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Rosemary's Baby More at IMDbPro »

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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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Proves that you don't need flashy effects or ample amounts of gore to scare your audience

Author: sgtking from United States
11 August 2008

1968 was the year that gave us great films like '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'Planet of the Apes.' It was also a good year for the horror genre because in that year audiences were treated to chillers like George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' and this film, a film that is quite different than the horror films we see now. Don't let you turn you away though, it's far from uninteresting. 'Rosemary's Baby' is a good old fashioned suspense movie with a supernatural angle and it succeeds in just about every way. As of this writing the movie is 40 years old and hasn't yet been forgotten. Now that's the sign of a powerful film.

Pros: Marvelous performances from all involved. Instead of using elaborate or gory/gooey effects, director Polanski focuses on suspense and atmosphere. The apartment building is so dark, eerie, and unwelcoming. There's not much music, but it's good and ranges from beautiful to chilling. Some really creepy images and scenes. Suspenseful and totally unpredictable. The pace is slow, but steady and helps in building the suspense. Some good twists and turns.

Cons: The clothing and furniture really date the film.

Final thoughts: Time has been really kind to this subtle, but very effective shocker. Jump scares and grisly violence are what seem to terrify today's mainstream audience and though I'm not totally against either of them, neither of them qualify as real scares. Check this one out if you want to see how it's really done.

My rating: 5/5

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This movie is superb in every way

Author: Andrew Towne from United States
23 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Rosemary's Baby" mixes paranoia with dark humor, and the result is a classic.

I can only suppose that director Roman Polanski drew on the experiences of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland in putting his unique stamp on this movie (the murder of his wife Sharon Tate had not yet occurred.)

Ira Levin, who wrote the book on which this movie is based, deserves a lot of credit. The creepy names of the characters -- "Roman and Minnie Castavet," " Dr. Sapirstein" -- add a disturbing sense of authenticity to this tale of old-fashioned black magic in what many might otherwise regard as the capital of modern sophistication and skepticism -- New York City.

This movie is filled with ironic juxtaposition, and that is the basis for much of its humor.

The choice of the Gothic and turreted Dakota apartment building (where John Lennon lived and died -- but that had not yet happened) is entirely appropriate.

The folksy neighborliness of the Castavets is especially disturbing in light of their true intentions, and Ruth Gordon gives an outstanding performance as Minnie Castavet.

The power of this movie lies in its many details -- the sets, the costumes, the lighting, the music, the dialog...It all comes together wonderfully -- at least until the last few minutes.

At that point -- when it is clear that the very worst fears have been realized -- it is an open question whether the ending is as good as it might have been. I felt very satisfied in that regard. The impulse to love in spite of horror is very powerful if not entirely convincing. But even if you don't agree, I believe this movie is still very close to being perfect.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

In my top 10

Author: lucy-19 from London
9 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One thing I love about this film is its strangely cosy atmosphere, and the way it's confined almost completely to people's homes (Guy and Rosemary, Hutch, the Castevets). In those homes people do ordinary things - they dish up food, they grow herbs, wash up, redecorate. It's like a page out of Good Housekeeping. And Rosemary is surrounded by sweet, kindly older people (Hutch, the Castevets, Laura Louise). But then they turn out to be... waah, waah, waah waah! On watching it again (and again, and again) I noticed that the camera is right in among the actors a lot of the time, the frame sometimes cutting off their head or half their body. This makes you feel you're really there with them, not watching them on a stage or through a picture frame. And everybody speaks naturally - not a method "naturalistic" mumble, but the real thing. All the characters have their own way of speaking ("Call me - not your Aunt Fanny!"), and for a lot of the time they are talking about mundane things like making a window seat or picking up eggs from the store. The setting is fabulous (I keep trying to work out the plan of the apartment and how it fits onto the Castevets'). The casting is brilliant. Ruth Gordon, Sydney Blackmer, Elisha Cook Jr., Patsy Kelly, Maurice Evans, Mia and John. As someone else pointed out, Guy is much older than Rosemary, and though handsome he's short, and he's never made it as an actor. Are they living on her money? Even his attempts at taking off the neighbours ("on account of it's one of her specialitays") are lame. He constantly laughs at things that aren't funny. The music, even when it's just a descending chromatic scale, is brilliantly creepy, and I love the theme song (sung beautifully by Mia).

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

memorable atmospheric horror with Ruth Gordon

Author: funkyfry from Oakland CA
2 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent suspenseful direction by Polanksi and a great cast highlight this prototype reproduction-shocker from the late 60s, a film that influenced many horror films to follow including the inferior "Exorcist." I love how Polanski lets his camera roam and linger about the massive apartment complex that is the film's central setting, making it the literal eye of the audience. I think maybe my favorite shot in the whole movie is when Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Minnie Castevet (Ruth Gordon) are talking and she glances at the room where her husband, the appropriately named "Guy" (John Cassavetes) and Roman Castevet (Sidney Blackmer) are talking and we see only the vaguely sinister smoke drifting through the open doorway. I have a feeling that doorways and hallways in general have a symbolic significance in this film tied to its paranormal ruminations on pregnancy, but I'd have to rewatch it to analyze that aspect of the film.

The story takes a little while to get going, but once we're into Rosemary's pregnancy the stakes begin to rise and suspense is unrelenting. There's also some great macabre humor thrown into the mix which reaches its apex in the film's famous "shocker" ending. It's a very atmospheric horror without any gore and with only minimal scares, to the extent that it reminds me of Jacques Tourneur's horror films (indeed given Polanski's status as a Francophile it's almost certain he had seen and been inspired by his films).

