Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Makes me want to go out right now and have a baby with some lucky honey.

Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), the young wife of a struggling actor (John Cassavetes), is thrilled to find out she’s pregnant. But the larger her belly grows, the more certain she becomes that her unborn child is in serious danger. Perhaps there’s something sinister behind the odd enthusiasm her eccentric neighbors (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon) have for her welfare. Or perhaps it’s all in her mind.

The best thing about Roman Polanski (other than his ways of picking up girls), is that he is so good at creating tension within any film. I have already seen films like The Pianist and The Ghost Writer, and both are kind of different, but both build up suspense to keep us totally on the edge of our seat. This film is no different.

Polanski takes a normal story, with little things that seem odd at first but never go anywhere and uses them as possible clues as to what may happen, and what may not happen as well. There’s this eerie feeling that something just isn’t right, and not only do you feel scared for this chick Rosemary, but as well as yourself, because you honestly have no idea how this is all going to turn out. Also, the score that Polanski uses just get’s right underneath your skin, and still gives me the goosebumps thinking about it. It’s psychological horror film, that’s disguised as a horror film, and it works so well for both.

I think the only problem with this film is that it is from 1968 so you have to appreciate it for what it is, but there are still some parts that kind of had me chuckling by how cheesy it really is. Some lines seem dated and don’t really quite work now, as they did back in 1968, but I think it’s the fact that this is 1968 and not everything is going to be so up-to-date. Also, I did feel some scenes were a little too bland that weren’t needed at all, but in the end it kind of all worked out.

Mia Farrow is perfect in this role as Rosemary Woodhouse. Rosemary starts off as this big-loving housewife who wants a baby, and when she finally gets it, that’s when she starts to get crazy. Farrow does an amazing job because her character goes from normal, to total paranoia and it all seems believable. We stand behind her character, and we are with her, as we don’t always know what’s quite going on either. I just wish I saw her in more roles today. That damn Woody Allen! John Cassavetes is also good here as Guy, the husband that is just so likable and cool, but yet at the same time we don’t know if we can quite trust him. Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon are perfect in these roles as the scariest damn neighbors ever. I’m telling you if I ever moved into a place and I saw these two right next door, I would not think twice about getting the hell out of there!

Consensus: Somehow it’s a little bit dated, but Rosemary’s Baby is still a mind-tingling, creepy thriller, that may move at a slow pace, but keeps you fascinated by Polanski’s direction, and Farrow’s daring performance.



  1. I saw this last year and the ending was really surprising. The creepy atmosphere really gets under your skin as you really feel for Mia Farrow’s character.

  2. what, you’re blaming woody allen for farrow’s relative absence from film? how did that work? i don’t remember hearing that before. she’s kept working ever since they broke up. but not in roles up to the 13 movies he cast her in. of course, she’s 66 now, with 15 kids, so i doubt that time is hanging heavy on her hands.

    the thing about rosemary’s baby (in addition to causing Farrow’s divorce from Frank Sinatra) is, how many times does the devil baby have to be born on earth? every time we turn around, like in the omen, etc., he’s gettng born again. wouldn’t once be enough?

  3. I thought Rosemary’s Baby was excellent. Not really what I expected however. The tension is built well, and there are a series of engaging twists. Polanski’s work here is amongst his best, and Farrow is pretty amazing, as you mention. Nice review!

  4. The only Polanski films I’ve seen are this and THE GHOST WRITER (embarrassing, I know), but I think you make a great point about him being able to great tension in “normal” stories. Even before things take a turn for the demonic, the mood in ROSEMARY’S BABY is still incredibly unsettling. A great movie, with great performances across the board.

  5. barely anything happens, yet its still one of the scariest things ive ever seen. a real demonstration of how atmosphere and a slow build-up can creep you out

  6. Everyone touted this as a “horror classic” that I had to see, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I started watching, I was impressed not with the gore — there’s not any — but the tense, creepy atmosphere and Ruth Gordon’s performance, which could give anyone nightmares.

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