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ROSEMARY’S BABY

ROSEMARY’S BABY-United States-136 Mins. 1968

Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse

John Cassavetes as Guy Woodhouse

Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castavet

Directed by Roman Polanski

Screenplay by Roman Polanski

Based on the novel by Ira Levin

I think I’ve watched Rosemary’s Baby maybe three times since its release in 1968. I was six years old back then, and my parents still had a grip on the things that would shape my impressionable mind. They weren’t about to let me watch a wholly adult (in the non-pornographic sense of the word) film about a young woman who gives birth to the devil’s child. I believe I was maybe 15 when I saw the film for the first time. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. That can be easily explained, though. At fifteen I had not yet learned that the unseen is scarier than what can be seen. I was hoping for blood, gore and scary monsters and Rosemary’s Baby gives us none of that. Watching it later on life I realize that it is a brilliantly written, directed and acted film that deserves the classic status that has been bestowed upon it in the years since its release. Despite his notoriety outside the cinema, one cannot deny that Roman Polanski has crafted a motion picture that works not only as a horror film, but as an engaging and wholly thrilling drama also. Mia Farrow is perfectly cast as Rosemary Woodhouse, the young woman for who the devil comes a-courting. The rest of the cast, led by a brilliant Ruth Gordon in her Oscar-winning role as Minnie Castavet, give performances befitting of their immense talents. Watching Rosemary’s Baby once again, I realize after all these years that subtlety can be a very scary thing. I made my way through Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3, The Blair Witch Project and The Last Exorcism and came back full circle to this film that wrote the book on subtle horror.

TRIVIA

The Dakota Building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side was renamed The Bramford for the film.
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.
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.
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