I often joke with people that this film is so incredible, because being a male there is no way I could ever be pregnant, and yet this film still terrifies me. In all seriousness I think that this is because the film is not only about the fears of pregnancy, but about trust. I think all of us have issues with trust now and again, and this film milks those issues to the point where we feel we can trust no one. Everyone is against Rosemary, even her husband. She’s so trusting of them all, and then little by little we see her look sick and then sicker and then even sicker. Rosemary is just breaking down in front of our eyes. And for awhile we know why, and she continues to be trusting. What is so terrifying about her paranoia towards the end is that its both insane and deserved. She should be paranoid, even though we all like to think paranoia is a less desirable way to be.
To me the film is about trust and betrayal, but I’m interested in what you all think, especially the women. Does the film have different effects on women? Did anyone watch it while pregnant?
I’m looking at all these new threads and thinking there’s still a million movies that I need to see. :(
I saw Rosemary’s Baby for the first time last week and it terrified the hell out of me too. The film was so welcoming at the start and then gradually became more menacing and traumatic. I agree that one of the horrors of the film was Rosemary’s inability to trust anyone but I see her being more cautious than trusting throughout the film. Her husband did betray her in the most sickening way but she did gradually become suspicious of him too. I think for me the film was more about the terrors of domesticity. At the beginning of the film Rosemary was so desperate to settle down, refurnish her apartment and have children but her idealistic view was just inverted into this horrifying domestic captivity. Her growing helplessness and confinement throughout the film was what scared me the most. Being relentlessly controlled and even forbidden to read and having to accept that patriarchal lifestyle until the point of complete disempowerment. Of course her pregnancy really frightened me also. The scene where she started eating raw meat made me feel physically ill. Actually the whole film probably put me off pregnancy and marriage.
Great run-down Drew.
Definitely one of the Polanski’s i may take for granted, need to revisit sometime soon.
The film is about why you shouldn’t live in the Dakota. If you don’t believe me, just ask John Lennon.
I like 3 things about this film.
1. It could end either way. That is usually a bad thing for a thriller but as Drew stated it is more about the fears and anxieties every young wife has when starting a new life with a man she thinks she knows and loves so if it had ended with her just being nuts that would have worked too.
2. John Cassavetes. One of his best performances. His face gives away nothing and everything at the same time ( Ruth Gordan and Sydney Blackmer also stand out but its John’s show for me)
3. The best dream sequence in film. I mean the one with the nuns. Better than Lynch or any other dreammeisters because it it as convoluted as my dreams are with just a hint of sense and cohesion which is naturally lost on Mia,
Actually the whole film probably put me off pregnancy and marriage.
Considering turning your back on your destiny as a woman…what? You need a fiendish neighbor and a little tannis root to straighten you out, girl.
This film and The Shining seem to owe a large debt to Hitchcock…and I like both. Also, Silence of The Lambs seems to carry on the Hitchcock ethos in part. Liked that one too.
It’s fantastic, in the horror film pantheon. Pop filmmaking at its best.
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you”
What makes it so compelling is that it’s really about female fears and vulnerabilities, in terms of both physicality (the mysteries of pregnancy) and psychology (the oppression of patriarchy). And all of those fears are dismissed as the usual “woman’s hysteria,” which furthers the marginalization and deepens the metaphor.
A few days before April Fool’s Day, Ebert reported (on Twitter) that Michael Bay was remaking this film. Anyone else hear this rumor or was Ebert pulling our chains?
There have been rumours about Bay remaking Rosemary’s Baby since 2008. The original rumour was that he had his eyes on A Nightmare on Elm Street (which is coming out this year), The Birds (which according to IMDB is currently in development), and RB. Hopefully the latter two will fall through. The joke on Twitter this past week was that Polanski was doing a remake of Bad Boys II :)
“I’m looking at all these new threads and thinking there’s still a million movies that I need to see”
Never fear, Rocky, you’d be surprised at the films I haven’t seen, despite seeing over 100 at the cinema each year, all the D.V.D.s I watch, etc. Nobody has seen everything.
And some of the so-called “classics” aren’t worth seeing.
Last I read, Bill Collins hasn’t even seen “Australia”!
Why did so many people hate Rosemary’s hairstyle (pixie cut)? I think it looked cute!
It’s definitely about trust and betrayal. But because Polanski makes what women face during pregnancy so palpable its managed to scare men too. Quite remarkable in this respect, and Mia Farrow is deserving a great deal of credit on thsi score. She’s as helpless as a Griffith Heroine, but in a seeting that mixes the alien with the commonplace. Exceptionally potent.
-This film and The Shining seem to owe a large debt to Hitchcock-
If there’s a film that’s a strong precusor of Rosemary’s Baby, it’s Mark Robson’s The Seventh Victim