Suburban Wives, subtitled "nine to five widows in a sexual desert", is a 1971 British sex comedy directed by Derek Ford and starring Eva Whishaw, Maggie Wright, and Gabrielle Drake. It was described by The New York Times as "a spicy satire of modern manners and mores."
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Derek Ford|
|Produced by||Morton Lewis|
|Written by||Derek Ford|
|Music by||Terry Warr|
|Edited by||Terry Keefe|
|Distributed by||Butcher's Film Service|
Newspaperwoman Sarah (Eva Whishaw) narrates a series of separate stories about the lives of various couples. Sarah describes a situation in which dissatisfied and bored middle-class housewives seek excitement and adventure outside their marital homes— and marital beds.
- Eva Whishaw as Sarah
- Barry Linehan as John's Boss
- Heather Chasen as Kathy Lambert
- Gabrielle Drake as Secretary
- Richard Thorp as Sarah's Husband
- Robin Culver as Photographer
- Maggie Wright as Irene
- Peter May as John
- Claire Gordon as Sheila
- Denys Hawthorne as George Lambert
- Jane Cardew as Carole
- Nicola Austin as Jean
- Pauline Peart as Mavis
- James Donnelly as Client
- Paul Antrim as Bookmaker
According to Leon Hunt the film represents the suburban wives as both "banal and voracious, passive and rapacious, timid and uncontainable." The Daily Mirror described the characters as a "monstrous regiment of frustrated wives". It portrays suburbia as a deadened, lifeless space, one that mirrors the "sexual desert" experienced by the characters, but which, as Hunt says, "just intensifies desire rather than diminishing it". Stephanie Dennison sees it as an example of "soft-core porn films" that represent "naughty suburban housewives" as part of "democratization of female sexual desire".
The film's commercial success led to a sequel, Commuter Husbands, marketed with the tagline "Remember what those Suburban Wives got up to?... Now see what their getaway men get down to!"
- Hal Erickson, New York Times
- Hunt, Leon, British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation, Routledge, 2013, p.104-6.
- Dennison, Stephanie, "Sex and the Generals", Latsploitation, Latin America, and Exploitation Cinema, Routledge, 2009, p.243.