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Rosemary's Baby
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Reviews & Ratings for
Rosemary's Baby More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Mia Farrow is magnificent in unsettling film that mixes comedy and horror

9/10
Author: mlraymond from Durham NC
13 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was too young to see this movie when it was first shown, and I was not impressed when I finally saw it after a few years had gone by. But having seen it four or five times now, I actually believe it improves with age. It is subtle and low key, and quite slow paced by today's standards. There is far more genuinely horrifying action in Polanski's other Sixties classic Repulsion, which leads me to believe that Rosemary's Baby may actually be viewed better as a black comedy than a true horror film. Many viewers have commented on the light hearted opening, that seems almost like a typical Sixties romantic comedy. The gradual darkening of the story is so subtly done that it's almost imperceptible. A vague feeling of unease, with little in the way of overt violence or horror, starts to permeate the film. There is enough ambiguity in the way events unfold that it's possible to see Rosemary as becoming disconnected from reality and imagining a plot against her. The eccentric neighbors may be no more than a nosy but well meaning old couple, her husband's unexpected success due to the accidental misfortune of a competitor for an important part, the tragic death of a young woman a genuine suicide. Is there any actual proof that these things are more than mere coincidences? Mia Farrow's brilliant performance makes us experience these doubts and fears along with her.

The film is very much a product of its time, the late Sixties. It touched on many ideas and events of a world increasingly chaotic and tumultuous, in ways that audiences born since that era could not relate to without direct experience. It was made at a time in which the Vietnam war was starting to become more controversial, the sexual revolution had begun, but the women's movement and legalized abortion were still in the future, along with anti-war riots and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. It occupies a place in history as a sort of time capsule of the era, just as momentous and overwhelming changes were in the offing. The " God is dead" controversy that forms much of the background of the story must seem almost quaint to viewers today, but was a major aspect of the film's controversy.

Viewers expecting a shocking and horrific experience will probably be disappointed, but those who can appreciate a slow building, quietly unnerving film will find much to enjoy here. Much is left to the imagination, and it requires active involvement on the viewer's part. It may require patience for those accustomed to more visceral and fast paced movies, but it is well worth taking the time to appreciate.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tannis Anyone?

9/10
Author: jcnsoflorida from South Florida
20 March 2007

Movies were constantly raising the bar for shocking in the late Sixties but few succeeded like this one. It was one of the last films officially 'Condemned' by the Catholic Legion of Decency. The dream sequences were easily the best of their time and continue to hold up well. Polanski's delight in the medium is palpable throughout but it never distracts from the narrative. The movie's texture --sophisticated Manhattan, but attainable-- resonates beautifully in the Christmas season scenes and later, when the temperature rises and Rosemary fumbles in a public phone booth. Note the gay friends at Ro and Guy's party. All the actors are in top form. Mia Farrow, lovely and vulnerable but crucially believable. Cassavettes as an ambitious actor, young but his biological clock is ticking. Did the Catholic Church get it right? This exemplifies the subversive power of cinema.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Brilliantly done

Author: hybridsun from United States
25 June 2006

A great film that personifies the totally and wild experimentation of the late 60's via Roman Polanksi-(that would be tame today nearly 40 years later) Which is nonetheless timeless, with great performances by all -Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon and Sydney Blackmer.

It rates with other tripped out films of the late 60's- rating with such as 2001: A Space Oydessy.

Done very well filmed at the Dakota apartments in NYC and with a great late 1960's attitude, that today nearly 40 years later remains a classic Gothic horror story. One on the greatest horror films ever done, that us done with a great amount of aplomb.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What a creepy movie!

8/10
Author: jerrythecow from United States
17 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't care how "scary" and "exiting" and "heart-pounding" movies are today: This is by far the scariest! Rosemary's baby is about a couple that buys a house with a mysterious past. After becoming pregnant, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) begins to suspect that everybody in the building, including her husband (John Cassavetes), is a Satan-worshiping, anti-Christian witch. Is she imagining it, or is it real? And if it is, will she be able to save her baby? The movie does start out slow, and doesn't really pick up until she becomes pregnant. Also, some of it is boring, and not all is very scary. But the parts that are: *shiver*! Roman Polanski is a good director of horror. I did not think much of the ending was good, but my favorite line is when Minnie Castavet(Ruth Gordon) remarks: "He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son!" Obviously playing on the Jesus story, Minnie says this in her strong, New York accent, making the situation almost comical.

All in all, a very creepy movie!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A classic in the true sense of the word.

10/10
Author: Keith Williamson from Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
12 May 2006

I have never been frightened by gore but can be made to jump by something as simple as a door banging (The Others and The Bone Collector for example). The mind can conjure up images which are far more frightening that anything ever seen on film and if the mind is nudged along a certain path and given suggestions then it is more than capable in filling in the gaps and creating dark and scary landscapes to get lost in.

This film slowly peals away layers of normality so that it is all too easy to accept what is portrayed (or rather for most of the time hinted at) and as the layers are pealed away so more and more suspense is loaded upon the viewer.

It is an extremely well crafted film (in every area: the script, the direction, the cinema photography, the acting and the music score) and personally one of my favourites and in my opinion certainly one of the best of its kind. It shows that sometime more (a lot more) can be achieved by leaving things out rather than putting them in and those directors who carry on insisting to load their films with tomatoes ketchup would do well to sit down and really study this film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece of mood

8/10
Author: Jonny_Numb from Hellfudge, Pennsylvania
22 April 2006

Like "The Silence of the Lambs," "Rosemary's Baby" is a horror film that is so justifiably praised that it's a pretty futile effort to attempt to find something that hasn't been said about it before, and better. Until recently, it had been many years since I'd seen the film, and upon revisiting it (with a newfound appreciation for director Roman Polanski), was thoroughly impressed.

