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Encyclopedia > The Stepford Wives

For the 1975 film see The Stepford Wives (1975 film), for the 2004 remake see The Stepford Wives (2004 film). Movie poster for the original 1975 film. ... The Stepford Wives is a 2004 comedy and science fiction film based on the Ira Levin novel The Stepford Wives. ...

Title The Stepford Wives
First edition cover
First edition cover
Author Ira Levin
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror novel
Publisher Random House
Released September 1972
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 145 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-394-48199-2 (first edition, hardback)

The Stepford Wives is the name of a 1972 novel by Ira Levin, as well as two movies of the same name based upon the novel, the first released in 1975, with a remake of the film released in 2004. Edgar J. Scherick produced the 1975 version (as well as all the sequels) and was posthumously credited as producer in the 2004 remake. Image File history File links IraLevin_TheStepfordWives. ... Ira Levin (born August 27, 1929 in New York) is an American novelist, playwright and songwriter. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction intended to scare, unsettle or horrify the reader. ... Random House is a publishing division of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann based in New York City. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Ira Levin (born August 27, 1929 in New York) is an American novelist, playwright and songwriter. ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Edgar J. Scherick (October 24, 1924 – December 2, 2002) was one of the most prolific producers of television miniseries, made-for-television films, and theatrical motion pictures. ...


Plot summary

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The premise involves the male inhabitants of the fictional town of Stepford, Connecticut, who all have eager-to-please, overly-submissive, and impossibly beautiful wives. The protagonist is Joanna Eberhart, a new arrival to Stepford from New York City with her husband and children, eager to start a new life. As time goes on, she becomes increasingly puzzled by the zombie-like Stepford wives, especially when she begins to see her once independent-minded friends turn into mindless, docile housewives overnight. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... A protagonist is the, or a, central figure of a story. ... New York, NY redirects here. ...

By the end of the story, Joanna becomes convinced the wives of Stepford are actually look-alike gynoids. She visits the library and reads up on the pasts of the husbands of Stepford, finding out that they were brilliant engineers and scientists, capable of creating such life-like robots. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

At the end of the story, Joanna attempts to flee the town of Stepford as well as warn her new friend Ruthanne, the mother of the the first black family to move into the town. The men find her and try to convince her that she's mistaken. They take her to her former best friend Bobbie Markowitz, telling her that Bobbie will cut herself and bleed, proving herself to be human. Joanne enters the house to hear loud rock and roll music playing upstairs and sees Bobbie taking a large knife, and realizes that the men told Bobbie to kill her and use the music to cover her screams.

In the story's epilogue, Joanna has become another Stepford wife shopping in the local supermarket, while Ruthanne appears to be on track to become the conspiracy's next victim.

Spoilers end here.
Book cover for The Stepford Wives
Book cover for The Stepford Wives
Movie poster for the original 1975 film.
Movie poster for the original 1975 film.

Image File history File links The first paperback printing of The Stepford Wives. ... Image File history File links The first paperback printing of The Stepford Wives. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x896, 56 KB)Movie poster for The Stepford Wives. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x896, 56 KB)Movie poster for The Stepford Wives. ... Movie poster for the original 1975 film. ...

