Like the phrase “Catch-22,” the title of this early feminist-era thriller about a secret conspiracy of husbands who replace their wives with vapid, subservient robots has entered the national lexicon.
Katharine Ross and Paula Prentiss play two newcomers to a Connecticut community where they notice that the wives all seem a little too content with their lives. When they get curious about a men’s club run by Patrick O’Neal, they start to unravel the mystery of what’s happened to the Stepford wives.
The novel by Ira Levin was adapted by renowned scripter William Goldman, director Bryan Forbes was an English actor who moved into directing in the early sixties. He was married to Nanette Newman who had a key role here.
Followed by the made-for-television sequel “Revenge of the Stepford Wives” and a less than stellar big screen remake with Nicole Kidman in 2004.
USA / Columbia / 115 minutes / 1975
Writer: William Goldman
Novel: Ira Levin
Director: Bryan Forbes
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 Wimpiris
Carol Eve Rossen as Dr. Fancher
William Prince as Ike Mazzard
Carole Mallory as Kit Sunderson
Toni Reid as Marie Axhelm
Judith Baldwin as Patricia Cornell
Barbara Rucker as Mary Ann Stravros
George Coe as Claude Axhelm
Franklin Cover as Ed Wimpiris
Robert Fields as Raymond Chandler
Michael Higgins as Mr. Cornell