"You've got water in your water."



Ira Levin (yes, indeed! The author of ROSEMARY'S BABY...) noticed that the play he was about to write contained to many parts - so he turned it into a small novel which was at the same time thriller and satire and would be released in 1972.


In 1975 it became a now film classic directed by Bryan Forbes: THE STEPFORD WIVES.




In a nutshell:


Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) and her husband Walter (Peter Masterson) move - together with their children Kim and Amy - to peaceful Stepford.
Joanna soon feels a bit lonesome for all other women seem to be only living for making a perfect home and being perfect wives to their husbands.. And Walter himself spends more and more time with the men's association of Stepford. Joanna's only friends are tomboyish, funloving Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) and gorgeous Charmaine Wimpiris (Tina Louise) - but suddenly Charmaine also turns into the perfect housewife - completely devoted to her husband.
And finally Bobbie, formerly proud of her messy kitchen starts to be a TV-ad-like hausfrau.. And Joanna has to face that there isn't much time left for herself to escape..






Schmooze:


  • 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.



Have a look:


Okay, okay.. This is NOT the original film trailer - but it is well done and the quality is fine:






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.



Quotes corner:

“A German virgo. Their thing is, you know, to serve.”


Well, yes.. – thank you.


Anyone around here asking him-/herself which is my zodiac sign??


M-hm.. yeah.. Exactly.. - and in German, dear friends, “virgo” and “virgin” are the same word – any pun you spontaneously can think of? Yeah – I thought so..


And about that serving bit, that is completely untrue! I mean… ... Hey! Your glass is empty! Let me fetch you a new drink, dear.. What? No!.. No problem at all, love! Anything else I can do for you?…



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.”



The End? Wait and watch!


Yours (very well and) truly,


Irene

It's The Irene Palfy Show....

So me and Irene had been talking about how witty and funny she is and I stated she should have her own variety show ala Carol Burnett. So this post will be describing how I think the Irene Palfy Show would go..have patience with me, since this is the first episode.

So the screen fills up with some snazzy music and shots of Hanover, where Irene lives. She is walking down the street, smiling and greeting all those she meets. Kind of like Marlo Thomas from That Girl or Mary Tyler Moore. It definitely has a 60's feel to it. She is dressed in bright colors and is just happy go lucky. The camera pulls back and the title says....THE IRENE PALFY SHOW.

http://youtu.be/rQaitveLKlQ
Then we cut to a live audience ala Carol Burnett and the announcer says "Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Irene Palfy". The audience cheers and claps with thunderous applause. The curtain goes up and Irene walks out waving to the audience. Dressed in a long black dress Irene starts clapping herself and says "Hi everybody. Welcome to my show. The first and hopefully not last show that you will see me in". The audience laughs.

Irene speaks "So my good friend Monty from All Good Things is the brains behind this mad little exercise and he wanted to help launch my show. So I figured what the hay..let's do it. So bear with me as this is my first time before such a large crowd." Irene pauses and then says "Are you guys sure you're at the right show? I mean its me Irene Palfy. I'm no superstar. Well not yet anyway"
The crowd responds with laughter as Irene walks back and forth on the stage.

"Well I just want to say what's on tap for the show tonight. My special guest will be Sir Sean Connery..the original James Bond". the crowd cheered immediately and wildly.

"Wow. A lot of Connery fans here. Or is it Bond fans? I will let you guys in on a secret..I really don't know too much about James Bond. Monty has been kind of enough to educate me in the history of Bond, but I really had no knowledge of this character. Let's keep that between us. Don't need to tell Sean that ok?" She makes the shush sound with her finger to her mouth.

"So guys I want to open the floor up to some Q&A right quick before we start the show...Yes you sir in the front.."

"So Ms Palfy do you like play any instruments or such?"
"No sir..not too much. I mean I could but I don't want to drive anyone away, if you know what I mean. Ok next question...you ma'am in the back"

"Is this your first show that you have ever done?"
Irene pauses "Why yes it is ma'am. But I hope to be doing this for awhile now. If you guys can bear with me."

http://youtu.be/XTdLoRC3sk4
A young woman raises her hand to speak.."Do you have a signature move or something? You know like how Carol Burnett used to do her Tarzan yell."
Irene responds with a laugh " Not really. I hadn't thought of that. I don't know really. I can meow pretty good, I think"
Everyone starts laughing.
"But I guess I do need to come up with something. I tell you what I will work on that and as the season progresses, I hope to have something that I can call my own. The Palfy maybe. OK"

"Alright everybody just sit back and enjoy the rest of the show. We'll be right back."

The audience claps and the screen fades to black and when it comes back, Irene is sitting at her desk on stage talking with Sir Sean Connery.

"So my dear Irene. How did it happen I was your first guest?" Sean asks
"My friend Monty thought it would be a good idea for you to come on first". Irene responds
Sean says "Excellent. So my dear have you seen a lot of my films?"
Irene says "Oh god yes. You're a living legend Mr. Connery. The first James Bond and all"

Sean says "I see. And tell me what was your favorite Bond film of mine?"
Irene says "Beg your pardon?"

Sean says "You know the one you like the most"
The audience begin ooooohhhhing and ahhhhing...
Irene "Well they were all great Mr. Connery"
"Call me Sean my dear" he says
And Irene then says as if a light bulb goes off in her head "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!"
Sean says "But of course. A lot of women seem to prefer that one. The romance and the scenery. It was one of my favorites as well."
Irene then says "Well Mr. Connery...I mean Sean, it was so nice of you to come in to my show. I really appreciate that."
Sean says "No trouble at all my dear." Sean then grabs Irene's hand and then kisses it before walking off the stage.

Irene is left with her audience saying "Whew! I almost blew that one didn't I. If it wasn't for Monty's recent lesson on Russia I would have been in trouble. "

Irene gets up and yells out "Ok someone let Heidi know its time for her to come out next. In the meantime where are the dancers?
Dancers come out dressed in colorful costumes with feathers and in heels dancing to some Dean Martin tunes. The audience is just loving it. After several skits and another guest appearance, Irene comes back out for the final time.

"I want to thank everyone that came out tonight for my first show and I hope that you all enjoyed it. And we will try this again next week. Cue me some Dean Martin music guys.."
Irene starts doing a little dance as the music plays and the screen slowly goes to black....THE END.
http://youtu.be/4sTP994tOMk
Everyone please come back next week when Irene's special guests will be The girls of CHARLIE'S ANGELS: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

Gabriela Salvado, Gabrielle Anwar, Gretchen Mol, Halle Berry, Hana Mayeda, Hana Nitsche, Hanna Thorn, Helena Sopar

Gabriela Salvado
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Gabrielle Anwar
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Gretchen Mol
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Halle Berry
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Hana Mayeda
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Hana Nitsche
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Hanna Thorn
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Helena Sopar
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