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May 24, 2010

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's baby is stylishly creepy, quite unlike low budget teen horror flicks or shaggy zombie movies. No wonder it is a cult classic and a quintessential late-sixties film.

After never having seen a Mia Farrow movie other than those with Woody Allen, it was quite a revelation to see a younger Farrow, chic and vulnerable as a newly married twenty something in New York. I almost saw two Mia Farrow movies back to back - this and her as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, very different characters inhabiting different eras - thus be able to witness her acting eloquence.

Roman Polanski  who wanted his first movie to be a ski film was cajoled by Paramount to do this first and Rosemary's Baby did turn out to be worth it. The ski film by the way was Downhill Racer. There is a lot of interesting trivia associated with Rosemary's Baby, some of them scary if you could really believe in the connections that writers make like this one from IMDb,
"Directed by Roman Polanski, whose pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers, who titled their death spree "Helter Skelter" after the 1968 song by The Beatles, one of whose members, John Lennon, would one day live (and in 1980 be murdered) in the Manhattan apartment building called The Dakota - where Rosemary's Baby had been filmed."
Adapted from a novel by Ira Levin it is supposedly a very faithful translation of the novel in to visual media, a result also stemmed from the fact that as his first Hollywood film Polanski was unaware of the fact that he could improvise the novel.