Billed in its trailers as a “very modern suspense story,” the 1975 film “The Stepford Wives” is about a family who move from the crowded, dirty high-rises of Manhattan to the sprawling paradise of suburbia that is Stepford, CT, only to discover a few shades of darkness that even New York City at its blackest must strive to match.
Based on a book by Ira Levin, who also wrote the book upon which the film Rosemary’s Baby was based, The Stepford Wives was filmed in a picturesque area of southwestern Connecticut.
Two locations in particular stand out from the usual run of house exteriors normally filmed in any movie. The first is the strip mall that makes a few key appearances throughout the story. Named through some quirk of reality the Goodwives Shopping Center, its appearance and retail tenants have changed over the years, of course, but it still has a supermarket, although it’s now a Shaw’s instead of the Grand Union shown in the movie.
The second location is the ominous-looking Stepford Men’s Association building. In real life, this extravagant castle-like building is actually the 62-room Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk. Built in 1868, it sits in the middle of a public park called Mathews Park and is open for tours.
Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker