Ira Levin’s bestselling 1972 novel The Stepford Wives told a satirical yet chilling story about the men in a suburban Connecticut town and their sinister plot to turn their wives into obedient robots who exist only to serve them. When screenwriter William Goldman adapted it into a screenplay, director Bryan Forbes brought it chillingly to life in 1975’s The Stepford Wives starring Katharine Ross. Though a commercial disappointment at the time, its legacy lives on. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we add on to our 1976 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Nominees series with something that could’ve been a nominee – we’re talking about Forbes’ film The Stepford Wives.
Here’s a hint at what we talk about:
In this episode, we dive deep into the themes of the film and how it explores gender roles, conformity, and the dark side of idyllic suburban life in the 1970s. We discuss how the film was viewed by feminist groups at the time and how it holds up today as a piece of social commentary. We also get into the slow build of tension throughout the film and talk about the performances, including our thoughts on how the villain Diz is utilized.
Here are a few other points in our discussion:
- How the 2004 remake went comedy instead of horror to poor effect
- Our analysis of the world building and how the robot wives operate
- The frustrating rights issues preventing quality home releases of the film
Though there are some issues, The Stepford Wives remains an important cultural touchstone that inspired many films and TV shows that came after it. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!
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