The music is also very memorable; I was already familiar with the tune from the album by "Fantomas" with Mike Patton where they did a heavy metal cover of it, recommended for fans of this movie.

But best of all are the performances from all 4 of the leads. Gordon and Blackmer are the highlight of the film for me with their wicked subversion of normal "nice old neighbor" type performances. Gordon of course was herself a brilliant writer and probably recognized the high quality of the material she was working with here. She's a fussy old lady who hides her true evil intent behind a blustering annoying façade of the old lady who's just a little bit too helpful. Blackmer is a good tonic to her high energy performing, projecting a reassuring feeling that greatly helps in the final scene when he gently rocks the cradle. The implication of that scene, that the maternal instinct will win out over all other reasoning, is powerful and ironic. Cassavetes isn't perfect but he is suitable in the role, the only one of the "villains" who actually had me guessing during much of the film's running time. And Farrow is a visual of gaunt helplessness, her eyes conveying fear and loss of control throughout the second half of the film. It's interesting that Polanksi says he initially envisioned a more "corn-fed" starlet in the role, specifically Tuesday Weld. In my opinion Tuesday Weld was a better actress than Mia Farrow and probably would have provided the film with an even more powerful feeling. It's true that Farrow looks perfect in the early phases of her pregnancy when she's losing weight and becoming paler, but she's already so thin in the first place that I think it would have been even more shocking to see Weld in the same situation. But I really can't fault Farrow's performance besides just the physical aspects of her screen presence which she isn't in control of. It's obvious that she and Polanski were on the same wavelength, and it's extraordinary how the male director and female star were able to make the character such a strong cipher for the audience.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A creepy, slow but landmark horror film

Author: LoneWolfAndCub from Australia
22 June 2007

Before 'The Exorcist' scared the wits out of people about devil possession Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby came along in 1968 to scare the audiences then. Not your typical horror flick; this is slow and brooding and eventually leads to a shocking and terrifying finale that only few could have pulled off as flawlessly as Polanski did. This isn't cheap, schlocky horror, this is pure horror (at its best).

Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavettes) move into a new apartment. Across their room live two elderly people, Roman (Sidney Blackmer) and Minnie Castevet (Ruth Gordon, in an Oscar winning performance). They are very friendly people and Guy takes an immediate liking to them but Rosemary isn't so sure about them. She hears weird noises coming from their room at night, they seem to take down their pictures whenever they go over to their apartment and other things like that. When Rosemary becomes pregnant they start to become more intrusive. They convince her to switch doctor and Minnie starts giving her "herbal" drinks everyday. It is a rather unpleasant pregnancy, though, Rosemary is having constant pains and soon she starts suspected everyone of foul play.

The mood of this film is set perfectly from the very start when we hear the creepiest piece of music (a lullaby) played over the opening credits (sung by Mia Farrow). Polanski is a genius at setting mood, throughout the whole movie their is a sense of unease that gradually builds until your on the very edge of your seat waiting for the final revelation. Polanski doesn't rely on gore or special effects, in fact, their is (save for one brief moment of a corpse) no gore at all in the film. Very much unlike modern horror films might I add!

The best part of this movie, though, is the outstanding acting. Horror movies are unfortunately part of a stereotype which suggests no good acting can come out of a horror movie. How wrong those people are. Every single performance is perfect. Mia Farrow plays the naive but suspecting wife hauntingly realistic. She truly looks like she is suffering from her pregnancy. John Cassavettes is great as the self-centred Guy, an actor who never really pays attention to his wife. Ruth Gordon, though, is the stand-out performance as Minnie. Although she is a friendly, bubbly, helpful woman there is always a sinister feeling she radiates and the same can be said for Sidney Blackmer as well. Ruth Gordon rightfully deserved that Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

So, if you're looking for a horror film with real scares, top-notch performances, a creepy soundtrack and a hell of a twisted ending look no further than Rosemary's Baby.


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Eat Your Liver, Rosemary

Author: evanston_dad from United States
31 January 2007

Quite simply, one of the best horror movies ever made.

"Rosemary's Baby" is terrifying, and it remains terrifying every time I see it. I watch this, and then I watch what passes today for horror movies ("The Hills Have Eyes" remake is an example), and I simply shake my head in awe and dismay at how far the horror film has fallen.

Everything about this movie hits the right notes. The acting is expert, especially Mia Farrow's hugely underrated performance as the impressionable Rosemary. Roman Polanski's direction is perfect; he eschews the shock horror approach used by directors like William Friedkin and instead creates a subtly creepy atmosphere, ratcheting up the tension gradually until you're ready to jump out of your skin. The production design and cinematography are off-kilter in ways you can't quite define. And the musical score, all plucked strings and jangling piano chords (except for the sinister lullaby that opens the film), is nerve-wracking.

Because every element of the film comes together so well, this supernatural tale feels as realistic as it could possibly be, and one feels that if there is indeed such a thing as the coming of an Anti-Christ, it would happen something like this.

With John Cassavetes, superbly slimy as the sell-out husband; Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer, as the Jewish grandma and grandpa from Hell (literally); Ralph Bellamy as a crooked doctor; and, most effectively, Maurice Evans, poor Rosemary's only ally.

Any number of scenes could qualify as creepiest, but my personal favorite is the one in which Rosemary uses a Scrabble game set to make sense of an anagram. I get shivers just writing about it.

Grade: A+

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