A young couple moves in to a fancy apartment surrounded by peculiar neighbors. When the timid and passive wife becomes mysteriously pregnant while the actor husband becomes successful, the safety of her fetus begins to control her life.
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.
Desirous of starting a family, the young Catholic housewife Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford: an iconic New York's building that brims with unpleasant stories of obscure dwellers and ghastly occurrences. Before long, the young couple is befriended by their somehow eccentric next-door neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet and, shortly after, Rosemary gets pregnant. However, little by little--as the inexperienced mother becomes systematically cut off from her circle and friends--alarming hints of a sinister and well-planned conspiracy begin to emerge, enfolding the timid 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 it?Written by
The phone booth scene was shot in one continuous, unbroken take. See more »
The ticking of Guy and Rosemary's bedroom clock is used very effectively at several points, most notably during Rosemary's "dreams." Yet when Rosemary demands to see Guy's shoulders, to see if he has been "marked" by the coven, we cut back to Rosemary, and the electric cord from the bedroom clock is plainly visible. Electric clocks don't tick. See more »
The film originally proved problematic for the UK censors and the rape scene was toned down by the BBFC for the cinema release with edits made to remove dialogue and shots of Rosemary's legs being bound. All later UK video releases featured the uncut print. See more »
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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