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Revenge of the Stepford Wives Reviews

This made-for-TV sequel follows single reporter Kate Foster (Sharon Gless, of TV's Cagney and Lacey), who goes to Stepford to research a television news segment on this "perfect community" and runs up against a wall of silence worthy of a Mafia enclave. The local Men's Association, run by smug chauvanist Dale Coba (Arthur Hill, taking over the role originated by Patrick O'Neal), seems to weild a great deal of influence for a recreational organization, and the perfectly dressed, complacent wives — who all take the same "thyroid medication" twice a day — are just plain creepy. Kate hires the funny, independent Megan Brady (Julie Kavner), whose husband, Andy (Don Johnson), has just joined the Stepford police force, as her assistant. Megan wants no part of the Stepford sheen and the two women become fast friends. As Kate continues to nose around where she's unwelcome — so much so that a local woman tries to kill her — Megan undergoes the notorious transformation, prompting Kate to kick her investigation into high gear. The wives of Stepford, she discovers, are being controlled by their husbands through a combination of psychotropic medication and behavioral conditioning. And Kate figures out how to turn off the controls, turning the vacant-eyed hausfraus into an angry mob. THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975) posits a world in which men are so intolerant of their wives' human imperfection and so threatened by the slightest flicker of ambition that they're willing to murder the women they married and replace them with androids. Director Robert Fuest and screenwriter David Wiltse's knock-off cuts them some slack, suggesting that these kinder, gentler Stepford husbands only drug and brainwash their wives into a Suzy-Homemaker stupor. Or at least so it seems until the sequence in which a zombie wife tries to kill Kate, her actions directed by a television-style remote: This same vagueness about the true nature of the Stepford wives — robots or real women under some sinister influence — undermines the 2004 STEPFORD WIVES remake, which was produced by Revenge producers Scott Rudin and Edgar J. Scherick. Two more made-for-TV Stepford sequels — 1987's The Stepford Children and 1996's The Stepford Husbands — followed Revenge.