a/perture Cinema, Angela Dorian, Charles Grodin, IMDb, John Cassavetes, Maurice Evans, Mia Farrow, Netflix, Planet of the Apes, Ralph Bellamy, Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby, Rotten Tomatoes, Ruth Gordon, Sharon Tate, Sidney Blackmer, The Less Desirables, UNCSA, Victoria Vetri
The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, brought to you by a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Rosemary’s Baby (1968), starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, the incomparable Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer.
Per IMDb: “A young couple move into an 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 to control her life.”
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (played by Farrow and Cassavetes) move into an apartment in a fancy-shmancy yet old and gothic building in Manhattan as Guy tries to jump start his acting career. Their landlord, known as “Hutch” (played by Maurice Evans, who was Dr. Zaius in the Planet of the Apes films in the 60s) attempts to talk them them out of it because the building has an unsavory history. They get close to their neighbors, an elderly couple named Roman and Minnie Castevet. Guy begins to spend a great deal of time with them, and I mean a lot. They get on Rosemary’s nerves.
Then, strange things begin to happen. Things like: a young woman Rosemary meets in the laundry inexplicably commits suicide, Rosemary’s strange dreams that seem remarkably real and she starts hearing strange noises and voices in the walls. Also, Guy becomes quite distant. However, his acting career takes off. One night after a realistic dream about getting raped by a monster, Rosemary becomes pregnant. She starts suspecting that her neighbors and her husband plan to do her baby harm. She goes through a lot of sickness and their old friend Hutch falls ill and dies right after visiting Rosemary.
Rosemary gets information from Hutch’s assistant, after he dies, that bewilders her. She goes into labor and it’s quite horrible. She is sedated and when she comes to, she’s told the baby has died. But, has it…? To find out what happened, you’ll have to watch the film.
This film has one of the most famous “reveals” in cinematic history. Sure, now it’s somewhat predictable but in 1968, it was shocking. A few notables here: Roman Castevet was played by Salisbury, NC native, and one of those responsible for starting up the UNC School of the Arts. Ruth Gordon plays Minnie Castevet and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film. This was Charles Grodin’s first major film role, he played Dr. Hill. Ralph Bellamy plays Dr. Sapirstein although I didn’t catch that at first. Rosemary tells neighbor (who eventually becomes the woman that commits suicide in the film), Terry, that she looks like actress Victoria Vetri to which she replies that she gets that all the time. Terry is played by Angela Dorian, whose real name is Victoria Vetri and she’s in jail for the murder of her husband.
The imagery, especially later in the film, is vivid. Makeup for Mia Farrow was fantastic, especially during the pregnancy time frame. She looked great, especially with that pixie cut hairdo. This was Roman Polanski’s first American-made picture and was made while engaged to Sharon Tate.
Rotten Tomatoes rates the film at 99% Fresh with an Audience Score of 87%. That’s the highest I’ve ever seen the Tomatometer. IMDb has it at 8.0 stars out of 10. Both are fantastic ratings. I concur with nearly all the ratings and reviews there, too. I watched the film on Netflix and I am rating it at 5 Stars. I highly recommend it if you like the classic horror films, supernatural thrillers and dark films in general. Have you seen it? Do you agree with what I’ve said about it? Let me know and tell me something you’d like to see/hear me review as I have room to add in the schedule in this new year.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“This is no dream! This is really happening!” – Rosemary Woodhouse