feel that things are bucolic (unlike most movies today where everything has to keep moving all the time.) While I was watching the movie, there were several places where I would say "Well, why are you doing that?" But right after the movie, I read one of the movie reviews on the back of the box that said "it is wonderfully ridiculous black humor satire." Then I realized that when you view this movie not so much as a story where ALL men are evil and ALL women are good but as social commentary but especially as symbolic, (especially I.F. Homemaker) everything makes perfect sense and the movie was just wonderful.
One needs to look at this movie as a commentary on how we each lose our individuality by a group of controlling men at the top of our power structure in which there is an incredibly strong pressure to conform, hence the fake smiling people who go around saying and believing that everything would be just wonderful in our consumer society if (in this case) women would just conform as noted in the final scene....more info
- EVERY MAN'S FANTASY?
First, despite the passing of 30 years this well made film is still a very good suspense thriller with excellent acting and pacing. The climatic scene is still a major creep-out, and the resolution scene is still a hoot-and-a-half.
The Stepford Wives touches on many issues popular in America in the early and mid 1970s and even today: the battle of the sexes (Katherine Ross's husband wants her to give up the career she had in New York City before they moved to Stepford), the feminist movement (The heroines don't wear bras but put them on after they've been "turned"), the sexual revolution ("My only tennis partners are two teenage boys with permanent erections." "Oh, really? Send them over to my place."), liberal versus conservative lifestyles, environmentalism ("Maybe these companies are polluting the water and tranquilizing the women in this town."), man's innate desire to create life without the help of women (The president of Stepford's Men's Association--Peter Lawford--is called 'Diz because he used to work for Disneyland where they build humanoid robots.), and the blandness or sameness of American suburbs (Everyone in Stepford drives a big station wagon. For you younger readers, the station wagon was the mini-van of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.)
The premise of this movie isn't silly but serious, and here's why: True, life-like androids aren't the stuff of science fiction but of pure fantasy. However, there are real methods of turning people into automatons involving surgery, drugs and social conditioning which should allow us to cut the makers of the film a little slack, although a story using these methods might have made for a more horrific and serious movie....I haven't read the book.
Since this movie was originally released in 1975 most people seem to agree that the male characters are portrayed as evil (although the men don't give up their wives lightly they do all go through with it in the end.) Feminist activists, leaders, etc. didn't and still don't like the film because the men do prevail and the women are powerless to stop them. They see the movie as more of a male fantasy full of negative stereotypes of women. However, when you see the film it's clear that these sterotypes were played for laughs.
Now, is this movie every man's fantasy? Well, yes, it is. But if you take a moment to think about it, isn't it true that when we realize our fantasies we often discover that the reality doesn't measure up? We men often fantasize about what life would be like if our wives didn't have "issues" or PMS, didn't gain weight or grow old, and never said no in the bedroom because we drove them wild with lust. But the fact is that a quiet, subserviant wife would sadden and disappoint most American men. We don't just want a lover, housekeeper or nanny; we want a partner and best friend. And that's what I came away with from The Stepford Wives. The film is an entertaining examination of American society and some of its more controversial issues, but more importantly it contains themes that left this viewer with a greater respect for the yin & yang relationship of men and women and the very American desire for freedom and the free will to take full advantage of it....more info
- Yes it *is* a wonderful movie
To those who feel the need to do their "I'm better than Gene Shalit" schtick ... you can review the content at IMDB.
When I come here I want to know if the DVD is any good. I didn't see where any of the page 1 reviews mention that ... oh yes, by the way, this DVD transfer is simply horrendous. The film grain is so prominent on the DVD that it is very distracting. As the other reviewer mentioned, the sound levels are not balanced either ... you have to keep remote in hand to bump volume up to hear some of the dialog. Of course, some is not actually intended to be heard.
