Polanski uses such subtle means to build up the sense of preternatural disquiet that initially you suspect Rosemarys prenatal paranoia to be a figment of her imagination. But the guilty parties and their demonic plan to make Rosemary the receptacle of their masters child are eventually revealed and, as Rosemary looses her grip on reality, she realises that no one can be trusted. The performances are excellent throughout; Farrow as the young wife is so fragile that you wonder how she made it unscathed to adulthood and John Cassavetes is horrifyingly duplicitous as her husband Guy. But the real star is Polanskis masterful direction. The mood is at the same time oppressive and hysterical with the mounting terror coming from the situation and gradually unravelling plot rather than any schlock horror moments.
On the DVD: the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack shows off Christopher Komedas eerie "lullaby" score to its haunting best. The film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and is relatively free of speckle and dust, some scenes filmed in low light are slightly grainier but this adds to the oppressive tension that Polanski is building up in the film. In terms of extras there is a 20-minute "making of" feature from 1968 and retrospective interviews with Polanski, production designer Richard Sylbert and producer Robert Evans. --Kristen Bowditch
"Making Of" Featurette
Languages: English, German
Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English, English for the hearing impaired, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Set in the famous Dakota building - later to become infamous, following the senseless assassination of John Lennon, on its' doorsteps some two decades later - this masterpiece of suspense will chill even the most hot blooded spine. Polanski coaxed brilliant performances from his stellar cast, also featuring Sidney Blackmer, and Ralph Bellamy as Rosemary's insidious gynacologist, and Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award for her star turn as the nosy parker next door.
Rosemary's Baby is not simply a classic tale of suspense and horror, but a fine example of how a feature film of the genre need not lose it's impact when viewed on the small screen. A 20th century classic! 5 stars. Kym Jones
It is beautifully shot in the unlucky, fated Dakota buildings, New York which in real life is used to terrible events - John Lennon was murdered outside in later years.
Mia Farrow plays the central character Rosemary. It is an excellent, controlled performance. No histrionics- she is just compellingly vulnerable. She later helps narrate the making of movie in the special featurette which is also made in the sixties-it is a great period peace as she extones the values of love and peace having just hung out in India with the Beatles. It is unintentionally hysterical!
Her boyfriend in the movie is chillingly cold, at one one point shrugging his shoulders when he admits to making love to her when she was asleep. In fact, all the cast is excellent- I particularly like the oversolicitous next door neighbour, an Oscar winning performance by Ruth Gordon.
My favourite scene has to be when Rosemary phones her doctor from the phone box. She is delirious at this time- but we still don't know if she is paranoid or there is a plot against her.
I like the attention to detail-ie the pictures on the wall in the apartment, the babies presents wrapped up in black ribbons, the abundance of crosses and herbs.
I don't know if people would enjoy it if they expect it to be scary. I think it is is very interesting in a dark way, quite chilling. It does not have alot of special effects unlike most 'horror' movies. I don't like films with a lot of special effects as I prefer actors to computors- maybe more films should be art, not science. This films makes you use your imagination, and you will probably have to watch it twice to pick up on some of the coincidences and stranges nuances that occur.
I really enjoyed the film and would recommend it.
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