Rosemary's Baby (1968) Poster


Before the filming of the scene of Rosemary calling Donald Baumgart (the actor in the story who mysteriously goes blind), Mia Farrow did not know who would be speaking the lines. It was Tony Curtis, and in the scene Farrow shows slight confusion, finding the voice familiar but not able to place it. This confusion was exactly the effect director Roman Polanski hoped to capture by having Curtis read the lines.
Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (4)
According to Mia Farrow, the scenes where Rosemary walks in front of traffic were spontaneous and genuine. Roman Polanski is reported to have told her that "nobody will hit a pregnant woman."
Mia Farrow actually ate raw liver for a scene in the movie.
Directed by Roman Polanski, whose pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by the followers of Charles Manson, who titled their death spree "Helter Skelter" after the 1968 song by The Beatles, one of whose members, John Lennon, would one day live (and in 1980 be murdered) in the Manhattan apartment building called The Dakota--where this movie had been filmed. Curiously enough, Lennon had written "Dear Prudence" for Mia's sister Prudence Farrow after the pair had spent some time with The Beatles in India at a Transcendental Meditation seminar hosted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (February 1968).
Rosemary's baby was born in June 1966 (6/66).
Ira Levin felt that this film is "the single most faithful adaptation of a novel ever to come out of Hollywood." William Castle speculated the reasons for this were because it was the first time Roman Polanski had ever adapted another writer's work, unaware he had the freedom to improvise on the book.
It was on the set of this film that Mia Farrow received divorce papers from then-husband Frank Sinatra.
According to John Parker's recent biography of Jack Nicholson, Robert Evans suggested Nicholson to Roman Polanski but, after their meeting, the director stated that "for all his talent, his slightly sinister appearance ruled him out".
Mia Farrow does the vocals on the title-sequence lullaby.
This film, along with Repulsion (1965) and The Tenant (1976), forms a loose trilogy by Roman Polanski about the horrors of apartment/city dwelling.
Rosemary (Mia Farrow) says to Terry Gionoffrio (Angela Dorian), "I thought you were Victoria Vetri, the actress," to which Terry responds, "Everyone says that, but I don't see the resemblance." Victoria Vetri is Angela Dorian's real name.
William Castle acquired the movie rights to the novel. Robert Evans of Paramount agreed to green-light the project if Castle did not direct. This was due to Castle's reputation as a director of low-budget horror films. He was, however, allowed to make a prominent cameo appearance.
Many scenes are shot in one continuous unbroken take or with minimal cuts in an unnoticeable way, such as the opening scene where Rosemary and Guy first tour their apartment (two cuts), the laundry room scene (only one cut), the "let's have a baby" scene, the New Year's Eve party, Rosemary's and Guy's argument after their party, Rosemary's getting the unfortunate phone call about Hutch, the final scene at Dr. Sapirstein's office where she tells him of Adrian Marcoto, Rosemary's phone call with Baumgard, and the famous phone booth scene.
This was Roman Polanski's very first adaptation, and it is very faithful to the novel. Pieces of dialog, color schemes and clothes are taken verbatim.
The script called for Rosemary (Mia Farrow) to explain to Guy (John Cassavetes), that she'd "been to Vidal Sassoon" for her dramatic new haircut. Thus, Vidal Sassoon was in fact flown to the set to arrange Farrow's hair into the now iconic pixie cut she sports during the second half of the film. For the first part, she wears a blonde wig designed by famed stylist Sydney Guilaroff.
There is a heatedly disputed rumor that Sharon Tate appears unbilled at the party Rosemary gives for her "young" friends.
There is a popular rumor that Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey gave technical advice and portrayed Satan in the impregnation scene. This is false - LaVey had no involvement with the film.
The phone booth scene was shot in one continuous, unbroken take.
"Entertainment Weekly" voted this the tenth scariest film of all time.
This was Roman Polanski's first American film. His first American film was going to be Downhill Racer (1969), but Robert Evans of Paramount decided that "Rosemary's Baby" would be more suited to Polanski.
Roman Polanski was so faithful to the novel that he asked Ira Levin the date of the issue of the New Yorker in which Guy Woodhouse sees a shirt he wants. Levin confessed that he had made up the detail.
The movie's poster was as #21 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
The film is almost an exact adaptation of the novel on which it's based. Most of the material left out during adaptation was done so for time, but the vast majority of all events and characters in the film play out the same way and in the same order as they do in the book.
There was a popular belief that Alfred Hitchcock was originally offered the chance to direct this movie. This has been deemed false. The director was never approached.
Oscar-nominated editor Sam O'Steen would later direct the sequel, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (1976).
Production chief Robert Evans has admitted that he simply used an offer to direct Downhill Racer (1969) to lure Roman Polanski from Europe. It was his intention to have Polanski direct this film all along.
In the book, Hutch leaves for Rosemary has a passage referring to Tanis root, the substance in her necklace. The full paragraph reads, "In their rituals they often use the fungus called Devil's Pepper. This is a spongy matter derived from swampy regions having a strong pungent odor. Devil's Pepper is considered to have special powers. It has been used in rituals and worn on charms."
