Genuinely creepy. Never truly “scary” but unnerving and happily cruel. This was Polanski twisting the emotional and psychological screws for a mainstream audience, and doing it with dark humor, visual panache, with his always incredible sense of pacing firmly on display. Mia Farrow in the role of a lifetime, and John Cassavetes perfectly cast as the shady husband who makes the wrong bargain. Based on Ira Levin’s novel, this is a truly messed up film, with all sorts of nasty implications, with Polanski’s obsession over sex and violence intrinsically linked, except this time, it’s the internal turmoil and toll that’s really stressed. Released in the summer of 1968, and shot for a reported $3 million, the film would become a massive critical and box office hit. Produced by genre master William Castle, with expert cinematography from William Fraker, who was easily one of the most prolific and steady cameraman of his era. Taylor Hackford’s exceedingly entertaining The Devil’s Advocate borrowed many thematic elements from Rosemary’s Baby, with Polanski’s iconic effort serving as inspiration for a variety of cheap imitations in the years that followed the success of Rosemary’s Baby. Ruth Gordon would win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and what a performance she delivered. And let’s not forget a young Charles Grodin as Dr. Hill!



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