Rosemary's Baby

Critics Consensus

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.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 69

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 73,563
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Movie Info

In Roman Polanski's first American film, adapted from Ira Levin's horror bestseller, a young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon) soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, Guy starts spending time with the Castevets. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Minnie starts showing up with homemade chocolate mousse for Rosemary. When Rosemary becomes pregnant after a mousse-provoked nightmare of being raped by a beast, the Castevets take a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castevets' circle is not what it seems. The diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth, and the baby is taken away from her. Polanski's camerawork and Richard Sylbert's production design transform the realistic setting (shot on-location in Manhattan's Dakota apartment building) into a sinister projection of Rosemary's fears, chillingly locating supernatural horror in the familiar by leaving the most grotesque frights to the viewer's imagination. This apocalyptic yet darkly comic paranoia about the hallowed institution of childbirth touched a nerve with late-'60s audiences feeling uneasy about traditional norms. Produced by B-horror maestro William Castle, Rosemary's Baby became a critically praised hit, winning Gordon an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Inspiring a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist (1973) to The Omen (1976), Rosemary's Baby helped usher in the genre's modern era by combining a supernatural story with Alfred Hitchcock's propensity for finding normality horrific. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Cast

Mia Farrow
as Rosemary Woodhouse
John Cassavetes
as Guy Woodhouse
Ruth Gordon
as Minnie Castevet
Maurice Evans
as Edward "Hutch" Hutchins
Sidney Blackmer
as Roman Castevet
Ralph Bellamy
as Dr. Sapirstein
Patsy Kelly
as Laura-Louise
Victoria Vetri
as Terry Fionoffrio
Emmaline Henry
as Elise Dunstan
Marianne Gordon
as Joan Jellico
Phil Leeds
as Dr. Shand
Hope Summers
as Mrs. Gilmore
Hanna Landy
as Grace Cardiff
Gordon Connell
as Guy's Agent
Joan T. Reilly
as Pregnant Woman
Patricia Ann Conway
as Mrs. John F. Kennedy
William Castle
as Man at Telephone Booth
Gail Bonney
as Babysitter
Charlotte Boerner
as Mrs. Fountain
Sebastian Brooks
as Argyron Stavropoulos
Ernest Kazuyoshi Harada
as Young Japanese Man
Natalie Masters
as Young Woman
Elmer Modlin
as Young Man
Patricia O'Neal
as Mrs. Wees
Robert Osterloh
as Mr. Fountain
Jean Innes
as Sister Agnes
Almira Sessions
as Mrs. Sabatini
Bruno Sidar
as Mr. Gilmore
Roy Barcroft
as Sun-Browned Man
Bill Baldwin
as Salesman
Marilyn Harvey
as Dr. Sapirstein's Receptionist
Paul Denton
as Skipper
Frank White
as Hugh Dunstan
Mary Louise Lawson
as Portia Haynes
Gale Peters
as Rain Morgan
Carol Brewster
as Claudia Comfort
Jean Inness
as Sister Agnes
Lynn Brinker
as Sister Veronica
Tony Curtis
as Donald Baumgart
Linda Brewerton
as Farrow's Double
Ernest Harada
as Young Japanese man
Mona Knox
as Mrs. Byron
Joyce Davis
as Dee Bertillon
Floyd Mutrux
as Man at Party
Josh Peine
as Man at Party
Al Szathmary
as Taxi Driver
John Halloran
as Mechanic
Elisha Cook Jr.
as Mr. Nicklas
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Critic Reviews for Rosemary's Baby

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Rosemary's Baby

  • Aug 30, 2017
    A slow-burn movie that will slowly poked the curiosity of its audience and knows how to keep it in touch while throwing a tricky mystery within the characters and between Rosemary's sanity and belief. A very disturbing tale of motherhood every women do not deserve to posses.
    John Ross D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2017
    Rosemary's Baby is the epitome of classic horror. Oh yes, horror thrillers do not come much classier than this. 1968 and yet impressively still feels fresh when watching it for the first time today. It's one of those classic films that I think every film buff or cinephile or average movie fan should watch and I'm sure it's a popular choice when studying the medium of film. The story revolves around a young woman called Rosemary who moves into a new apartment with her husband. She wishes to conceive a baby, but when her obsessive neighbours become involved things start to take a turn into the realm of surrealism. A prime example of this, would be her "dream". She dreamt that she was being raped by Satan and that her neighbours and husband were watching as if it was a ritual. But of course we all know what actually happened (I shan't spoil it). It's a plot of mystery and intrigue. Roman Polanski's intelligent direction and screenplay was quite unique. We all knew what happened to Rosemary and we all knew what the end result was going to be, but we as the audience were interested in how Rosemary unravels the plot herself. This could've been a mystery with several twists and turns, but it's more than that. This was all focussed on her. Mia Farrow was excellent and easily held her own against the rest of the supporting cast. She exhumed innocence, fragility and transformed herself. I was impressed. Ruth Gordon won the Best Supporting actress award, I thought she was good but nothing outstanding. Although, she got that New York accent down to a tee! loved how we never saw what Rosemary's baby looked like, the imagery that is conjured up relies on the audience's imagination and I found that to be powerful. There were a few plot conveniences and I found the pacing to be inconsistent. A scene that oozed intrigue was then followed by a slower scene that seemed to negate everything that was before it. However, this is a solid classic horror film that, I'm sure, will never be forgotten.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2016
    I can see why people rate this as one of the greatest horror classics ever made. Disturbing at times, (and made especially creepy by the theme music) Rosemary's Baby is a very interesting and worrying film. Believable performances especially from Farrow and Gordon, i was pleasantly surprised in the direction this film took.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2015
    In the prime of a sexual revolution and an institutionalized fear of a crumbling of morals, Rosemary's Baby must have been terrifying, exciting and extremely relevant when it came out. It's one of the most bizarre horror films I've ever seen as it meanders between a top-notch soap opera, an art-house piece and an eastern horror film from the silent era. Mia Farrow is sweet and vulnerable as Rosemary and her descent from an up-and-comer into a paranoid young lady, terrified her neighbours are casting spells on her and her unborn baby. Whilst its extremely frightening, the performances and unorthodox direction is what carries the film. Ruth Gordon is mesmerizing.
    Harry W Super Reviewer

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