The story is simple and ingenious, and hooks us from the start: Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes) move into an upscale New York apartment complex attract the attention of their kind yet invasive neighbors; shortly after, Rosemary becomes pregnant and grows increasingly concerned that the residents are plotting against her. Polanski would revisit this type of paranoia (albeit through male eyes) in "The Tenant"; "Rosemary's Baby" takes a similarly subjective approach to the story, telling it largely through the perspective of the title character--and Mia Farrow is incredibly good at conveying pain, sorrow, fear, and submission.

In addition to structuring suspense well, Polanski also gives the film a sense of patriarchal commentary: the husband is cunning, cocky, self-centered, and manipulative; ditto the loathsome Dr. Saperstien (Ralph Bellamy) who insists that Rosemary stop reading books that might cause worry. Throughout the film, Rosemary is presented as a passive, soft-spoken wallflower, easily put in her place by the male figures in her life; even when she uncovers the conspiracy around her, everyone is so firmly pitted against her that her efforts become meaningless in the face of the inevitable. Polanski makes us pity Rosemary and loathe the occult conspirators, but gives us a conclusion that drips of irony from all angles--in a sense, a great injustice is perpetrated, then accepted.

With "Rosemary's Baby," Polanski delivers a masterpiece of mood and subtle scares without a reliance on blood and guts. Strong performances and a fine story contribute to making this a gem of the genre.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pure period style suspense fun

Author: (futures@exis.net) from Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.
21 March 2006

"Rosemary's Baby" (1968): Even the very young & cute Mia Farrow could barely carry off that "Twiggy" look of 1965-68, and yes, there are other "period" clues in this film: the camera work has that "trippiness" when she's (possibly) in another consciousness, the music has a druggy sound to it at times, the "high fashion" was often at a low point...but this film is STILL a great exercise in PARANOIA. WHO is imagining WHAT? WHY is she suspecting THAT? Is Rosemary nuts? If not, are THEY in on it? John Cassevettes plays her patient husband, the crazy Ruth Gordon who won the Oscar for her role, as one of their neighbors, many character actors you'll recognize...and they all add up to an increasingly tense, psychological-horror film that shook up EVERYONE in 1968. Pure period style fun.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Great Film

9/10
Author: Bindweed6 from United States
5 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I read the book by Ira Levin before I saw the movie, and then, when I watched it, the film visuals almost perfectly matched the ones I had pictured in my mind, so I was consistently given chills down my spine. And it seems like barely any dialogue or plot points were cut out (it'd be almost impossible to cut out any of the plot because Levin wrote such a tightly plotted and suspenseful book.) Polanski's direction is great, and Mia Farrow made a perfect Rosemary. The final scene is one of my favorites ever, when she's sneaking to the Castavet's apartment to get back her baby with the knife, and all the old satanists are standing around, and she sees the baby's amber eyes, and screams, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIS EYES?!?" *shiver*. Beautiful.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant, scary, imaginative, and controversial

9/10
Author: thewag777 from Florida
10 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We can see how horror movies were evolving in the late 60s. Even so, this movie was ahead of its time. At the same time, the movie has a slow plot that gradually unfolds throughout very smoothly.

The acting of Mia Farrow was half the movie right there. She is a naive Catholic girl unaware of how she is being betrayed. Nothing like watching a pretty young Catholic girl being taken advantage of. (I'm really not like that in real life. Horror movies are my outlet.) This movie is definitely worth watching for those who love imagination and a somewhat drawn-out story line. It is not for slasher fans and gore hounds, however. Sure, there are a few good sex scenes, but they tie into the intellectual quality of this movie. Not much for gore at all.

The only weakness I see in this film is in the ending. (Don't worry, this isn't a spoiler.) Maybe Polanski bit off more than he could chew. I see what he was going for, but he was holding back I think. It was a little weak. It probably could have used some gore.

I gave it 9 of 10. The ending, though controversial and dark, was somewhat weak and cost it a perfect 10 from me, which I reserve for the very best.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Rosemary's Baby

Author: sherezadde (sherezadde@hotmail.com) from Vigo, Spain/Galicia
18 May 2004

Rosemary and Guy, a newly married couple, moved into an apartment in a building with a very bad reputation. However, everything was wonderful. They wanted to have a baby and their neighbors were really kind and friendly… but perhaps too much.

Roman Polanski, author of masterpieces such as Chinatown, is one of the most controversial directors. He portrays an atmosphere of suspense and gives some clues as to the film's dark edges. Nevertheless, there are no sinister looking locations or creepy characters.

Mia Farrow performs brilliantly as Rosemary. She is an innocent young woman who only wants to please her husband and have a baby. However, everything changes when she gets pregnant. Guy becomes distant when he succeeds in TV and her neighbors become overly caring. She grows suspicious of them because she realizes that she is strictly controlled.

This is a masterpiece of horror. Everyday situations have an undercurrent of evil. These skilfully hid details haunt the viewer. An odd closet, a suicide, her neighbors' extreme interest… As the date of birth gets closer, the film grows increasingly claustrophobic. The development of the plot gets interrupted abruptly in the last scenes, when the intrigue is revealed. The ending is spine-chilling but predictable due to the innocent and caring Rosemary's nature.

I have seen this film many times but I always have the same terrifying feeling; the anti-Christ is ascending to power surrounded by an atmosphere of friendship and neighborliness. I would recommend it to all horror-loving viewers who are tired of inane plots and special effects.

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