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

In 1975 the book was adapted into a feminist science fiction thriller directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman and starring Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson and Tina Louise. The film also marked the screen debut of brat pack actress Mary Stuart Masterson, playing one of Joanna's children. While the script emphasis is on gender conflict and the sterility of suburban living, and the science fiction elements are thus only lightly explored, the movie still makes it much clearer than the book that the women are being replaced by some form of robot. Goldman's treatment of the book differed from that of Forbes with the robots closer to an idealized 'Playboy bunny'; it has been claimed [1] that the look was scrapped when Forbes' actress wife Nanette Newman was cast as one of the town residents. The look used for the robots is that of "sexy Soccer Mom". Movie poster for the original 1975 film. ... The Stepford Wives is a 2004 comedy and science fiction film based on the Ira Levin novel The Stepford Wives. ... // January 28 - George Lucas creates the second draft of what would eventually become Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. ... LeGuins Left Hand Of Darkness Feminist science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on the examination of womens roles in society. ... Bryan Forbes, CBE (born John Theobald Clark on July 22, 1926 in London) is an English film director, actor and writer. ... A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. ... William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. ... Katharine Ross (born January 29, 1940 in Los Angeles, California) is an American movie actress whose timeless appearance and graceful, thoughtful manner have led her to be cast in roles of intelligence and daring, often in period settings. ... Paula Prentiss (born Paula Ragusa March 4, 1939 in San Antonio, Texas, USA) is an actress probably best known for her starring role in The Stepford Wives. ... Peter Masterson (born June 1, 1934 in Houston, Texas) is an American actor, director, producer and writer. ... Tina Louise Tina Louise (born February 11, 1934) is an American model, singer, and film and television actress, best known for her portrayal of Ginger Grant on Gilligans Island. ... The Brat Pack was a group of young actors and actresses that became famous in the 1980s and frequently appeared in films together. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Nanette Newman (born 29 May 1934), is a British Actress and Author. ... In North American social, cultural and political discourse, soccer mom (and less used soccer dad for the male equivalent) refers broadly to a demographic group of women with school-age children. ...

A made-for-TV sequel was produced in 1980, entitled Revenge of the Stepford Wives. It was critically panned for poor acting and shallow writing (although Julie Kavner of later Simpsons fame stands out as a motormouthed victim.) In this film, instead of being androids, the wives undergo a brainwashing procedure and then take pills that keep them hypnotized. As suggested by the title, in the end the wives are broken free of their conditioning and a mob of them kill the mastermind behind the conspiracy. 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... Julie Deborah Kavner (born September 7, 1950) is an Emmy Award-winning American actress, best known for her role as Brenda Morgenstern on Rhoda in the 1970s, as an actress in several Woody Allen-directed films, and for providing the voice of Marge Simpson on the animated television show The... The Simpsons. ...

Yet another made-for-TV sequel/remake was released in 1987 called The Stepford Children, wherein both the wives and the children of the male residents were replaced by drones. It again ends with the members of the conspiracy being killed. 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

A 1996 version called The Stepford Husbands was made as a third TV movie with the gender-roles reversed, and the men in the town being brainwashed by a crazed female clinic director into being perfect husbands.

An updated version of the original The Stepford Wives was released in North America on June 11, 2004. It was directed by Frank Oz with a screenplay by Paul Rudnick, and featured Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Roger Bart, Faith Hill, Glenn Close and Jon Lovitz. It was intended to be more comedic than previous versions and featured, among other changes, a Stepford-drone replacement for the male partner of a gay town resident. The film's production suffered much behind-the-scenes turmoil.[citation needed] The entire ending of the film was eventually reshot, creating numerous contradictions and plot holes.[citation needed] The Stepford Wives is a 2004 comedy and science fiction film based on the Ira Levin novel The Stepford Wives. ... June 11 is the 162nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (163rd in leap years), with 203 days remaining. ... // Please note that these are the top grossing films that were first released in 2004; because they may have made most of their income in a later year, they may not be the top-grossing films for calendar year 2004. ... Richard Frank Oznowicz (born May 25, 1944), better known as Frank Oz, is an English film director, actor and puppeteer. ... Paul Rudnick is a screenwriter and playwright. ... Nicole Mary Kidman AC born June 20, 1967, is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] actress. ... Bette Davis Midler (born December 1, 1945) is an American singer, actress, and comedian, also known to her fans as The Divine Miss M. She is named after the actress Bette Davis although Davis pronounced her first name in two syllables, and Midler uses one. ... Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is an American film and stage actor who is perhaps best known for his roles as the title character in Ferris Buellers Day Off and as the adult voice of Simba in The Lion King. ... Christopher Walken (born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943) is an Academy Award-winning American film and theatre actor. ... Roger Bart is Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and SAG Award-winning television, stage and film actor and singer. ... Audrey Faith Perry McGraw, best known as Faith Hill (born September 21, 1967 in Jackson, Mississippi), is an American country singer, known for her commercial success as well as her marriage to country singer Tim McGraw. ... Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is a five time Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actress. ... Jonathan Lovitz (born July 21, 1957 in Tarzana, California) is an American actor and comedian perhaps best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and for his show The Critic. ... A plot hole is a gap in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic set-up by the plot or that undermines the basic premises of the story. ...

