Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on Ira Levin's 1967 novel of the same name. The film stars Mia Farrow as a young (soon pregnant) wife living in Manhattan who comes to suspect that her elderly neighbors are members of a Satanic cult and are grooming her in order to use her baby for their rituals. The film's supporting cast includes John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Patsy Kelly, Angela Dorian, and, in his feature film debut, Charles Grodin.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Guy is cast in a prominent play after the lead actor inexplicably goes blind. With his acting career flourishing, Guy wants to have a baby with Rosemary. On the night that they plan to conceive, Minnie brings over individual cups of chocolate mousse for their dessert. When Rosemary complains that it has a chalky "under-taste" and does not finish it, Guy criticizes her as being ungrateful. Rosemary consumes a bit more to mollify him, then discreetly discards the rest. Soon after, she grows dizzy and passes out. In a dreamlike state, Rosemary hallucinates being raped by a demonic presence (Satan) as Guy, the Castevets, and other Bramford tenants, all nude, watch. The next morning, Guy explains the scratches covering Rosemary's body by claiming that he did not want to miss "baby night" and had sex with her while she was unconscious. He says he has since cut his nails.
Rosemary becomes pregnant, with the baby due the last week of June. The elated Castevets insist that Rosemary goes to their close friend, Dr. Abraham Sapirstein, a prominent obstetrician, rather than her own physician, Dr. Hill. During her first trimester, Rosemary suffers severe abdominal pains and loses weight. By Christmastime, her gaunt appearance alarms her friends and also Hutch, who has been researching the Bramford's history. Before sharing his findings with Rosemary, he falls into a mysterious coma. Rosemary, unable to withstand the pain, insists on seeing Dr. Hill, while Guy argues against it, saying Dr. Sapirstein will be offended. As they argue, the pains suddenly stop and Rosemary feels the baby move.
Three months later, Hutch's friend, Grace Cardiff, informs Rosemary that Hutch is dead. Before dying, he briefly regained consciousness and said to give Rosemary a book on witchcraft, All of Them Witches, along with the cryptic message: "The name is an anagram". Rosemary eventually deduces that Roman Castevet is an anagram for Steven Marcato, the son of a former Bramford resident and a reputed Satanist. She suspects that the Castevets and Dr. Sapirstein belong to a Satanic coven and have sinister intentions for her baby. Guy discounts this and later throws the book away, upsetting Rosemary and making her suspicious of him.
Terrified, she goes to Dr. Hill for help. Assuming that she is delusional, he calls Dr. Sapirstein, who arrives with Guy to take her home, threatening if she resists, to have her sent to a mental hospital. Rosemary locks herself into the apartment, but coven members somehow infiltrate and restrain her. Dr. Sapirstein sedates a hysterical Rosemary, who goes into labor and gives birth. When she awakens, she is told the baby was stillborn. As Rosemary recovers, she notices her pumped breast milk appears to be saved instead of disposed of. She stops taking her prescribed pills, becoming less groggy. When Rosemary hears an infant crying, Guy claims new tenants with a baby have moved into an apartment one floor up.
Believing her baby is alive, Rosemary discovers a hidden door in the bedroom closet leading directly into Minnie and Roman's apartment. Guy, the Castevets, Dr. Sapirstein, and other coven members are there, gathered around a bassinet draped in black with an upside down cross hanging over it. Peering inside, Rosemary is horrified and demands to know what is wrong with her baby's eyes. Roman proclaims that the child, Adrian, Satan's son, "has his father's eyes". He urges Rosemary to mother her child, promising her she will not have to join the coven. When Guy attempts to calm her, saying they will be rewarded and will conceive their own children, she spits in his face. After hearing the infant's cries, however, Rosemary gives in to her maternal instincts and gently rocks the cradle.
Since the book had not yet reached bestseller status, Evans was unsure the title alone would guarantee an audience for the film, and he believed that a bigger name was needed for the lead. Mia Farrow, with a supporting role in Guns at Batasi (1964) and the yet-unreleased A Dandy in Aspic (1968) as her only feature film credits, had an unproven box office track record; however, she had gained wider notice with her role as Allison MacKenzie in the popular television series Peyton Place, and her unexpected marriage to noted singer Frank Sinatra. Despite her waif-like appearance, Polanski agreed to cast her. Her acceptance incensed Sinatra, who had demanded she forgo her career when they wed.
