Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby

4.3 21
Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon


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In Roman Polanski's first American film, adapted from Ira Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents… See more details below

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In Roman Polanski's first American film, adapted from Ira Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon) soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, Guy starts spending time with the Castevets. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Minnie starts showing up with homemade chocolate mousse for Rosemary. When Rosemary becomes pregnant after a mousse-provoked nightmare of being raped by a beast, the Castevets take a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castevets' circle is not what it seems. The diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth, and the baby is taken away from her. Polanski's camerawork and Richard Sylbert's production design transform the realistic setting (shot on-location in Manhattan's Dakota apartment building) into a sinister projection of Rosemary's fears, chillingly locating supernatural horror in the familiar by leaving the most grotesque frights to the viewer's imagination. This apocalyptic yet darkly comic paranoia about the hallowed institution of childbirth touched a nerve with late-'60s audiences feeling uneasy about traditional norms. Produced by B-horror maestro William Castle, Rosemary's Baby became a critically praised hit, winning Gordon an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Inspiring a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist (1973) to The Omen (1976), Rosemary's Baby helped usher in the genre's modern era by combining a supernatural story with Alfred Hitchcock's propensity for finding normality horrific.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Rosemary's Baby, director Roman Polanski's first Hollywood effort, is among the most terrifying and paranoid horror thrillers ever made and is laced with ironic humor and sharp social commentary. Polanski (who adapted the script from Ira Levin's book) brought considerable sophistication to this Hollywood genre, just as he would six years later in Chinatown. A young married couple, pregnant Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes), move into the apartment next door to an eccentric couple, Minnie (Ruth Gordon) and Roman (Sidney Blackmer). This nosy twosome may or may not be Satanists with designs on Rosemary's baby. The acting -- particularly by Cassevetes and Gordon (who won a best supporting actress Oscar) -- is remarkably subtle, and an atmosphere of subliminal dread permeates. Scenes are partially obscured by door frames, and conversations are faintly overheard through apartment walls. The general malaise is enhanced by the dream sequences, which have rarely been equaled. A sensation upon its release in 1968, Rosemary's Baby is one of those rare films whose title enters the popular lexicon and stays there -- and, in this case, it's a testimony to Polanski's shocking vision.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Roman Polanski took the traditional gothic horror story and moved it to New York in the 20th century (where it finds a home with surprising ease) in this superb adaptation of Ira Levin's best-selling novel. While trading in the frankly unbelievable throughout, Polanski always keeps one foot firmly in reality while the other gingerly dips its toe into the pool where things aren't quite right. Rosemary Woodhouse (played with perfect small-town reserve by Mia Farrow) is nearly the only recognizably "normal" character in the film (much more so than her self-absorbed actor husband, Guy, played with just the right touch of slime by John Cassavetes), and nearly everyone around her seems a tiny bit odd, especially her neighbors Roman (Sidney Blackmer) and Minnie (Ruth Gordon), an eccentric older couple whose interest in Rosemary and her expectant child seems strange without being obviously evil. Ultimately, Polanski's greatest strength in this film is his subtlety; his pacing and sense of mood are masterful without calling attention to themselves, letting the horror of the premise sink its claws in so slowly and quietly that you don't notice how far deep they've gone until it's too late. It wasn't until The Exorcist that a horror film connected with audiences quite as strongly as Rosemary's Baby, and while The Exorcist threw a variety of wild and brutal shock tactics at its audience, Rosemary's Baby lured its victims in with such tender loving care that the horrible logic of its conclusion was all the more effective; it may well be the best and smartest horror movie of the 1960s.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

Disc Two: New documentary featuring interviews with Polanski, actress Mia Farrow, and Producer Robert Evans; Interview with Author Ira Levin from a 1997 broadcast of Leonard Lopate's public radio program New York and Company, about his 1967 novel, it's sequel, and the film; ; Komeda, Komeda, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and Composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary's Baby; ; Plus: a Booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park; Levin's afterword to the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel; and Levin's rare, unpublished character sketches of the Woodhouses and floor plan of their apartment, created in preparation for the novel

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mia Farrow Rosemary Woodhouse
John Cassavetes Guy Woodhouse
Ruth Gordon Minnie Castevet
Sidney Blackmer Roman Castevet
Maurice Evans Hutch
Ralph Bellamy Dr. Sapirstein
Patsy Kelly Laura-Louise
Elisha Cook Mr. Nicklas
Hanna Landy Grace
Emmaline Henry Elise Dunstan
Marianne Gordon Joan Jellico
Phil Leeds Dr. Shand
Charles Grodin Dr. Hill
Hope Summers Mrs. Gilmore
Wende Wagner Tiger
Walter S. Baldwin Mr. Wees
Bill Baldwin Salesman
Roy Barcroft Sun-Browned Man
Charlotte Boerner Mrs. Fountain
Gail Bonney Babysitter
Carol Brewster Claudia Comfort
Sebastian Brooks Argyron Stavropoulos
William Castle Man Outside Phone Booth
Patricia Ann Conway Mrs. John F. Kennedy
Paul Denton Skipper
John Halloran Mechanic
Marilyn Harvey Dr. Sapirstein's Receptionist
Jean Innes Sister Agnes
Mona Knox Mrs. Byron
Natalie Masters Young Woman
Elmer Modlin Young Man
Floyd Mutrux Actor
Patricia O'Neal Mrs. Wees
Robert Osterloh Mr. Fountain
Josh Peine Men at Party
Joan T. Reilly Pregnant Woman
George Savalas Workman
Almira Sessions Mrs. Sabatini
Michael Shillo Pope
Clay Tanner Devil
Frank White Hugh Dunstan
Joyce Davis Dee Bertillon
Angela Dorian Terry Fionoffrio
D'Urville Martin Diego
Gordon Connell Guy's Agent
Tony Curtis Donald Baumgart
Ernest Harada Young Japanese man
Bruno Sidar Mr. Gilmore

Technical Credits
Roman Polanski Director,Screenwriter
William Castle Producer
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
Krzysztof Komeda Score Composer
Harold Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel McCauley Asst. Director
Robert Nelson Set Decoration/Design
Sam O'Steen Editor
Joel Schiller Art Director
Allan Snyder Makeup
Richard Sylbert Production Designer
Anthea Sylbert Costumes/Costume Designer
Bob Wyman Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rosemary's Baby
1. "Lullaby" [2:39]
2. The Bramford [6:07]
3. New Neighbors [7:18]
4. Tragedy [4:09]
5. Minnie and Roman [10:16]
6. Tannis Root [7:10]
7. Dreams and Nightmares [10:53]
8. Good News [8:43]
9. Dr. Sapirstein [10:50]
10. The Outside World [1:56]
11. Rosemary's Party [4:38]
12. All of Them Witches [8:31]
13. Farewell to the Castevets [10:32]
14. Casting Spells [2:05]
15. Dr. Hill [10:37]
16. Early Delivery [7:00]
17. Recuperation [7:14]
18. "Hail, Adrian!" [4:27]
1. Color Bars [11:34]


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