Rosemary’s Baby

image Directed by: Roman Polanski

Release Date: 1968

Each year at a different free summer movie event in NYC, this movie provides the thrills every time. I had the opportunity to revisit Roman Polanski's first English picture last summer at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.

A brief summary for those who haven't seen the movie: Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary, the ingenue who marries Guy Woodhouse (well-known director John Cassavetes). When she becomes pregnant, Rosemary is surrounded by a particular group people that are very interested in her offspring. By the film's end, Rosemary learns too late what she has given birth to.

Where the slow moving tension didn't work for me in Repulsion (see my review here), the anxiety worked exponentially well in this picture. The audience is as confused as Rosemary but completely invested in her and her child's livelihood throughout; I would yell at the screen (as well as audience members) when she would be rebuffed to seek out a second opinion from a completely different doctor. Mia Farrow was the perfect ingenue which ultimately made her a star in Hollywood. And then the thirteen pictures with Woody Allen and so on and so forth.

If you haven't seen this, give it a chance. It's Roman Polanski at his finest (The Pianist comes much later which is excellent) due to the particular attention to detail, pacing, and tone of the picture. This movie was released in a time period that was riddled with monster pictures, movies with Vincent Price, and B movies; Polanski ushered in the gothic horror that Hollywood is trying to bring back with pictures like Insidious and House of the Devil. Soon after this film premiered, the seventies brought us such gems as The Omen and The Exorcist. The slasher film was born in this decade as well but that's another post.

Polanski's execution and direct adaption from the novel of the same name is effective and holds up so many years later. Albeit Polanski's personal issues aside, give this picture a chance.

Below, the original trailer for your viewing pleasure.

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