#239 Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

rosemarys-baby-poster

 

136 mins

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Ira Levin (Novel), Roman Polanski (Screenplay)

Cast: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Storyline: “A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.” IMDB

Disposition

American Girl:

All I know about this movie is that it is older (well by my standards), and I think it is a quintessential “scary” movie.  I seriously don’t even know if the movie will be in black and white, and looking at the DVD jacket cover doesn’t give much away.  I have unfounded concerns that it may be boring, and I am not especially looking forward to it.  Even writing this, I realize I sound like a spoiled teenager that only looks forward to big budget movies full of special effects, but hey, this is why Brit Boy and I are embarking on this adventure, to expand our horizons….

Brit Boy:

I have heard of this movie and have some idea about its plot but I have no preconceptions as to what to expect. I’m not sure whether it will psychologically mess with me or be an all out fright fest. Its going to be interesting to see which. I’m actually looking forward to watching this.

Set the Scene

Brit Boy and I snuggle up on the sofa with a bottle of red wine and start the movie looking forward to our mini-date night in our living room.  Well, ten minutes into the movie we decide we probably shouldn’t watch the movie right before bed so that we both don’t end up with nightmares that evening!  Fast forward to the next day, and we steal some time when the kids are at school to watch the remaining two hours of the film in daylight….

Final Cut

I had such low expectations yet I was instantly drawn into this film.  I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, Rosemary.  While I never lived in the 1960’s I felt myself wanting to be her.  I loved her clothes, her style, her hair, her demeanor, even the way she decorated her house.  I had heard of Mia Farrow before seeing this movie, but not as an “actress” but more from the infamous scandal with her then husband Woody Allen.  Rosemary drew me in so much with her simple elegance that I didn’t want to watch the movie at night!  I needed the light of day to cope with the imminent dangers I was sure Rosemary would face throughout the film.  I do wonder if Mia Farrow will be in any future movies on our list, as I did fall in love with her simplistic acting.

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I too was only familiar with Mia Farrow due to her relationship with Woody Allen, we must have been watching the same news shows :). I guess it was quite a scandal too though, obviously not their relationship but Allen’s “relationship” with Mia’s adopted daughter. Some interesting background information American Girl, Mia Farrow was also married to Frank Sinatra, and he asked her to stop acting when they were married. She agreed but got bored with following him around the world on his movie shoots so decided to go back into acting, the film she chose was Rosemary’s Baby. Also interesting to note that she was served her divorce papers whilst working on set. As for seeing more of her on our list, I am sure we will do, as she starred in 12 of the 13 Woody Allen films he made whilst she was in a relationship with him. I agree with you about her style of acting, I loved the innocent way she played Rosemary, it really was fantastic.

I was shocked at the level of nudity in the film!  I think this was Mia Farrow’s first major role, and I was surprised how many times I saw her breasts!  (For some of you out there, this may be all you need to watch the film… ☺)  I feel it would have been lot of nudity even by today’s standards, it must have been unheard of for the 1960’s.  It didn’t take away from the story line, granted I don’t think it added to the story line either.

I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of nudity too…… teehee.  Although I agree it was not necessary to see the ‘flesh’ I do think it was depicting a vital part of the film. Although I don’t think it was in any way gratuitous like so many scenes are these days. Its now up to you guys and gals to watch the film and give us your thoughts….. 

The film had a constant ability to remain creepy, and I cannot put my finger on why exactly.  Perhaps because the young married couple was so easy to relate to.  In fact all of the characters were.  Even the mysterious older neighbors and their overbearing personalities were very believable characters.  I cannot remember any spooky music, or even any special effects with lighting/sound that added to a sense of tension.  It genuinely felt as though I was simply a fly on the wall, watching the lives of Rosemary and her young husband unfold.  Even the plot seemed to slowly unfold, but somehow even though it is a longer movie, I never lost interest.  Roman Polanski did an amazing job with this “less is more” approach.  I can see why he received such acclaim.  I am curious if any additional Polanski movies have made our list and if so, if they will follow this same style.

Throughout the film I was constantly tense with the feeling of someone sitting on my chest. Polanski did a great job of steadily drip feeding you information as to where the film was going, this made it all the more gripping. Polanski’s style of filming did indeed feel fly on the wall like, one of the scenes with Rosemary walking into Manhattan traffic was done with real traffic and with a hand held camera used by Polanski.

One thing that caught me off guard while watching this movie is how far feminism has come!  Rosemary never seemed to do anything except decorating her house, lounging around, or chatting to friends (about her husband’s successes).   Brit Boy and I actually both laughed when during a certain scene her husband came home and she bounded towards him welcoming him home, delivering to him a pint of beer along with a sandwich.  Um, don’t get any ideas Brit Boy, this won’t be happening in our house anytime soon….  Through the entire movie you never have any idea if Rosemary ever worked, if she is educated, if she has any of her own aspirations (other than having a baby).  Granted, I still found her very likeable, even if she never would survive under today’s standards of “women”.

I think Rosemary is the perfect woman, maybe you should aspire to be more like her American Girl, I am feeling a little thirsty and a tad peckish…… Seriously though it was incredibly sexist, bordering on the uncomfortable, I am so glad that culture has moved on so much since then.

I definitely think this movie deserves a spot on the list, and I imagine it will always hold a spot on the top 250.  It completely surprised me, and by the end I was left feeling tense (due to the psychological terror), yet also I felt thoroughly entertained.  It will probably rank up there now with my favorite terror movies of all time!  This is a movie I probably would have never watched on my own, yet this blog has forced me to lay down my stereotypes and open myself up to a wide range of filmography.  I highly recommend this movie to anyone that has a love for “scary” movies.

I loved this film, time flew by watching it and I never felt the need to pick up my mobile phone or clock watch. As American Girl has stated above it was throughly entertaining with a great deal of memorable scenes. This certainly deserves a place on the list and I hope its the first of many really golden nuggets that we watch together. I much prefer this style of horror film to the modern day equivalents which go out of their way to shock you with blood and gore. Less is definitely more in this case… Once again IMDB has not let us down.

Footnote – Six Degrees of Sir Richard Attenborough

Mia Farrow appeared in the 1964 film Guns at Batasi opposite Sir Richard Attenborough.

Guns-at-Batasi

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One Response to #239 Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

  1. Pingback: #238 The Truman Show (1998) | IMDB Top 250 Films

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