Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Why I Love It:
- It’s based on the book, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. The film stays almost 100% true to the book.
- It’s a movie about a young woman name Rosemary played by Mia Farrow, who becomes pregnant with Satan’s son after moving into an apartment building inhabited by a satanic witch coven. Guy Woodhouse is her actor husband and he sets Rosemary up to be the vessel for the devil’s baby in exchange for fame and notoriety.
- This old couple, the Castavets are the leaders of the satanic coven which is why Rosemary does not suspect them of any harmful intent in the beginning.
- This movie contains some grains of truth since there have been numerous stories of entertainers selling their souls for fame. There are also satanic secret societies that exist among the very wealthy and influential.
- The apartment building is actually the Dakota in Manhattan, NYC–the location of John Lennon’s murder.
- Roman Polanski wrote and directed the film. Polanski is a shady character who’s wife was Sharon Tate, one of the victims of the Manson murders. Polanski has also been accused of sodomizing an underage girl. I think Polanski belongs to one of these satanic secret societies. The Manson murders occurred in 1969, one year after Rosemary’s Baby was released. Sharon Tate was pregnant with Polanski’s baby at the time she was killed. Coincidence?
- This movie does not contain any blood, gore or explicit violence, but it is very scary nonetheless. The film is quiet, subtle and tastefully done.
- The beginning song featuring Mia Farrow is scary in and of itself. It’s both eerie and pretty with a tinge of sadness. “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, — la, la” The font used for the beginning credits is very romantic, very sixties, and it fits well with the music.
- The makeup used to make Rosemary appear anemic and emaciated was superb and her short pixie haircut adds to the creep factor. It almost makes her appear to be a member of a cult.
- Guy, Rosemary’s narcissistic husband played by John Cassavetes is very convincing in his role. He is the ultimate prick. He’s selfish, egocentric, emotionally detached, and hyper-materialistic. You can tell from the very start of the film that he’s not even really into Rosemary.
- Roman and Minnie the geriatric coven leaders are creepy as hell. I can’t get enough of Minnie, played by Ruth Gordon. She’s a riot. They chose the perfect woman for that role. Roman is a detestable sort that gives off this air of superiority that makes your stomach turn.
- Hutch, Rosemary’s senior friend is my favorite character in the film due to his extensive knowledge of the occult and the history of the Bramford, the apartment building where it all goes down. Hutch tries to dissuade Rosemary and Guy from moving in. I swear Hutch was a Sagittarius. Rosemary would have been a Pisces, and Guy, a Capricorn.
- Rosemary’s baby is due in June of 1966–that’s 6-6-6.
- The acting is stellar, the movie progresses at a nice pace, and the set designs are perfect.
- The scene where Rosemary and Guy go to the Castavets for dinner. The Catavets apartment is dark and Gothic.
- The scene where Rosemary has the dream about the Catholic school and Minnie’s voice which can be heard through the wall, blends in with the dream.
- The scene where Rosemary is ritually raped by Satan who apparently possesses Guy. This is one of the scariest scenes in the film because there’s no mistaking at this point what these old folks are up to. “This is not a dream, this is really happening!” says Rosemary as she partially awakes from her drug-induced stupor.
- The scene where Rosemary eats the raw steak. She didn’t even season it. The horror!
- The scene where Rosemary eats the raw chicken liver.
- The party scene where Rosemary’s friends hold an intervention for her due to her sickly appearance and persistent pain.
- The scene where Rosemary creates the anagram using Scrabble tiles.
- The scene where Dr. Hill, played by Charles Grodin betrays Rosemary by phoning Guy and Dr. Sapirstein. “Unspeakable… unspeakable!”
- Tannis Root. Tannis Root was placed in a charm and given to Rosemary. She later finds out that it is used by witches in their rituals.
- The final scene where Rosemary confronts the coven and is paralyzed with terror when she sees her baby for the first time. “What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes, you maniacs!”
- The discordant trumpet tune that plays when Rosemary first lays eyes on the devil baby. That sound is terrifying.
- This movie was released in 1968, which marked the height of the counter culture/hippie movement. This was a very dark time period and this film reflects this tumultuous era expertly despite the years in the film being ’65 and ’66.