The Stepford Husbands (1996)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A husband and wife are initially thrilled to have moved to an idyllic, leafy town, but its apparent perfection -- no crime, noise, or violence -- gradually unnerves them. Even the town's male fraternity is unusually staid, which leads our protagonists to believe that something sinister is at work in their ostensibly blissful little burg.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Edgar J. Scherick & Associates


Donna Mills
as Jodi Davison
Michael Ontkean
as Mick Davison
Cindy Williams
as Caroline Knox
Jeffrey Pillars
as Gordon Hayes
Joe Inscoe
as Dennis Knox
Caitlin Clarke
as Lisa Hayes
Paul Sincoff
as ER Doctor
Sarah Douglas
as Dr. Frances Borzage
Terry Loughlin
as Cameron Wallace
Rebecca Koon
as Ann Wallace
Lou Criscuolo
as David Walker
Hank Troscianiec
as Salesman
Tara Thompson
as Secretary
Richard Fullerton
as Security Guard
Robert Pentz
as Orderly
David Lenthall
as Mail Carrier
Stan Kelly
as Gate Guard
Ephraim Schaffer
as Carriage Driver
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Critic Reviews for The Stepford Husbands

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Audience Reviews for The Stepford Husbands

With the crummy new Frank Oz take on Stepford clogging up theaters, it's rather surprising that nobody's decided to run a marathon of the three made-for-TV journeys into everyone's favorite little Connecticut suburb. Okay, so they're all allegedly pretty bad, but you'd think they'd be at least worth some curiosity value. THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS is the most recent made-for-the-tube Stepford pic, and the only one I had on tape, so I figured I'd give it a look, having been unable to remember a damn thing about it. As you can probably guess, the premise involves a young couple (Donna Mills and Michael Ontkean) moving into Stepford to get away from it all. Just like the original (and the previous two telesequels) except this time.... THE MEN ARE ALL STEPFORDIZED! Wow! Bet you didn't see that one coming. Jodi (Mills) is a successful woman. Hubby Mick (Ontkean) is an author whose latest book has gone nowhere. He's also a sullen jerk who never smiles, so it's not really surprising that he's to be the victim of the Stepfordization process--this time via being diagnosed as having a psychological condition, sent to a hospital and made to take lots and lots of pills. (This was in the late-'90s, when everyone was getting all up in arms about giving Ritalin to kids. Now we just take it and shut up.) What is surprising is that Jodi's opposed to it at first, only agreeing to it after Mick is drugged by their friend Caroline (Cindy Williams) and making a fool of himself at an important social function. Mick comes back from the clinic a good, subservient male uninterested in sports and no longer moping about the house, yet Jodi thinks this is a problem. Stupid lady. THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS takes the plot of the original WIVES (peppering it with the drug themes of REVENGE) and strips it of all humor or social context. Without the undercurrent of dark comedy that ran through the original (or even the often-terrible screwball comedy that runs through the remake), what's left is a paint-by-numbers body snatchers plot, with ladies' club leader Louise Fletcher and clinic doctor Sarah Douglas nothing to do but look like fifth-rate super villains. There's not even anything really creepy about it--the whole thing tries to go for a realistic vibe (entirely missing the point of the story in the first place), so when Mick comes back, he just seems like a nice guy, not the creepy drone that Stepford is known for. In fact, he's so much better of a person than the unsmiling, bitter dickweed that he begins the picture as, you wonder why the hell Jodi even has second thoughts, much less goes through the trouble of confronting the bad guys for an awful "love-conquers-all" ending. (An ending, by the way, similar to the remake of WIVES. Will they never learn?) I wish THE STEPFORD HUSBANDS had been just a cheap knock-off of WIVES with its' cheeked tongue left intact and at least some creepiness, but it's not. It's a social satire with nothing to say and no humor--a nearly complete waste of time. But you do get to see Cindy Williams gets bashed with a frying pan, so that's worth something. (Useless fact: This is the only STEPFORD flick that Ira Levin doesn't receive any "based on a story by" credit for.)

Paul Freitag
Paul Freitag

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