Psychological terrorism and supernatural horror have rarely been dramatized as effectively as in this classic 1968 thriller, masterfully adapted and directed by Roman Polanski from the chilling novel by Ira Levin. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is a young, trusting housewife in New York whose actor husband (John Cassavetes), unbeknownst to her, has literally made a deal with the devil. In the thrall of a witches’ coven headquartered in their apartment building, the young husband arranges to have his wife impregnated by Satan in exchange for success in a Broadway play. To Rosemary, the pregnancy seems like a normal and happy one—that is, until she grows increasingly suspicious of her neighbors’ evil influence. Polanski establishes this seemingly benevolent situation and then introduces each fiendish little detail with such unsettling subtlety that the film escalates to a palpable level of dread and paranoia. By the time Rosemary discovers that her infant son “has his father’s eyes” … well, let’s just say the urge to scream along with her is unbearably intense! One of the few modern horror films that can claim to be genuinely terrifying, Rosemary’s Baby is an unforgettable movie experience, guaranteed to send chills up your spine. –Jeff Shannon
The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow… read more
I had forgotten how genuinely unsettling the film is. When the film begins to unravel chills ran down my spine. Despite knowing the film I was still afraid. So beautiful.
More gems from around the world in this quarterly Tumblr round-up.
A Tarkovsky auction, trailers for the new Soderbergh & Nicholas Rey’s differently, Molussia, & Claire Denis’ The Night Watchman in full.
A look at the process that led to the poster for the new Zvyagintsev and its designer’s selection of his favorite movie posters of all-time.
Stephen Frankfurt was something of a real-life Don Draper: a hot shot ’Sixties Madison Avenue ad executive who was profiled by the BBC in 1965
I re-watched “ROSEMARY’S BABY” while doing research for a short horror film I co directed.
I had forgotten how genuinely unsettling the film is. The final moments when things begin to unravel… read review
Roman Polanski’s 1968 film remains a classic even for those of us who think the horror genre plagued by a built-in, nagging silliness. After moving into a new apartment, an alarmingly fragile and doll… read review
One of the best horror films ever made! Rosemary’s Baby is also a very strange movie, insofar as it is thought of as a horror film, because it does not really highlight the conventions of a horror… read review