A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
Desirous of starting a family, Rosemary Woodhouse, a young Catholic housewife, and her husband, Guy Woodhouse, a struggling actor, move into the Bramford, a New York building with an unpleasant history of obscure dwellers and ghastly occurrences. Before long, the young couple is befriended by their elderly and somehow eccentric next-door neighbours, Roman and Minnie Castevets, and shortly afterwards, Rosemary finally gets pregnant. However, little by little, as the inexperienced mother becomes systematically cut off from her circle and friends, alarming hints of a well-planned and sinister conspiracy will begin to emerge, enfolding Rosemary in a shroud of suspicion and mental agony. In the end, why is everyone so conveniently eager to help, furthermore, why is Guy allowing this? Written by
It starts off like one of those 1950's Doris Day movies. Young,
idealistic Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and new hubby Guy (John Cassavetes)
move into a Manhattan apartment building called the "Bramford".
Throughout most of the film we, as viewers, see and hear what innocent
Rosemary sees and hears. There's a veneer of normalcy at the Bramford
that belies what's really going on, behind our backs. It's the script's
POV, therefore, that makes this film so chilling.
At the Bramford, which has quite a colorful history, you can hear
through the walls. And, as Rosemary and we viewers soon find out,
strange people lurk in other parts of the building. The strangest of
all are Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon),
superficially cordial, but a bit too inquisitive. Roman is retired. His
wife, Minnie, wears tons of makeup and pawnshop jewelry, and gushes
with praise for herbal cures, especially something called tannis-root.
And Minnie's friend Laura-Louise (Patsy Kelly) wears thick glasses that
make her eyes seem to bulge, and she talks with a strangely deep voice.
"Rosemary's Baby" is one of the great thrillers of all time. Given the
underlying subject matter, can you imagine how this film must have come
across to viewers in 1968? The strength of the film is the script,
which through its plot and dialogue implies and suggests. Not until
near the end do we, like Rosemary, find out the presumed truth.
Suspense increases toward the end as Rosemary ventures into the inner
sanctum of the Bramford.
The film's acting is great, and reinforces the strong script. I
particularly liked Ruth Gordon, with her delightfully eccentric
behavior and mannerisms. Production design and especially costumes are
lavish and colorful. Clothes and hairstyles, as you would expect, are
very 1960ish. Visual effects are minimal, and are used to enhance the
story, not be the story.
Given the film's POV, the story is rather subjective. Its
interpretation is based on Rosemary's perceptions, images, and fears.
One could explain that Rosemary suffers from delusions. Or,
alternately, one could explain that what happens is real. It's all in
the interpretation. Either way, it's a great movie. It holds up well,
forty years later, a tribute to its writer and director, Roman
61 of 67 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?