Anyway, a substandard DVD in terms of video quality, for those who care about such things....more info
- This film has aged well
(...) "Stepford" is still relevant because the Wives still walk among us, and the pretty-but-dumb type can still be found in every corner of our great nation, especially these days on "reality TV". The sheer number of brazen, but carefully airbrushed, hussies filling up my inbox and begging me to look at their pictures lets me know that the market for "sex robots" remains undiminished since the original Stepford days.
Otherwise, get a look at the movie, or re-visit the film if you haven't seen it in a while. A fresh perspective never hurts, especially since I hear that the Stepford remake "stinks out loud"....more info
- 4 Stars for movie, but zero stars for DVD! It's DEFECTED!
Beware of this product. this DVD is defected! I have a Home Theater system and at the loudest level, I couldn't really hear the speeches well. the soundtrack has been remasterd at very low peak volume and there is no captions or subtitles too. so if you want too watch this movie with family you probably miss so much of speeches and if you want to watch it alone, it can make you nervous! This is a great movie but with such a big problem in DVD, I suggest you don't buy it for your own good!
at the other hand maybe if you use regular TV speakers instead of home theater system, the problem got fixed but what's the benefit for owning an special edition DVD and use it without a Home Theater system?...more info
- Nicely drawn allegorical suspense movie
This film certainly deserves to be rated a classic for the imprint it has left on popular culture alone. Everybody knows what a Stepford Wife is even if most people haven't seen the film. And as a straightforward suspense horror it belongs in the premier league. Perhaps a little slow in the first half but more than making up for it in the second.
In terms of its message, I found it wasn't so easy to interpret. Is it simply, as others here suggest, an allegory parodying the resentment felt by men after the first feminist revolutions of the 60's? Of course we are supposed to identify with the women in the story and especially the lead heroine, the suspense and drama of the film wouldn't work at all otherwise. But perhaps we are entitled to feel a little bit of empathy with the menfolk of Stepford and their motivations. In particular the poor Walter, stressed to the hilt through working non-stop to provide for his children only for his self-indulgent wife to pursue her egotistical and vain dreams of becoming a famous photographer. Is the allegory more subtle - are we really looking at the disorientation of men, and are the Stepford wives merely experiencing what it feels like to have your identity, expectations and certainties overturned almost over night?
Actually, I'm inclined to see the film as merely a well made satirical portent of the possible dangers of a vengeful male backlash against the recently won gains of feminism. It must be remembered that in the 1970's it wasn't clear at all what the eventual outcome of the great gender war would be. Most of the men in the film are cold, calculating and evil. The only sympathetic male character is Walter and he comes across as much of a manipulated victim to the 'Men's Association' as the women do. Any feminist should delight in the carefully charicatured mysogny on display, from the mens' 'objectifying' picture drawing to the dismissal of the lead character's conspiracy paranoia as merely an over emotional hissy fit.
We now know that womenkind decisively won the 20th century sex war, unless or until Islam one day re-takes the west for the forces of patriarchy. The ending of the film, where all the women parade contentedly around the supermarket aisles with their trolleys, so dutiful and robotic that they do not even get sexually distracted at the sight of a black man, must strike most 21st century viewers as both unbelivable and kitschy.
But perhaps the dream of having women who once again accept their natural place in society (without having to resort to a neolithic religion) is not so fanciful after all. Feminism arrived late in Japan - it's first devasting effects (breakdown of the family, spiralling youth delinquency, horrendous abortion rates, the progressive retardation of the arts and sciences etc) are only just being felt and the first anti-feminist backlash only just beginning. But whilst Japan is behind the west in the social effects of feminism, it is years ahead of the west in terms of robotics. The most advaced and life like androids in the world were recently unveiled at a science fair in Tokyo - they can talk - very politely. They will do whatever their male inventors and programmers tell them to do. They are beautiful...and they are female...
