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Rosemary's Baby (film)

rosemary's baby (film), rosemary's baby film wiki
Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin The cast features Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian and, in his feature film debut, Charles Grodin The film chronicles the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult wants to take her baby for use in their rituals

Rosemary's Baby earned almost universal acclaim from film critics and won numerous nominations and awards In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"2


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
    • 31 Script
    • 32 Casting
    • 33 Filming
  • 4 Soundtrack
  • 5 Reception
  • 6 Legacy
  • 7 Sequel and remake
  • 8 Accolades
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


In 1965 Rosemary Woodhouse Mia Farrow, a bright but somewhat naive young housewife, and Guy John Cassavetes, her husband, a struggling actor, move into the Bramford, an opulent but antiquated New York City apartment building The couple learns from the building's manager, Mr Nicklas Elisha Cook, Jr, that their new residence was previously inhabited by Mrs Gardenia, an elderly woman who had seemingly gone senile Mr Nicklaus also discovers a dresser concealing a simple closet which contains nothing except a vacuum cleaner and a stack of folded towels Their friend Hutch Maurice Evans tries to dissuade them from taking the apartment, informing them of some of the Bramford's unsettling history of cannibalism and murder Undeterred, Rosemary and Guy move into the building

Rosemary meets a young woman, Terry Gionoffrio Angela Dorian, a recovering drug addict whom an elderly, eccentric couple in the building, the Castevets, took in from the street As Rosemary admires a pendant necklace the Castevets gave to Terry, she notices its strange smell Returning home one night, Guy and Rosemary find that Terry has thrown herself to her death from the window of the Castevets' seventh-floor apartment

Rosemary and Guy are quickly befriended by the Castevets, Minnie Ruth Gordon and Roman Sidney Blackmer, whom they'd first met on the street the night of Terry's suicide Minnie invites the Woodhouses to dinner and they accept Guy forms a bond with the Castevets Minnie gives Terry's pendant to Rosemary, telling her it is a good luck charm and the odd smell is from a plant called "tannis root" Later, Guy lands a role in a play when the actor who was originally cast suddenly and inexplicably goes blind Guy suggests that he and Rosemary have a baby

On the night they plan to conceive, Minnie brings them individual cups of chocolate mousse Rosemary finds hers has a chalky undertaste and surreptitiously throws it away after a few mouthfuls Rosemary then passes out and experiences a strange dream in which she is raped by a demonic presence in front of Guy, the Castevets, and other Bramford tenants When she wakes, she finds scratches on her body Guy tells her that he had sex with her while she was unconscious because he did not want to pass up the opportunity for her to conceive

Rosemary learns that she is pregnant and is due on June 28, 1966 that is, 6/66 She plans to receive obstetric care from Dr Hill Charles Grodin, who is recommended to her by her friend Elise Emmaline Henry However, the Castevets insist she see their good friend, Dr Abraham Sapirstein Ralph Bellamy, who says that Minnie will make Rosemary a daily drink which is more healthful than the usual vitamin pills

For the first three months of her pregnancy, Rosemary suffers severe abdominal pains, loses weight, becomes unusually pale, and craves raw meat and chicken liver Dr Sapirstein insists the pain will subside soon, and assures her she has nothing to worry about When Hutch sees Rosemary's gaunt appearance and hears that she is being fed the mysterious tannis root, he is disturbed enough to do some research Before he can tell Rosemary his findings, he mysteriously falls into a coma Rosemary holds a party for some friends, some of whom advise her to have herself checked by Dr Hill, because the pain she is feeling could be a warning that something is wrong Rosemary tells Guy her plan to see Dr Hill, which angers Guy However, the abdominal pain suddenly disappears Rosemary's health and appearance also improve quickly, and she and Guy are happy once again

Three months later, Hutch dies He leaves Rosemary a book about witchcraft and it is delivered to her at his funeral along with the cryptic message: "The name is an anagram" Rosemary deduces that Roman Castevet is really Steven Marcato, the son of a former resident of the Bramford who was accused of being a Satanist Rosemary suspects her neighbors and Dr Sapirstein are part of a witch coven with sinister designs for her baby, and that Guy is cooperating with them in exchange for help in advancing his acting career

