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

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Suprisingly chilling

Author: NightTrekker from Spartanburg, South Carolina
29 October 2003

I managed to catch this on an AMC late-night showing as part of the Halloween Monsterfest collection of flims. I was initially only a little more than mildly interested because of the movie's reported influence on the superb Silent Hill videogame series, but the movie drew me in, and I eventually gave my undivided attention to the television set.

I'm honestly glad that I did. What I expected to be (at least) a decent way to kill an hour or two turned out to be a well-acted, disturbing, and psychological horror film. I won't go into detail about the plot (though many people have probably heard about it without seeing it, like I had), but I will say that Rosemary's Baby is a good example of the horror film that doesn't rely on blood and gore to make an impression. I'm not very experienced in the genre of horror cinema, but I would recommend this to anyone who has even a passing interest in horror.

Silent Hill fans will enjoy looking for points of similarity between the film and certain aspects of the game series (that's as specific as I'll be on that point).

In summary: disturbing in a GOOD way- intentionally so- and intelligently crafted. I give it a 4 on a 1-to-5 scale.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Classic Roman

Author: David Ferguson ( from Dallas, Texas
23 May 2003

Greetings again from the darkness. Took advantage of the re-release of this Polanski classic with a family trip to the Magnolia Theatre. Tremendous script with Polanski at his finest with creepy camera angles and lighting. Really paid attention to the performances this time and came away with even greater admiration for the one and only Ruth Gordan and her on screen husband Sidney Blackmer. Even Mia Farrow's performance was better than I remembered. Cassavetes was a bit stiff, but Maurice Evans was terrific. Fun to see a young Charles Grodin. Yeah, there is a ton of interesting background info with the connections between Polanski/Farrow, Farrow/Sinatra, Polanski/Sharon Tate (who appears briefly in this one) and the subsequent horrific tale of the Charles Manson clan. In spite of that, this is a wonderful film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the scariest films ever

Author: bregund from San Francisco
27 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are spoilers in this review.

Rosemary's Baby sits on the cusp of changing Hollywood filmmaking; abandoning the corny westerns and drawing-room banter of 1950s films that basically mimic stage performances, it explodes into the 1960s like some crazy psychedelic dream. The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke: the 1960s were a movie renaissance for the American public. It must have been a very exciting time if you were a moviegoer, and Rosemary's Baby belongs in the same vein of exciting films.

Where do I begin? The fundamental strength of this film is its believability, and it accomplishes it with flow. This film effortlessly captures the natural flow between man and wife, in a way that no film prior to it ever did. Cassavettes's smoldering expression and smoky observations as Guy play so easily against Farrow's waifish, wide-eyed Rosemary that it's easy to imagine they might have been married in real life. It is so easy to see these people as real characters, because we are given their strengths and faults, we see them quarrelling and kissing, just like real life. It is this strength of reality that pulls along the rest of the film; when things turn unreal, that's when the real terror begins. Polanski brilliantly takes this sense of unreality to the limit.

Polanski's genius lies in taking Hollywood cliches and putting a contemporary spin on them: witches no longer wear long black clothes and pointy hats, they are an annoying old woman and a pie-faced old man living in a run-down gothic apartment building in New York. The creepy Dakota apartment building is the iconic haunted house of everyone's collective subconscious, brought into contemporary 1960s city living. The building is at first serene but becomes more sinister as the film progresses. Guy and Rosemary renovate their new flat, brightening it with gallons of white paint and pre-Martha Stewart white linens, but like MS herself, there is something odd lingering underneath the surface.

Ruth Gordon steals the movie. She nails the part of Minnie Castevet with such self-assured manic demeanor that it is difficult to imagine anyone else in the role. She gleefully destroys the cliche of the Halloween-style Margaret Hamilton witch, and instead gives us a witch who looks like a train wreck. Dressed like a clown with too much makeup, forcing her nutrition drinks down Rosemary's throat, barging into Rosemary's apartment, displaying terrible table manners, and doing her best to meddle in every detail of Rosemary's life, she is at once annoying and fascinating; who would ever think a witch could actually be irritating?

By the end of the film, Cassavettes's ambitious actor Guy Woodhouse is a pathetic, soulless automaton, clearly the film's villain for selling his wife's body to the witches in order to advance his career. His deception is laid bare for all the world to see, and made all the more abject with his inability to see anything wrong with the unholy agreement. I wonder how many other actors would do the same thing.

There is more fear in the unknown than in the known; special effects can only do so much to capture the fear that we all share, but Rosemary's Baby, much like the Exorcist and the Blair Witch Project, uses huge doses of suggestion rather than relying solely on special effects. The truly frightening things are left to the imagination, for instance when Rosemary looks at the baby and shrieks `What have you done to his eyes?', we don't need to see them, we know they're frightening because of her reaction.

