Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby (1968, USA) C-136m. **** D: Roman Polanski. Starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian (=Victoria Vetri), Patsy Kelly, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Grodin, D'Urville Martin, William Castle, Patricia O'Neal, Sharon Tate, voice of Tony Curtis. Subtle, chilling masterpiece of horror about happily married couple Farrow and Cassavetes, who move into a New York apartment house that has a gruesome history. Their new neighbors Gordon and Blackmer force themselves into their lives, especially when Rosemary (Farrow) gets pregnant. Where do those eerie chants come from, and does Rosemary's husband's estrangement have something to do with their neighbors? More and more, Rosemary feels the horrors close in on herů Polanski's brilliant direction involves you right from the beginning and never eases its icy clutch. The perfect example of a horror film that does without any graphic scenes. Mia Farrow delivers her second knock-out performance in one year (the other one being in SECRET CEREMONY); she also sang the title theme. William Castle produced, Polanski scripted, from Ira Levin's novel. Gordon won Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards, but Farrow and Blackmer should have been considered as well. One of the best horror films of all time and a definite influence on Dario Argento's classic SUSPIRIA (1977). This was the second part of Polanski's (inofficial) trilogy about the horrors of apartment buildings, following REPULSION (1965). This trilogy was ended by THE TENANT / LE LOCATAIRE (1976). An inferior TV-sequel, titled LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY, premiered in 1976.


© Ron Altman