Rosemary becomes increasingly disturbed and shares her fears and suspicions with Dr Hill, who, assuming she is delusional, calls Dr Sapirstein and Guy They tell her that if she cooperates, neither she nor the baby will be harmed The two men bring Rosemary home, where she briefly escapes them Despite Rosemary locking them out, they enter the bedroom Rosemary goes into labor and is sedated by Dr Sapirstein When she wakes, she is told the baby died

In the hall closet, Rosemary discovers a secret door leading into the Castevets' apartment and hears a baby's cries, revealing that her child is alive She then finds a congregation made up of the building's tenants, as well as Dr Sapirstein, gathered around her newborn son When Rosemary pulls back the curtains of the crib, she is horrified and asks what they've done to its eyes It is remarked upon that the baby, a boy, has "his father's eyes," to which Rosemary protests that the baby's eyes are nothing like those of Guy It is then explained to Rosemary that Guy is actually not the child's real father; her newborn child, named Adrian, is actually the son of the Devil himself Guy attempts to calm a horrified Rosemary by explaining to her that they will be generously rewarded with possible wealth and fame in exchange for having produced Satan's offspring, and that they can conceive a second child that will truly be theirs Rosemary takes no solace in Guy's words, instead spitting in his face Minnie tells Rosemary that she should be honored to be the "lucky" woman chosen to bear a child for Satan Roman urges her to become a mother to her son, and assures her that she does not have to join the coven if she does not want to Initially reluctant, Rosemary ultimately goes to the cradle and gently rocks it, with a small smile on her face


  • Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse
  • John Cassavetes as Guy Woodhouse
  • Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevet
  • Sidney Blackmer as Roman Castevet
  • Maurice Evans as Hutch
  • Ralph Bellamy as Dr Abraham Sapirstein
  • Charles Grodin as Dr Hill
  • Patsy Kelly as Laura-Louise
  • Angela Dorian as Terry Gionoffrio
  • Elisha Cook as Mr Nicklas
  • Emmaline Henry as Elise Dunstan
  • Hanna Landy as Grace Cardiff
  • Philip Leeds as Dr Shand
  • Hope Summers as Mrs Gilmore
  • D'Urville Martin as Diego
  • Marianne Gordon as Rosemary's Girlfriend
  • Wendy Wagner as Rosemary's Girlfriend
  • Robert Osterloh as Mr Fountain
  • Walter Baldwin as Mr Wees
  • Tony Curtis as Donald Baumgart voice
  • Clay Tanner as the Devil



In Rosemary's Baby: A Retrospective, a featurette on the DVD release of the film, screenwriter/director Roman Polanski, Paramount Pictures executive Robert Evans, and production designer Richard Sylbert reminisce at length about the production Evans recalled William Castle brought him the galley proofs of the book and asked him to purchase the film rights even before Random House released the publication The studio head recognized the commercial potential of the project and agreed with the stipulation that Castle, who had a reputation for low-budget horror films, could produce but not direct the film adaptation He makes a cameo appearance as the man at the phone booth waiting for Mia Farrow to finish her call

Evans admired Polanski's European films and hoped he could convince him to make his American debut with Rosemary's Baby He knew the director was a ski buff who was anxious to make a film with the sport as its basis, so he sent him the script for Downhill Racer along with the galleys for Rosemary Polanski read the latter book non-stop through the night and called Evans the following morning to tell him he thought Rosemary was the more interesting project, and would like the opportunity to write as well as direct it

The script was modeled very closely on the original novel and incorporated large sections of the novel's dialogue and details, so much so that nearly every line of dialogue was taken from the novel's text Author Ira Levin claimed that during a scene in which Guy mentions wanting to buy a particular shirt advertised in The New Yorker, Polanski was unable to find the specific issue with the shirt advertised and phoned Levin for help Levin, who had assumed while writing that any given issue of The New Yorker would contain an ad for men's shirts, admitted that he had made it up3


