The Criterion Collection for years have been releasing the best versions of movies on DVD and Blue Ray. They are hands down the ultimate praise a film can receive,and while many claim the Oscar to be the ultimate recognition. Having the work and praise that goes into a Criterion edition. Shows that it was put together by film lovers for film lovers. This section is going to be dedicated to some of the great movies in this growing collection.
Rosemary’s Baby. 1968
Cast: Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes, Ruth Godon
Writers: Ira Levin(Novel) Roman Polanski(Screenplay)
Director: Roman Polanski.
The Following review may contain spoilers.
Since Mother’s day is behind us. I thought it would be somewhat nice to look in on a woman who is about to become a mom herself. Rosemary Woodhouse(Mia Farrow) is expected to give birth and while this would make most other expected mothers quite happy. Rosemary is beginning to have doubts and starts believing that her neighbors, friends, and even her husband are conspiring to harm her unborn child. What she doesn’t know (but will soon find out )is that she was being used by Satan to give birth to the antichrist aka TMZ
“Rosemary’s Baby” was the American debut of director Roman Polanski and was in a way the birth of demon possession in modern movies. At least the ones that involve the young. Ie “The Exorcist“, “The Omen” and every network show on The Disney Channel. What makes this movie still enjoyable after all these years is the dream like suspense it still holds. As the viewer watching this, you are never 100 percent sure of what she is going through is true or just part of a hallucination. Polanski wisely removes any of the obvious visuals that are usually associated with dreams, with the only moment that feels like the dream is when Rosemary is being raped by the devil. The rest of the move has a dream like look to it, but like the main character. You are not 100 percent certain what is real and what isn’t. Cinematographer William A Fraker gives this movie a soft dream like hue to the look that only adds to the confusion. This is more of a supernatural mystery instead of a psychological horror movie although the argument could be made for the other side too. After all, Rosemary is the man protagonist and we are experiencing the same things that she is. I just got more wrapped up in the mystery of finding out if anything really did happen to her or not.
The supporting cast in this is really good. John Cassavettes is great as Guy(Rosemary’s Husband) because even though he feels conflicted for what he is doing to his wife. He is still motivated by greed more than anything else. Ruth Gordon steals the show and rightfully won an Oscar for her role as Minnie. The nosey neighbor who may be a bit too sweet for her own good, Ralph Bellamy and Sidney Blackmer are also equally effective in their roles too but Mia Farrow is downright amazing in the lead role. Since most of the movie is done through her perspective. Miss Farrow has the difficult task of making the audience believe what the sees and yet at the same time questioning it too. Well at least until the very end. Before this I have only seen her in Woody Allen movies and had no idea she appeared in other movies. Also, I never knew how attractive she once was and that she once married Frank Sinatra (they filed for divorce during the making of this movie)
Do not go into this move expecting to be scared because that is not its intention. It’s a creepy gothic mystery that I found it to be very disturbing in certain parts. Even the opening credits with that score from Krzysztof Komeda made me feel a bit unease. Even if you don’t believe in the Devil, the whole idea of having people you know betray and use your body like that is very disturbing in and of itself. I can understand why many people consider this to be a horror classic because gets it’s scares from building suspense with the atmosphere, tone, and believable characters
- New, restored digital transfer, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New documentary featuring interviews with Polanski, actress Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans
- Interview with author Ira Levin from a 1997 broadcast of Leonard Lopate’s public radio program New York and Company, about his 1967 novel, its sequel, and the film
- Komeda, Komeda, a feature- length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary’s Baby
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park; Levin’s afterword to the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel; and Levin’s rare, unpublished character sketches of the Woodhouses and floor plan of their apartment, created in preparation for the novel