- No settings were build for this film – it is all shot at actual locations.
- Diane Keaton tested for the Joanna part - according to director Bryan Forbes she turned the role down because her analyst got "bad vibes" from it.
- Paula Prentiss wasn’t first choice for the part of Bobbie – originally Joanna Cassidy had it, but she left the production after a few weeks.
- Brian de Palma was discussed to do the direction for this film.
- Before she canceled her contract Tuesday Weld had signed to perform the role of Joanna.
- Other actresses who were at some point considered to play the Joanna part were: Joanne Woodward, Mia Farrow - because of her success with ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) -, Susan Sarandon, Jean Seberg, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Montgomery.
- Bryan Forbes wanted to create a “sunshine thriller” – so most scenes are set in light colors – very bright and shiny – except for the finale of course..
- *SPOILER* In the scene in which Joanna has to stab Bobbie you don't see Katharine Ross' hand. During the shooting she became that good friends with Paula Prentiss she had trouble to do an attack on her so that Bryan Forbes shaved the back of his own hand and did the stabbing.. *SPOILER*
A nodding aquaintance:
- Katharine Ross' best known performance might be "Eelaaaaaaine!!" from THE GRADUATE.. (1967). ;")
- Dee Walles who plays Charmaine’s maid later had the role of Mary in E.T. : THE EXTRA-TERRESTIRAL (1982).
- Tina Louise is the original Ginger from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND (1964-1967).
- The Ted van Sant part is performed by Josef Sommer (who here appeared as Josef Somer) - a German born actor who inter alia also appeared as the President in X-MEN : THE LAST STAND (2006) and as Dr. Eaton in PATCH ADAMS (1998).
- You may know Franklin Cover (here Ed Wimpiris) from THE JEFFERSONS (1975-1985).
It’ll stay in the family:
- Nanette Newman (Carol van Sant) is the wife of director Bryan Forbes - and some of you may be sad to hear that before she was casted the original idea was to dress the Stepford wives like Playboy Bunnies.. I don't know if Nanette Newman was all against it or just not "the right way built" (actually I don't think that any of these is the case..) - but apparently the idea died with her signing the contract.. She is doing a really good job - so what if the costume department had to spent more money because of long dresses instead of hot pants? I for one don't care that much - for me the dresses are part of the horror.. ;")
- Peter Masterson brought his daughter to the set who got the role of Kim in this film – it was her debut. Does anyone of you perhaps know the name Mary Stuart Masterson?
You should watch this film if you…
- … are a feminist.
- … are an anti-feminist.
- … like to know how my mom looks - that is looked in the late 70s to mid 80s.
- … are a bad housewife.
- … are a perfect housewife.
- … are wishing to get a perfect housewife.
Never-ending story (= the sequels and the remake):
- REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES (1980)
- THE STEPFORD CHILDREN (1987)
- THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS (1996)
- THE STEPFORD WIVES (2004) – the remake with Nicole Kidman as Joanna is nice, but more of a pastel colored comedy – and sadly they changed the end.
Of course it is a bit different than the book – some meanderings are just minimal others are completely new:
The book is more mysterious about what happens to the women..
What I really like about the changes: in the book it’s more than everything else Joanna’s view (which is marvelous for the book) – the film adds a bit of character drawing of the other involved persons. Well, it’s a narrow book – won’t be a very long film without some additions…
It’s a bit strange for me to watch this film – because Katharine Ross – at least in the total shots looks quite like my mom did in the 1970s to mid 80s – well, my mom’s nose is the most obvious difference in their appearances..
My mom still looks like her – well, she wears her hair in an updo now – very similar to the one Joanne wears when she visits the psychiatrist.. oh - and: yes, my mother is a fulltime and total hausfrau.. - which, dear friends, I am not.
Bad cook and … well, yes – the windows should have been cleaned last weekend.. (I'll do that next weekend..) Somehow it’s not given to me to have a sparkling, antibacterial home.. Hm.. maybe if I’ll quit my job..
Anyway the resemblance between Ms. Ross and my mother is quite haunting for me.. In the supermarket scene Joanna looks absolutely like my mom on her wedding day.. even the hat..
Okay, enough of that: What really is the haunting part of the movie (for those of you whose mothers don't look like Katharine Ross of course.. ahem! Really!! THAT IS SCARY!!!) is that almost all the men seem to be so normal. Walter is a sweet and caring husband. And the true horror isn't the women being houswifes - honest: why should it? - it's that they have no choice!
I really, really love this film - and I hope you do, too!
"Why? Because we can.”