Both the 1975 and 2004 versions of the movie were filmed in Darien, Connecticut, New Canaan, Connecticut, and Norwalk, Connecticut. The 1975 version had several locations in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield, including the Eberhart's House and the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. In an early scene with a school bus, many of the children were from the local elementary school.[citation needed] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... New Canaan is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. ... Norwalk is the name of several places in the United States of America: Norwalk, California - a suburb of Los Angeles Norwalk, Connecticut (the original Norwalk) Norwalk, Iowa Norwalk, Ohio Norwalk, Wisconsin The name can also be used to describe the Norwalk virus. ... Fairfield is a common place name in several English speaking countries. ... Greenfield Hill is a neighborhood of Fairfield, Connecticut. ...

In a March 27, 2007 letter to the New York Times, Ira Levin said that he based the town of Stepford on Wilton, Connecticut, where he lived in the 1960's. The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Ira Levin (born August 27, 1929 in New York) is an American novelist, playwright and songwriter. ... Wilton is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in the United States. ...

In popular culture

The term Stepford Wife has been used to describe a woman who seems to conform blindly to an old-fashioned subservient role in relationship to her husband, compared to other, presumably more independent and vivacious women. The term has been used by critics to describe Laura Bush [1] and by critics of Scientology to Katie Holmes after her marriage to Tom Cruise [2]. Laura Lane Welch Bush (born November 4, 1946) is the wife of U.S. President George W. Bush and is the current First Lady of the United States. ... Scientology is a system of beliefs and practices created by American pulp fiction[1][2] and science fiction [3] author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as a self-help philosophy. ... Kate Noelle Katie Holmes (born December 18, 1978) is an American actress who first achieved fame for her role as Joey Potter on The WB teen drama Dawsons Creek from 1998 to 2003. ... Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV on July 3, 1962) is an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and film producer. ...

British band Radiohead have a song called "Bodysnatchers", that draws major inspiration from the book (or to be more precise: from the 1975 movie). Singer Thom Yorke mentioned the connection when the band premiered the song in Copenhagen on May 6, 2006. It is not the first Radiohead song related to the Stepford Wives. "A Wolf At The Door", the final track on the band's sixth album "Hail to the Thief", also contains a reference. Radiohead are an English rock band from Oxfordshire, initially formed in the mid-1980s under the name On a Friday. ... For other uses, see Copenhagen (disambiguation). ...

The Stepford Cuckoos, characters in the X-Men comics, were based partly on the Stepford Wives. The Stepford Cuckoos are a group of fictional mutant psychically-linked quintuplets of the Marvel Comics universe, students at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. ... The X-Men are a group of comic book superheroes featured in Marvel Comics. ...


  1. ^ By Goldman in Adventures in the Screen Trade

Crime and Punishment (Преступление и наказание) is a novel written in 1866 by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
The Stepford Wives (2004) (492 words)
Although I haven't seen the original version of "The Stepford Wives", i understood the general idea before i watched this years remake.
The cast do their job well enough; Kidman does well as the ex-career woman trying to unravel Stepfords secrets, Broderick is fairly effective as the husband who always came in second, Walken is well cast as the calm, authoritative leader, and Close does well as the woman behind-the-scenes.
"The Stepford Wives" has been described as a "very modern comedy thriller", and maybe this is right.
The Stepford Wives DVD review on AudioRevolution.com (1435 words)
The Stepford Wives are sexually compliant, always well-dressed, maintain their houses spotlessly, are soft-spoken, have no real ideas of their own, etc. etc.
Most women of today might regard 'The Stepford Wives' as a quaint, if well-made, story; others are likely to see its application to their own lives very clearly.
'The Stepford Wives' is a horror movie, but it was made with a kind of cocked-eyebrow approach; some of the creepiest scenes, as one near the end in Bobbie's kitchen, are as funny as they are disturbing.
  More results at FactBites »



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