- an effective thriller; a good social commentary
This movie has usually been reviewed as an effective thriller--which it is. And slow-moving--which it is, too, but in terms of this Pre-Rambo era, this was normal. Many features of the time were slow moving--The Conversation, The Parallax View, Soylent Green, and most notably, Picnic at Hanging Rock, were all excellent movies that took quite a while to get moving. You're supposed to absorb everything that's going on.
The Stepford Wives, however, is underrated as a social commentary of the times. It's probably the only good movie that deals with Feminism, which was a cultural war very much on our minds at the time.
Many of the references will probably bewilder those younger than 35. For example, the scene with Joanna and Bobby on the steps. Talk is made of "the Women's Lib thing in New York" "a Maidenform [bra] bonfire", a "consciousness-raising group". Concerning the "bonfire", burning bras was a big thing in the early 70s--it symbolized freedom from feminine restraints.
Watch the scene of the men's party at Joanna's house--the camera dwells on Joanna's feminine curves, very obviously both bra-less and pantiless. This is a visual allusion to the "bra-burning" trend. At the end of the movie, there's a scene with "Joanna", bra-less, and much better endowed than before. There's a scene with pantyhose--a vital scene--too revealing to give away here. Pantyhose, widely worn in the 70s, was that most feminine, that quasi-sexist garment that can be said to strangle Joanna's sensibilities, her independent ambitions. Our sensitivities have been numbed by a generation of mindless, Rambo-type movies. This is why many of the reviewers have looked at this movie with too literal an eye.
Some of the feminists allusions are too obvious to go into here. Suffice it to say they're numerous. As an example, one of the wives used to be the head of a women's group. Joanne and Bobby hear of this, and want to know more.
Listen closely to the dialogue. Much of the time, it's revealing. Bobby refuses to "squeeze the goddamn Charmin" or "become one of those 'pot-scrubbers'". The gossip talks about "the first black couple to move in town--is it a good thing"? Later on, in the supermarket scene, the new black couple is arguing. Listen closely--the wife's unhappy, and wants to leave Stepford, and we viewers can see the cycle starting all over again.
The only criticism I can land on this movie is that the editing is flabby in spots. Establishing shots, in particular, seem too drawn-out, even for the era. But overall, I highly recommend this movie, both as a thriller and as a social commentary of the times....more info
- "I'll just die..."
After all these years, the original STEPFORD WIVES still plays as a perfect blend of black satire and bone-chilling horror. Forgot the horrid recent remake with Nicole Kidman, stick with the 1975 version, which scared me to death (and made me laugh at the same time) when I saw it as a young kid in the theaters - those were the days, and this is still a scary, mature little gem of a horror movie that doesn't rely on today's CGI effects to get under your skin. Chock full of priceless dialogue and pitch-perfect performances (especially Paula Prentiss as the coffee-serviing Bobbie!), STEPFORD takes it time to rachet up suspense and deliberately build to a disturbing, ironic conclusion that will stick with you for days. Katherine Ross' climactic confrontation with her black-eyed drone is terrifying, while the final supermarket sequence is all about what becomes a legend most. Def worth a rental or purchase....more info
- old video in great shape
This video arrived in perfect shape and condition, a great old movie. So much better than the re-make...thanks!!...more info
The Stepford Wives (1975) is a creepy and terrifying thriller. It is based on a novel by Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby. Is there anyone out there who does not yet know the premise of this film? If so, I will not spoil it for you. The story is about young, beautiful Joanna Eberhart (Katherine Ross) who leaves New York City with her husband Walter (Peter Masterson) and their two children for a quiet life in the suburban (fictional) town of Stepford, Connecticut. The town is lovely, but the women of Stepford are downright strange. They always look glamourous. They are softspoken, and seem to dote on cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping.
Walter joins the Stepford Men's Association. Joanna and her lively friend Bobbi (Paula Prentiss) set out to try and set up a Stepford Women's Club. But the passive women only want to talk about spray starch. Bobbi and Joanna try to solve the mystery of the domestic Stepford wives and the role of the men.