Polanski envisioned Rosemary as a robust, full-figured, girl-next-door type, and he wanted Tuesday Weld or his own then-fiancée Sharon Tate for the role Since the book had not reached bestseller status yet, Evans was unsure the title alone would guarantee an audience for the film, and he felt a bigger name was needed for the lead Mia Farrow – with only a supporting role in Guns at Batasi 1964 and the then-unreleased A Dandy in Aspic 1968 as her only feature film credits – had an unproven box office track record, but her role as Allison MacKenzie in the popular television series Peyton Place and her unexpected marriage to Frank Sinatra had made her a household name

Despite her waif-like appearance which would ultimately prove beneficial, as Rosemary became more frail as her pregnancy progressed, Polanski agreed to cast her Her acceptance incensed Sinatra, who had demanded she forgo her career when they wed, and he served her divorce papers via a corporate lawyer in front of the cast and crew midway through filming In an effort to salvage her relationship, Farrow asked Evans to release her from her contract, but he persuaded her to remain with the project after showing her an hour-long rough cut and assuring her she would receive an Academy Award nomination for her performance Farrow was not nominated for the award, but stayed with the film, which pleased Evans, Polanski and the entire cast

Robert Redford was the first choice for the role of Guy Woodhouse, but he turned down the offer Jack Nicholson was considered briefly before Polanski suggested John Cassavetes

Sylbert was a good friend of Garson Kanin, who was married to Ruth Gordon, and he suggested her for the role of Minnie Castevet He also suggested that the Dakota, an Upper West Side apartment building known for its show business tenants, be used for the Bramford Its hallways were not as worn and dark as Polanski wanted, but when the building's owners would not allow interior filming, it became a moot point and was used for exterior shots only

Polanski wanted to cast Hollywood old-timers as the coven members but did not know any by name He drew sketches of how he envisioned each character, and they were used to fill the roles In every instance, the actor cast strongly resembled Polanski's drawing They included Ralph Bellamy, Patsy Kelly, Elisha Cook, Jr, Phil Leeds and Hope Summers

When Rosemary calls Donald Baumgart, the actor who goes blind and is replaced by Guy, the voice heard is that of actor Tony Curtis Farrow, who had not been told who would be reading Baumgart's lines, recognized the voice but could not place it The slight confusion she displays throughout the call was exactly what Polanski hoped to capture by not revealing Curtis' identity in advance


When Farrow was reluctant to film a scene that depicted a dazed and preoccupied Rosemary wandering into the middle of a Manhattan street into oncoming traffic, Polanski pointed to her pregnancy padding and reassured her, "no one's going to hit a pregnant woman" The scene was successfully shot with Farrow walking into real traffic and Polanski following, operating the hand-held camera since he was the only one willing to do it4

One scene that was shot but later deleted involved Farrow's character attending an Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks and encountering Joan Crawford and Van Johnson, who were playing themselves5


The lullaby played over the intro is the song "Sleep Safe and Warm" and was composed by Krzysztof Komeda and sung by Mia Farrowcitation needed


From contemporary reviews, Renata Adler wrote in The New York Times that "The movie—although it is pleasant—doesn't seem to work on any of its dark or powerful terms I think this is because it is almost too extremely plausible The quality of the young people's lives seems the quality of lives that one knows, even to the point of finding old people next door to avoid and lean on One gets very annoyed that they don't catch on sooner"6 Variety stated, "Several exhilarating milestones are achieved in Rosemary's Baby, an excellent film version of Ira Levin's diabolical chiller novel Writer-director Roman Polanski has triumphed in his first US-made pic The film holds attention without explicit violence or gore Farrow's performance is outstanding"7 The Monthly Film Bulletin stated that "After the miscalculations of Cul de Sac and Dance of the Vampires" Polanski had "returned to the rich vein of Repulsion"8 The review noted that "Polanski shows an increasing ability to evoke menace and sheer terror in familiar routines cooking and telephoning, particularly" and Polanski has shown "his transformation of a cleverly calculated thriller into a serious work of art"89

Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Today, the film is widely regarded as a classic; the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 99% rating 67 out of 68 reviews, with the site's consensus stating "A frightening tale of satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon"10