For this reason, the effectiveness of "Rosemary's Baby" is not at all diminished if you've read the book. How the story turns out, and who (or what) Rosemary's baby really is, hardly matters. The film doesn't depend on a shock ending for its impact.
However, these hopes will soon be dashed. The night before Hutch was scheduled to meet with Rosemary and share what he had found through his research, he has mysteriously fallen into a coma. During this time, the pain becomes too much for Rosemary to bear and she wants to see her previous physician. But Guy falls in between them and begins a rather nasty argument. The pain suddenly ceases, and Rosemary begins to feel the baby move. She now feels better since she knows the child is alive. But just like the pain, the good feeling, too, comes to an end, as she is once again gaslighted. Rosemary soon finds out a few months later that Hutch has died. Before passing, he was able to pass a book on witchcraft and a message to Rosemary. The scary feeling begins again.
Rosemary Woodhouse on-screen is sparrow-like and almost androgynous. With her baby doll dresses and oversized suitcase, she looks at times more like a child playing dress-up. In fact she is, and over the course of the movie must grow up and fashion her own ideas about motherhood and maturity (see also Poltergeist).
That apartment needs thicker walls. Rosemary overhearing things almost ruins all the plans. Then the baby cries could be heard through the wall. Rosemary drinks and Guy smokes all throughout the pregnancy- different times.
I absolutely loved how things slowly started to click. How, without heavy-handed tactics or spoon-feeding, you begin to realize the plot at hand through the subtle manipulation and gaslighting. Once Rosemary is pregnant, The Coven Next Door (next horror parody, anyone?) surgically remove her from society, surrounding her with a 'new family' and convincing her the world as she knew it was unsafe. Don't read baby books. Don't listen to your friends. Come to our doctor. I was inextricably attached to Rosemary's plight, hoping beyond hope she could connect the clues and escape the nest of witches. Each time she failed was more devastating than the last. Rarely has a movie felt so stifling and hopeless! At first I felt the opening 30 minutes were too slow, but looking back, it feels like mastery. As heartbreaking as it was to watch, the ride was enthralling. The ending was unexpected and will probably leave me thinking for a while. It also made me wonder, how much harder would it be for a coven to pull this off in the age of communication? They'd have a hell of a job isolating their target. Oh, and one last thing - that sequence with the devil was some of the best horror work I've ever seen.
Rosemary's Baby is about a young couple, Guy and Rosemary Woodhouse, who take an apartment in a beautiful old building (played by the infamous Dakota in the film, where John Lennon lived and was shot) that has a rather evil history. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) becomes pregnant, and convinced that a coven is trying to steal her baby. We, of course, know better. The truth is much worse than that.
The only time she is unbelievable is when she finds out she is pregnant. Something about the way she reacts comes off as unnatural, but maybe that's her subconscious talking. Perhaps, we are not supposed to believe her. We are almost forced to come to a difficult conclusion -- that Rosemary was deliberately picked because of her struggle between her modern and Catholic identities. A stricter Catholic would not lie to get out of another lease, and a slightly more confident modern woman might deal more directly with these issues. Perhaps even going so far as to kill herself, or the baby growing inside her. Poor split Rosemary is frozen in the middle. Unable to face what has happened to her, she pretends that the evil is outside of her little apartment.
Guy and Rosemary decide to have a baby. In preparation, they have a romantic dinner where Rosemary refuses to eat the mousse the neighbor sent over. Soon after dinner, Rosemary feels faint and passes out for the night. She has an array of odd dreams including one where she is raped by a "non-human", evil entity. She wakes up the next morning and Guy informs her that he had sex with her while she was passed out. Soon after, the doctor informs Rosemary that she is pregnant. (00:39:30)
Rosemary realizes that she lives among a coven of witches, who are going to take her baby when she gives birth. She cannot trust anyone, not even her own husband. She packs her bags and runs away. Unfortunately, the witches catch up with her. They keep her in a drug-induced state until after she gives birth. (01:39:10)
Rosemary comes out of her drug-induced state. The coven tells her that the baby died, but Rosemary hears a crying baby from the next apartment. When she goes to investigate, she finds out that she has given birth to the spawn of Satan. (02:08:10) 041b061a72