This week’s double feature is the two versions of Ira
Levin’s novel, The Stepford Wives.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Katharine Ross as Joanna Eberhart

Paula Prentiss as Bobbie Markowe

Peter Masterson as Walter Eberhart

Nanette Newman as Carol Van Sant

Tina Louise as Charmaine Wimperis

Carol Eve Rossen as Dr. Fancher

Mary Stuart Masterson as Kim Eberhart

Based on a novel by Ira Levin

Screenplay credit goes to William Goldman, though the
extras on the
DVD clearly indicate that Bryan Forbes did a
rewrite.

Directed by Bryan Forbes

Complete information is available from the
IMDB
.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

A family moves from New York into a quieter town, only
to find that
any woman who has lived there more than four months
has become the
blissful homebody that was expected in more archaic
times.

High Point

“That’s why we’re moving to Stepford.”

Low Point

Vocabulary inconsistencies. (Archaic wasn’t on the
list, but the name
of every new neighbor is?)

The Scores

Once again, there are some originality issues
that come from
adaptations. Even so, you wouldn’t have had to tell
me that it was
the same author as Rosemary’s Baby for me to
spot the
resemblence. This is very similar in style to
Polanski’s film, and
has the same sorts of “husband and wife move, and
husband has plans
for wife” themes and structures within. There are
many parallels
between them, and Rosemary’s Baby is the
better movie, and
the earlier movie. (Of course, supporting this movie
instead means
not paying residuals to Roman Polanski, which I
consider a plus.
Polanski’s off camera activities include lifestyle
choices I refuse to
support.) I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are minimal. There are makeup
effects and a
stabbing, and that’s it. The makeup effects for the
eyes work, but
not for other parts of the body. I give it 4 out of
6.

The story is well written, with pro-women and
anti-men themes
carried consistently throughout. Yet, in spite of
this powerful
message, the filmmakers don’t forget that they’re
making a movie that
will be regarded as entertainment. They still tell a
story that will
draw you in, and let you piece together a mystery as
you go through
it. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is fairly good, with the standard
horror story
type characters. Most are one-dimensional, with the
one character at
the centre being drawn slowly into an increasingly
disturbing world.
I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is fairly good. The
pacing is very
slow, which makes it hard to really get pulled in at
times. There is
some suspence and mystery involved, even if we do
figure out what’s
going on long before the main character. I give it 4
out of 6.

The production is fairly well done. The
entire shoot was on
location, so there were no sets to build. (Well,
except for one set
in the next-to-final scene, but that’s a clear
story-driven
exception.) The lighting was good, with some
blissfully bright
moments outside and some rather dark moments behind
the closed doors
of the town. The editing was at a slow pace, and the
style was very
much like Polanski’s in his film. I give it 4 out of
6.

Overall, it’s a decent movie, worth seeing
once, but probably
not worth owning. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Stepford Wives (1975) receives
28 out of 42.