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A Reel Life film section

Issue: 2004

The Stepford Wives (1975) movie review

Welcome to Stepford, where the men are real men and the women are real unbelievable.


A young would-be photographer and her two children are moved from New York to a dormitory suburb where feminism has been thoroughly crushed.

You pretend we decide things together, but it's always you -- what you want

In an era of consciousness-raising groups, the local women's group in Stepford has shut down. Ladies are dressing up in frilly aprons and perfect make-up, moaning in a lady-like way to their husband's caresses and waving serenely as their husband's demolish their dreams.

It can't all be coincidence.

Movie poster, The Stepford Wives, Festivale film review; 220x334

Movie poster, The Stepford Wives

Seen through the eyes of a newcomer to the city, a would-be photographer, we are drawn into her increasing horror. What is wrong with all the women? Are they being controlled by mind, by drugs, or what?

"Stepford" as a book and a film raised questions about expectations and control, about what constitutes the perfect woman -- and came to the conclusion that perfection is in the mind. To be a stepford wife or mother has become synomymous with an unreal level of behaviour.

Stepford Wives has not aged well, the filmic style and clothing is dated, but the concepts are still fresh today. Worth a look.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 1975
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Stepford Wives (2004)

Just the facts:

Title: The Stepford Wives (1975)
Written by: Ira Levin (novel); William Goldman (scr)
Directed by: Bryan Forbes
Running time: 115 mins
Rating: M

The Players: Katharine ross, Paula Prentiss, Tina Louise, William Prince, Mary Stuart Masterson

Official website:
IMDb entry

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