The movie, directed by British director Bryan Forbes, builds at a slow, steady pace, building mood and setting the scene. On the downside, for a picture that won an award for sci-fi, there are few special effects. Still, the psychological grip of the film is inescapable, as are its disturbing implications of the baseness of men in their expectations of perfect wives.
Many cultures such as Japan feature feminine, docile women who pride themselves in domestic arts and are proud to keep a tranquil home for their husbands and families. Western culture, especially America during the Women's Lib movement, tends to downplay such women as backwards. The United States really is the perfect setting for this film, which provides a unique and jarring look at gender roles in American society.
The DVD, released in 1997, has a few extras, such as the original movie trailer, and interviews with the director, producer, Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, and another actress. It is interesting to see these women when they are older. You can still see the film's impact remains with them, as it will with all who see it....more info
- Stepford Feminists
I was too young to see this when it originally came out, but finally saw it on cable. This is a movie whose themes have not aged well, but it is a very campy little time-capsule of a film.
The politics of the 1970's equal-rights movement are really perplexing viewed through a post-feminist lens. The women in this movie all whine because their husbands want them to actually stay home, cook, clean, and raise the children. Horrors!
Frankly, with such selfish, self-absorbed, whiny creatures as depicted in that movie, I found myself rooting for the husbands for turning them into robots. Thankfully, the Battle of the Sexes is fading into the shadows of pop-culture history, and I think (hope) men and women are re-learning to value and respect each other and the complementary roles we play....more info
- Newshawk DVDs
I remembered that the original "Stepford Wives" movie had been a great and fairly scary picture, so I bought the newer version on DVD a few years ago -- and was very disappointed. The newer version just didn't capture the mood or tone of the original. That DVD went went into a cardboard box filled with other of my "lesser" DVDs.
A few weeks ago, I was going through that box to determine which DVDs I would keep and which ones I would give or trade away.
When I came across my copy of the newer "Stepford Wives." I put into my discard box. Then, for some reason, I decided to keep it -- and order a DVD of my beloved original "The Stepford Wives" and some other DVDs.
When my order was delivered I watched the original for the first time in many years. It was just as I remembered, It was still the great movie even if it didn't seem as scary as I remembered. The acting, lighting and mood was wonderful, especially since it was in black and white It was thrilling -- and without the gore every few minutes that seem to be required by
so many modern movies to create thrills and chills.
A few days later I decided to watch the newer "Stepford Wives." As I watched the DVD I realized I was watching the same movie and, while the mood was so different from the original, it was a delightful movie. The colors added the tone of the movie and I realized I was watching an almost-satire of the original. It was an inspired version of the original without a fault, especially with the casting. The light touch was perfect.
Now, instead of loving just one movie, I have two versions of the same and two favorite movies to watch to my heart's content.
- Good, but not to the last drop.
I expected this to be an empowering movie for women. I found out about it & watched it after a session in college history on the 70s women's rights movement, but the ending was an annoying letdown. Luckily, there's Revenge of the Stepford Wives & the much latter Stepford Wives remake (rittled with plotholes) to make up for that.I'd have given it just 3 stars, but since most movies I've seen from the 70s are uber crappy, this one was far less cheesy.
I reccomend buying all 3, getting the girls togeather for an all-nighter with some snacks, giving you something to talk about ovr the phone for the next few weeks....more info
- Great place to move to...
Stepford is a great place to live. Clean air. Good schools. Happy, smiling people having pool parties, being nice and making lots of brownies. The movie is legend and while everybody knows what is going to happen you still can't help but enjoy the thrill as Joanna slowly solves the mystery of the town. And by doing so ends up the next victim.
The DVD has trailers, interviews and bios. A must, new or used....more info
- Honey, let's move to Stepford!
Well, first off, don't bother with the ridiculously crappy remake. This is the one to watch. Although its theme and style are highly reflective of the era in which it was made, it is still packs a seriously creepy punch....more info
|Old Release Old Products|