The Stepford Wives is a satirical thriller novel by Ira Levin. The story concerns Joanna The book has had two feature film adaptations, both using the same title as the novel: the version, and the remake. Edgar J. Scherick. Start by marking “The Stepford Wives” as Want to Read: For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. The Stepford Wives is a novel by Ira Levin, according to what I've read it's a satirical thriller. The Stepford Wives [Ira Levin, Peter Straub] on *FREE* Hum ( ALA Notable Books for Adults) by Jamaal May Paperback $ In Stock.

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Editorial Reviews. Review. Masterful, ridiculously well crafted, and, like the ladies of Stepford Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a . By the time of the release of the book version of The Stepford Wives in , Ira Levin had already written A Kiss Before Dying and Rosemary's. The internationally bestselling novel by the author of A Kiss Before Dying, The Boys from Brazil, and Rosemary's BabyWith an Introduction by Peter StraubFor.

In the end the wives broke free of their conditioning and a mob of them killed the mastermind behind the conspiracy. It too ended with the members of the conspiracy being killed. A version called The Stepford Husbands was made as a third television movie with the gender roles reversed and the men in the town being brainwashed by a female clinic director into being perfect husbands.

Another film titled The Stepford Wives was released in It was intended to be more comedic than previous versions. The new script by screenwriter Paul Rudnick has the women being transformed into carefully controlled cyborgs rather than being murdered and replaced with robots. The script culminates in a role reversal twist ending in which it is a powerful woman played by Glenn Close who is the evil mastermind of the injustice perpetrated on other women, and features a "Stepfordized" male partner of a gay town resident.

Unlike the original novel and most of the adaptations, the perpetrators of the conspiracy neither die nor get away with their crimes; the victims are freed from their control programming, and their spouses are forced to wait on them hand and foot as a form of reparations. The version had several locations in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield , including the Eberharts' house and the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church.

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Additional scenes from the movie were filmed in Bedminster, New Jersey , with extras from surrounding communities. The term "Stepford wife" entered common use in the English language after the publication of Levin's book and it is generally used as a derogatory term which refers to a submissive and docile wife who seems to conform blindly to the stereotype of an old-fashioned subservient role in relationship to her husband.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American novel by Ira Levin For the film, see The Stepford Wives film. For the remake, see The Stepford Wives film. For the Scottish former railway station, see Stepford railway station. Dewey Decimal. Main articles: A Banned Play on the War 5 Letters ".

The New York Times. March 27, Retrieved May 25, Retrieved 2 December Macmillan Publishers.

Book vs. Film: The Stepford Wives (1975)

Works by Ira Levin. A Comedy in Two Acts Cantorial The Cat! Ira Levin 's The Stepford Wives Retrieved from " https: Hidden categories: Articles with short description. Namespaces Article Talk. Joanna feels increasingly isolated, attempting to strike up a friendship with Ruthanne, the mother and wife in the only black family in town who only recently moved to Stepford after Joanna. Joanna discovers that the men in Stepford all had prior careers in robotics and technology, then deduces that they're turning their wives into robots.

She attempts to flee, but to no avail. Ira Levin did have a habit of creating works that were based in feminist commentary without having strongly feminist main characters. While Joanna does eventually revolt, it's only after rationalizing her husband's bad behavior for the entire book. It's difficult to understand the exact aim of the big-screen remake, even in the pre-planning stages. From the beginning, it seems intended as a weirdly non-feminist take on the story, which does make me question who exactly it was made for.

The Stepford Wives did turn a profit, but it's a wonder how it got financed since no one was really clamoring for a remake.


Written by Paul Rudnick, the script introduces a gay male character named Roger in place of the astrology-loving Charlamagne of the novel. The attempt to draw parallels between the plight of women and gay men could have been interesting if it had been explored rather than simply assumed, but the concept flounders and never fully develops.

Betty Friedan, constantly referenced in the novel, had a long history of refusing to align with gay activists in the fight for equality between the binaries, which seems like something one would like to comment on in this instance—but, as with most of the commentary of the film, it falls flat.

Roger is a likable character, but his presence distracts the script even further away from ever forming a cohesive stance. Notably, Ruthanne and her husband Royal are absent from both remakes.


One questions why, in , there was no attempt to add or update any of the now cringe-inducing commentary that occurred in the novel around the relationships between white women and black women in suburbia. This incarnation of The Stepford Wives is more centered on quips than on plot development or feminist commentary, often swinging into fully anti-feminist territory.

Rather than being employed as a part-time photographer, this version of Joanna is a TV executive who creates bizarrely gender-specific reality television shows. At a premiere, a man shoots at her, which leads to her losing her job, which then leads to her having a complete mental collapse. The insistence that the mindset of powerful women tends to hang by a thread is prevalent—and overall, fairly offensive.

Somehow, that makes the wives no longer robots, back to their old selves. I'm not sure what the moral of the film is. It reads like someone took three different scripts, cut them into pieces with scissors, shook them up, then taped the pieces together again out of order.

The place where this film really fails its audience is not in making a woman the villain, but in making the villain a woman whose goal is to uphold misogynistic ideals. By indicating that women are also complicit in idealizing their mates in an unhealthy way, the film neglects a world of nuance. Yes, women are also guilty of making unreasonable demands of their partners, but classically have been unable to wield the same societal power which would make it possible to enforce said demands.

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The specifics of discrimination against women are purposefully rendered incidental by the storytellers when compared in this way. The fact that women can definitely be misogynistic and wield misogynistic ideas to the detriment of other women requires some context, lest the argument itself be used to derail and diminish the goals of feminism.

The strangest part of this movie is that it's bizarrely regressive.

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Nicole Kidman. Bette Midler. Sign in to comment: Sign out: Movies Tag: Endgame Tag: Captain Marvel Tag: King of the Monsters Tag:The Stepford Wives is a book that deserves its iconic status.

I'm looking forward to reading more of Levin's books, especially Rosemary's Baby. Oct 18, Petra X rated it really liked it Shelves: If Bobbie's taking an interest in her appearance, it's about time.

This is an uneasy moment, masked by comedy. It will be a cold day in hell--or, speaking Alighierically, a day of specific climes in the ninth circle itself, a day none-the-less fantastic, shouting ET TU at Brutus like a tourist--before I am to ever pine over a mop or find superb satisfaction in dusting shelves.

Back to top. There are some amusing questions in the scenario Levin concocted, but the author doesn't have the imagination to explore any of them.

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