In 2014, Rosemary's Baby was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry2

Rosemary’s Baby was one of Stanley Kubrick's favorite films, according to his brother-in-law and assistant Jan Harlan11


Following the film's premiere, a string of other films focusing on Satan worshippers and black magic appeared, including The Brotherhood of Satan, Mark of the Devil, Black Noon, and The Blood on Satan's Claw

The scene in which Rosemary is raped by Satan was ranked #23 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Momentscitation needed

Thirty years after he wrote Rosemary's Baby, Ira Levin wrote Son of Rosemary, a sequel which he dedicated to the film's star, Mia Farrow Reaction to the book was mixed, but it made the best seller lists nationwidecitation needed

Sequel and remakeedit

In the 1976 television film Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby, Patty Duke starred as Rosemary Woodhouse and Ruth Gordon reprised her role of Minnie Castevet The film introduced an adult Andrew/Adrian attempting to earn his place as the Antichrist It was disliked as a sequel by critics and viewers, and its reputation deteriorated over the years

A remake of Rosemary's Baby was briefly considered in 2008 The intended producers were Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller12 The remake fell through later that same year13

In January 2014, NBC made a four-hour Rosemary's Baby miniseries with Zoe Saldana as Rosemary The miniseries was filmed in Paris under the direction of Agnieszka Holland14


Academy Awards
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Ruth Gordon, winner
  • Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay nominee
Golden Globe Awards
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Gordon, winner
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Farrow, nominee
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay nominee
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score nominee
Other awards
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Mia Farrow, nominee
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures nominee
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama nominee
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress Mia Farrow, winner
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Director winner
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay nominee
  • French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Award for Best Foreign Film winner
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Sidney Blackmer, winner
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress Gordon, winner

American Film Institute Lists

  • AFI's 100 Years100 Thrills - #9

See alsoedit

  • List of American films of 1968
  • Satanic film
  • Anton Szandor Lavey


  1. ^ "Rosemary's Baby, Box Office Information" The Numbers Retrieved January 29, 2012 
  2. ^ a b "New Films Added to National Registry" news release Library of Congress Retrieved 1 July 2015 
  3. ^ King, Stephen 1985 Danse Macabre, p 296 Berkley Books, New York ISBN 0-425-08842-1
  4. ^ "Rosemary's Baby", Archives movie presentation, TCM 
  5. ^ "Joan Crawford Was Cut From Rosemary's Baby!", Daily musto, Village Voice, January 9, 2012 
  6. ^ "Review", The New York Times 
  7. ^ "Rosemary’s Baby" Variety Retrieved 1 July 2015 
  8. ^ a b Christie, Ian Leslie 1969 "Rosemary's Baby" Monthly Film Bulletin Vol 36 no 420 London: British Film Institute p 95 ISSN 0027-0407 
  9. ^ Christie, Ian Leslie 1969 "Rosemary's Baby" Monthly Film Bulletin Vol 36 no 420 London: British Film Institute p 96 ISSN 0027-0407 
  10. ^ "Rosemary's Baby 1968" Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved 2008-05-29 
  11. ^ "Stanley Kubrick, cinephile" BFI 
  12. ^ "Rosemary's Baby Remake Confirmed" Cinema blend Retrieved May 21, 2010 
  13. ^ Rosemary's Baby Remake Scrapped, IMDb, 22 December 2008 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie 8 January 2014 "Zoe Saldana To Topline NBC Miniseries ‘Rosemary’s Baby’" Deadline 

External linksedit

  • Rosemary's Baby on Internet Movie Database
  • Rosemary's Baby at the TCM Movie Database
  • Rosemary's Baby at AllMovie
  • Rosemary's Baby at Rotten Tomatoes
  • Dialogue Transcript, Script-o-rama 
  • "William Castle's involvement in the film", Faber & Faber, Film in focus 
  • The many faces of Rosemary’s baby, PL: Culture  Collection of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby posters from around the world
  • Film in the United States portal
  • Horror portal
  • 1960s portal

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