In a scene where Rosemary is getting her blood drawn, Rosemary tells the doctor that she just saw the off- Broadway show "The Fantasticks." In that play, the parental figures arrange a "rape" of the ingénue (meaning, in this case, "abduction," from the Latin "rapere," rather than sexual assault), by a dark devilish character (named El Gallo), so a young man can save her, hoping that the young girl fall in love with the young man and marry him.
When Rosemary receives the book "All of Them Witches," she is told that 'the name is an anagram.' At first she tries to rearrange the letters of the book's title, but then realizes that the clue referred to a name within the book. However, the title actually is an anagram for "Hell a Cometh Swift".
A scene was shot, but not used, of the characters attending an off-Broadway play. Mia Farrow and Emmaline Henry attend a performance of "The Fantasticks" and meet Joan Crawford and Van Johnson as themselves. Along with several other insignificant scenes, this was deleted to reduce the film's running time.
When Rosemary lays down on the couch just before Minnie and her friend interrupt her, she's reading "Yes I Can" by Sammy Davis Jr.. Davis was a member of the "Rat Pack" that included Frank Sinatra, who was married to Farrow at the time.
Final film of special effects creator Farciot Edouart.
Burt Reynolds tested for the role of Guy Woodhouse.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Dakota Building (1 West 72nd Street) on Manhattan's Upper West Side was renamed The Bramford for the film. However, the inspiration for the original novel was the Alwyn Court apartments (180 West 58th Street) where author Ira Levin had once lived.
The devil costume that Anton LaVey was falsely rumored to have worn in the impregnation scene was later re-used in the film Asylum of Satan (1972). A small woman had difficulty fitting into the tiny suit.
Casting for this film presented its own problems: Roman Polanski at first saw Rosemary as an "All-American Girl" and sought Tuesday Weld for the lead, but she passed. Jane Fonda was then approached, but turned down the offer so she could make Barbarella (1968) in Europe with then-husband Roger Vadim. According to his memoirs, Polanski for a while had the idea of having his future wife Sharon Tate on the part of Rosemary, but he decided not to because it would have been unethical. Other actresses considered for the part were Julie Christie, Elizabeth Hartman and Joanna Pettet. Robert Evans suggested Mia Farrow based on her TV work and her media appeal (at the time she was Mrs. Frank Sinatra). Both men wanted Robert Redford for the role of Guy Woodhouse, but negotiations broke down when Paramount's lawyers blundered by serving the actor with a subpoena over a contractual dispute regarding his pulling out of Silvio Narizzano's film Blue (1968). Other actors considered were Richard Chamberlain, Jack Nicholson and James Fox. Laurence Harvey begged to do it, Warren Beatty turned it down claiming "Hey! Can't I play Rosemary?", before the part was offered to John Cassavetes. For Minnie and Roman Castevet, William Castle suggested Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the famous Broadway acting duo. He even tried to convince Polanski to let him play the part of Dr. Sapirstein, a role eventually filled by Ralph Bellamy.
The book that Rosemary reads in the cab is the Book of Ceremonial Magic, by A.E. Waite, Chapter IV: The Rituals Of Black Magic: Section 4: The Grimoire of Honorius. The italic section has been entered into the natural flow of the text; the previous paragraph has been shortened to make space for it.
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the novel, Minnie Castevet is described as having a strong Midwestern accent. Ruth Gordon's portrayal of Mrs. Castevet in the movie has a New York accent to her speech.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This film features a cast member from Bewitched (1964), Maurice Evans and a cast member from I Dream of Jeannie (1965), Emmaline Henry. Both programs feature protagonists that frequently cast "magic spells".
7 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Roman Polanski decided that he would direct Rosemary's Baby, his first request was to have Richard Sylbert as the production designer.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The "vodka blush" cocktail that Roman prepares for everybody is actually real, and it is normally served with sprigs of rosemary for garnish.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Final film of Robert Osterloh.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink


Tony Curtis: voice on phone of the actor who is struck blind by a witch's curse so that Rosemary's husband can get an acting job.
William Castle: man near phone booth.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Producer William Castle wanted to display a grotesque demon baby at the end of the film when Mia Farrow looks at her child but Roman Polanski (and the other producers) vetoed the idea in lieu of a more ambiguous scene.
In the novel it explains that the raw meat Rosemary eats after the New Years Eve party is a chicken's heart. In the olden days, chickens and hens were used to aid witch hunters and were believed to be symbols of God and light. So, because of the unholy child inside her, this explains why the chicken's heart was the only raw meat that made Rosemary sick.
Mia Farrow went on to play the nanny to "devil child" Damien in The Omen (2006), the remake of The Omen (1976) of almost 40 years before. The film was released to coincide with the date 06/06/06 in order to spark interest and gain publicity.
In the novel, Minnie deduces that Rosemary has found out about Roman's father because of Rosemary's sudden behavioral distance. Minnie confronts Rosemary about it, condemning Adrian Marcoto, saying, "I could kill that crazy old man if he wasn't dead already; he's been the bane of poor Roman's existence!" and further explains that that's the reason for the Castevets' persistent traveling because they can't stay in one place for too long without people finding out.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page