Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rosemary's Baby1968

Rosemary's Baby (1968)



Critic 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.

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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

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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 (74) | Top Critics (20)

The fault ultimately is in the Polanski screenplay which overlooks character for effect, disastrously. Involvement is absent; all is surface and it is a smooth one, without the shimmer of the evil that is within.

October 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Right to its bitter end, there is no escaping "Rosemary's Baby." On film Ira Levin's best selling novel is as horribly frightening as it was on paper.

June 11, 2015 | Full Review…

Rosemary's Baby is suffused with Polanski's style and preoccupations.

October 7, 2013 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

So long as there are men in power who are still fuzzy on the definition of rape, Rosemary's Baby will endure as a cautionary tale.

October 29, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Even readers of the book who know how Baby comes out are in for a pleasant surprise: the very real acting ability of Mia Farrow.

October 19, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Polanski worked with an elegant restraint that less talented filmmakers have been trying to mimic ever since.

February 12, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rosemary's Baby

An excellent and unsettling supernatural thriller in which paranoia grows in a maddening crescendo, and the most ironic is how Polanski made Repulsion and this film (both about rape and women getting horrendously abused) before being convicted of raping a minor years later.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A taut psychological thriller with visceral cinematography and a haunting atmosphere. One of the bests in its' genre.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

Mrs. Gilmore: We're your friends, Rosemary. There's nothing to be scared about. Honest and truly there isn't!  "Pray for Rosemary's Baby." I've seen Rosemary's Baby twice now and with a second viewing, the film was easily able to reinforce it's elite status among the horror classics. This movie is easily in the top 5 of all-time horror films. It's up there with Psycho, The Omen, and Halloween. It's a masterpiece of suspenseful horror, where the scares aren't in your face with jump scares and tons of blood. This movie relies more on atmosphere, music, and pure creepiness, which makes for a more interesting time then the standard horror film.  Rosemary moves into a new apartment in New York with her actor husband. They are planning on trying to have a baby soon, and then begin to get close with their neighbors. A young woman who Rosemary had met in the laundry room, that lived with the old neighbors kills herself. When Rosemary becomes impregnated but doesn't remember the night, she begins wondering how she came to be pregnant. Then she begins to get terrible pains and the doctor she was recommended isn't doing much to help her. All of this leads up to an ending that makes for one of the best endings in horror history. It was heavily influential for movies like The House of the Devil. Rosemary's Baby has obviously been classified as one of horror's most influential and classic films. I am still a believer that this is Roman Polanski's greatest film. Also Mia Farrow makes for a perfect paranoid, pregnant mother. It's up there with the best work of her career as well. Everything in this movie is just about perfect. It's a beautiful film. The cinematography is wonderful, the score is perfect, and the atmosphere over powering. It's really a film buffs horror film, much in the vain of say, The Shining. This is a must watch classics and a film that has stood the test of time. Rosemary's Baby showed the world that you could really on purely atmosphere and still bring the scares, just not in typical ways. It's truly one of my favorite horror films of all-time and just a masterpiece of cinema period. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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