The Stepford Wives (1975) from Tuna

The Stepford Wives (1975) is an understated thriller about the Eberhart family, Katherine Ross, Peter Masterson, and their two children, who leave New York and settle in the town of Stepford.
From the beginning, we see that the move was obviously the husband's idea because Ross misses the excitement of New York. Her dissatisfaction grows when she discovers that all of the women in town are Suzy Homemaker, with no other concerns, interests or activities. The only exceptions are her and two other newcomers. The three new women are uneasy about the "men's club," to which all of the men belong. Ross goes from concerned to panicked when first one, then the other of her friends transforms into typical Stepford Wives.


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The plot is subtle, but does justify the somewhat surprising ending. Ross has several good pokies throughout the film, and then has clear see-throughs near the end. Unfortunately, the see-throughs are prosthetic breasts (if you see the film you will understand why). The film didn't do well when released, but has gained a large cult following. Women's libbers originally attacked it as demeaning to women, but finally figured out that the film was putting down the men, not the women, and then embraced it. 
 I had never seen it before the new region 1 DVD release, and enjoyed it a lot. It was a refreshing change from the Euro-shock I have been screening lately.  

The Critics Vote

  • Leonard Maltin: 3/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.7 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B-.

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