Several exhilarating milestones are achieved in Rosemary’s Baby, an excellent film version of Ira Levin’s diabolical chiller novel. Writer-director Roman Polanski has triumphed in his first US-made pic. The film holds attention without explicit violence or gore.
Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes, a likeable young married couple, take a flat in a rundown New York building. Ralph Bellamy, an obstetrician prescribing some strange pre-natal nourishment for Farrow and Maurice Evans, Farrow’s sole ally, who dies a mysterious death, as well as Charles Grodin, enter the plot at adroit intervals.
The near-climax – Farrow has been drugged so as to conceive by Satan – and the final wallop make for genuine cliff hanger interest.
Farrow’s performance is outstanding. Cassavetes handles particularly well the difficult projection of a husband as much in love with his wife as with success. Neighbour Ruth Gordon is pleasantly unrestrained in her pushy self-interest, quite appropriate herein, while other principals score solidly.
1968: Best Supp. Actress (Ruth Gordon)
Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay