Having finally seen the 1975 version of “The Stepford Wives” and the 2004 I can honestly say the original was the better version. A great novel written in 1972 by Ira Levin the 1975 movie follows rather well. I was really really impressed by the paranoia and simplicity used to make it a decent thriller.
The 2004 version has a good cast and snappy writing but takes away the terror of that the book and the 1975 movie gave by letting us see a strong independent woman ultimately betrayed by the man she loved and had children with. I will say this though. It’s insane how the some of the actresses in this movie look like other actresses. Katharine Ross has a hint of Diane Keaton and Paula Prentiss looks like Linda Lovelace.
The story is very dark and very interesting and the new version just glosses over every thing. Mathew Broderick plays the husband and he looks like Nicole Kidman could kick the shit out of him. I don’t believe for a second this man could force any sort of power trip on his wife much less a conspiracy of control. Not wee Ferris Bueller. At least Katherine has the wee frame that makes her seem a mix of intimidated and willing to risk it all to get her kids back.
Whether you like one or the other the story is has been parodied. Its good book and most people would benefit to read it. Anyway, if you are looking for something dark about a town where nothing is as it seems then “The Stepford Wives” (1975) is a good movie and even better book. It’s very feminist and takes a very interesting view of the modern housewife. There are hints of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” but with a much more obvious message.