January 17, 2013

Rosemary's Baby

Who would have thought that schlock-master William Castle would be involved in such an elegant horror movie? Castle produced Rosemary's Baby (1968), which is, likely, the prototype for all the modern diabolical conspiracy horror movies. It's about a Manhattan couple who moves into an apartment complex inhabited by witches. These witches make a pact with the husband (John Cassevetes), who's a struggling actor, to bolster his career if they can impregnate his wife (Mia Farrow) as part of a ritual. Writer-director Roman Polanski can't resist turning this paranoid B-movie thriller into something artier, and the result is a successfully freaky classic. Farrow's vulnerability makes her truly sympathetic (she's reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, perhaps a gaucher, more naive Audrey Hepburn). The film is based on a novel by Ira Levin. With Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Charles Grodin, and Patsy Kelly. The memorable score was composed by Krzysztof Komeda. 136 min.

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