After watching this film, it's easy to see where The Exorcist gained most of its inspiration, although Rosemary's European director gives us an ending that is perfectly chilling and uncompromisingly pessimistic, while the Exorcist continues as though nothing ever happened.

This is a must-see film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Miguel Cane ( from Mexico
10 May 2002

There are lots and lots of films on that list, but somehow this masterpiece of modern cinema, that has influenced more than any film on its genre, has not even scratched the surface of it. Why is this? How unfair! I wonder...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"He was in 'Luther' and 'Nobody Loves an Albatross..."

Author: Sample ( from Los Angeles
13 April 2002

Poor young Rosemary! She doesn't have an opinion she can really call her own; lives through the impending success of her stage-actor husband, Guy Woodhouse, fills her empty days alone in their new, creepy "Standard Eight" apartment, picking shelf paper, designing the nursery (is there any other color on the primary wheel than yellow, egads!); and, ultimately, is seemingly betrayed by the whole of Manhattan. Ok, I've already given you more than an appetizer, if you're the last person on Earth that hasn't seen it or read Ira Levin's book on which this Polanski chiller is based. It is the first "Serious Horror" film, and set the precedent for subsequent films and novels on Urban Paranoia, borderline Cultisms, and whatever else shamelessly borrows from this, Levin's Opus Magnum. Don't expect to see much blood or post natal puppets; This film's not about that, so grow up. "Rosemary's Baby" is about our reactions to horror, and not the horrors themselves. Jot this down and, should you ever enter the Bramford Apartment Building, make sure you make those corridor turns wide... you might finally get a clear glimpse of the eponymous gargoyle.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Chilling tale of a woman pushed to the edge, and there's a message too.

Author: jonathandoe_se7en
8 September 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


What would you do if you woke up not long after believing you're child had died at birth, only to find a group of mean old witches sitting around a baby cradle chanting "All hail Adrian, son of the devil"? Well, that's a predicament that Rosemary Woodhouse has to face at the end of this movie.

Rosemary's Baby is a true classic of the horror/chiller genre, I think it's a film that's going to appeal more to women or men with children, because it taps into the fears and anxieties of childbirth. The ending of the film is a metaphor, because Adrian is the son of the Devil, it becomes a play on deformity, and Rosemary has to come to the conclusion weather or not she can still love him unconditionally.

This is timeless stuff here, and people who say it isn't scary obviously should go and rent a cheap slasher movie or something along the lines of Friday the 13th, this is chilling psychological horror at it's most subtle. Polanski's direction goes in for that sixties feel, lots of colour and no-nonsense angles, it does make the film seem a little dated, but it also gives a very creepy atmosphere to the apartment (a la Repulsion).

The performances are also good, the main standouts being Farrow as the innocent Rosemary, and Cassavetes is good as the scheming Guy, but all acting plaudits would go to the excellent Ruth Gordon (remember her from Harold & Maude) as the Woodhouse's nosey neighbour. This is serious and intelligent horror from one of cinemas sadly forgotten directors that I would recommend to anyone.


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best!

Author: BaronBl00d ( from NC
19 September 1999

Undoubtedly, this film is certainly one of the best horror/suspense films ever made. It is a chilling psycho-drama, a social commentary, and a good old-fashioned horror yarn all at once. The story, of course, concerns a young Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband's journey in becoming tenants of a huge Brownstone called the Bram, where many evil, mysterious things have happened to/with its tenants over its long history. The story unfolds, and we are caught up in what Rosemary sees, hears, and even thinks. We feel her pain, anxiety, paranoia, and even fear. We sense conspiracy all around us and want nothing more than security for her and her child to come. This is due in large part to the masterful direction of one of the greatest directors of the screen...Roman Polanski. Polanski shows us just enough and lets are imaginations kick in and conceive the horrors around us as only are minds can conjure. The acting is extremely good in this film and it is in many ways a character actor's dream. Ruth Gordon deservedly won an oscar for her portrayal of the nosy, loquacious Minnie Castavet. Sidney Blackmer, playing her husband, also is equally good as an elderly man seemingly polite and good-natured but seething with hatred, evil, and delight in the pain of others. Ralph Bellamy, Patsy Kelly, and Maurice Evans are also memorable in their roles. Mia Farrow is very convincing as is her husband John Cassavetes. William Castle, the great showman of the movies, produced this gem, and unquestionably it was his greatest collaborative effort. First-rate direction, top-notch acting, one heck of a good script based on Ira Levin's masterpiece of simplicity in story-telling all lead to one heck of a good film!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece

Author: peterrost from New York City
2 July 2013

Today I watched "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) by Roman Polański. I didn't expect much from it, but, by Jove, I was surprised. It's a masterpiece. Just like "the Shining", its widely considered to be a horror movie, and it is, but, once again, its very different from what we call a horror movie nowadays. Also, very much like in "The Shining", there's a good portion of the darkest humour possible and, I swear, its lovely. Its witty, its funny, well, its just natural in every aspect of it. Its definitely in my top 5. Go make yourself a favor - watch this movie, preferably in a movie theater, like I did. There's everything you can ever expect from a good movie, and even more.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

rosemary's baby

Author: incentive_girl ( from Turkey
11 May 2011

When I started to watch Rosemary's Baby, I thought it was an ordinary baby story. But it was not like that. As soon as you begin to watch, you feel that some mystic things will happen. Rosemary and Guy moved a new apartment where some bad things had happened. They wanted to have a baby.

And also they had a strange neighbors. Two people both of them are old. Rosemary had a good relationship with them. But after a while Rosemary learned that she had a baby. She had a good doctor. But their strange neighbor suggest them a new doctor. Guy relied on them so he accepted this suggestion. After these things, Rosemary started to have strange dreams. Everything begins with these dreams that she was confused about that. In the end she had a strange baby who was called Satan by her neighbor and also her husband. It was a group that disobey and ignore the God. She wanted to save her baby from these bad people she understood their intention but it was too late. They had already captured her baby.

Actually, the movie includes something mystic and horror. You feel terrible in some spot. I was affected by Rosemary's physical appearance and also her psychology. At some point you feel pity about her due to the fact that she did not look well. And another thing that was affected me is that when rosemary gave birth they put it in a black cradle. Whatever happened, she was a mother. When she saw it in a cradle she was sorry, she shake its cradle even if it was not a normal baby.

Last but not least, nobody believed her and only one person believed her.Truth was much horrific. If you like these kind of movies I mean sometimes you feel horrifying, mercy, sorry, mystic, it would be a good choice. I like its team and cast. They are good at their jobs. I give 7 out of ten. I hope you have a chance to watch it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The greatest horror film of all time!

Author: actorAVENUE
9 February 2009

by naturalACTOR- The only newer horror film (say, 90's to present) that ever even slightly scared me, surprisingly, was "The Blair Witch Project". Notably, "The Sixth Sense" had one quite terrifying scene, but contained nothing else that was truly "scary". It's so hard to find an amazing horror title today that I've almost given up trying. Rosemary's Baby (1968) is not only a film that (no joke here) cannot be watched alone, but is the scariest, most horrifying film of all time.

It's difficult to break it all down, because there is so much that contributes to the sheer fear this movie gives off. Firstly, Roman Polanski directs with some magic here, conjuring a well-written script into a haunting visual masterpiece. It is creepy how this film is so real, how the idea within its story doesn't seem very fictional. Mia Farrow plays Rosemary with frightening, twisted emotion. Her character even seems a little eerie at times when she begins to go too far with her accusations, and speaks as if somebody tortured her. John Cassavetes is unpredictable, and his character unreadable. He gives a solid performance, and Ruth Gordon, in her Oscar-winning portrayal of Minnie Castevet, brings the only light to this film, brewing a mix of nosiness and hilarity to her character.

I've found that films about Satanists are the very scariest, including this one and Dario Argento's "Suspiria" (1977). The film is shot smartly, and in a way that keeps the mystery, fear, and suspense tingling right to the very end. Again, Polanski is very masterful and careful about how he works this film, and how he directs his actors. If I had to pick the main reasons why this movie is so scary, and why it makes my hairs stick up so tall, it would have to be the camera work and directing, the story and script and how brilliantly it's played out, the simple feel and atmosphere, so unpredictable and creepy, the acting, done with malice and originality that I am still afraid to think about, and finally, the music.

Krzysztof Komeda composes the most haunting, and definitive horror film score, a lullaby that produces goosebumps and that gets the mind racing through tunnels of fear, through darkness, acting as almost a prelude to what is to happen in the film. It would even be plausible to say that the wild, satanic flute music, and mainly the original score, account for almost all of the film's alarming mountain of horror.

Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby is a unique horror film, one that is immensely scary, and also very well made. Never again will there be a better film of its kind. Polanski creates an air of dooming, prevalent fear and musically and plot-driven terror, but the greatest thing he achieves is the surpassing of Hitchcock's greatest works, in the same style--playing his own game, and coming out on top.

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