Thu, Oct 25
Written & Directed by Roman Polanski (1968); Cast: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon; R, 136 mins.
In Roman Polanski’s first American film, adapted from Ira Levin’s horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon) soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building. Despite Rosemary’s reservations, Guy starts spending time with the Castevets. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, the Castevets take a special interest in her welfare. With Rosemary unwell and increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castevets’ circle is not what it seems. The diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth. Produced by B-horror maestro William Castle, Rosemary’s Baby became a critically praised hit, winning Gordon an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Inspiring a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist (1973) to The Omen (1976), Rosemary’s Baby helped usher in the genre’s modern era by combining a supernatural story with Alfred Hitchcock’s propensity for finding normality horrific. “It is a creepy film and a crawly film, and a film filled with things that go bump in the night. It is very good.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times