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Horror » » »
Rosemary's Baby


1968       Directed by Roman Polanski

Cast and crew of Rosemary's Baby (1967) represent a nice balance of the young (for drive and innovation) and the not-so-young (for maturity, experience). On the youthful side is Ira Levin, author of the novel; Roman Polanski, 34, the avant-garde director who also wrote its screenplay and, of course Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes. On the not-so-young side of the ledger (but, in his case, not so old, either) is William Castle, who produced for Paramount, and who's known in show circles as the "shock master," and the balance of the cast, with such veterans at Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Patsy Kelly and Elisha Cook. Bill Castle, who besides producing, likes to take a small role now and then in his pictures, was pared down to practically nothing in Rosemary's Baby All he does is enter a phone booth in New York just vacated by Mia, with nary a line of dialogue! The thing that really got Roman Polanski, doing his first film in this country, was the almost embarrassing

(to him) cooperation from the crew. "Crews aren't like that abroad," said Roman, who's made films in practically every country in Europe. "Hollywood crews are a director's dream come true-the best!" And that includes even his native Poland. Mia started the picture after getting her highly-publicized hair-trim by London's ($5,000) Vidal Sassoon. It's visible in the picture when she isn't wearing wigs! John Cassavetes, who had almost abandoned acting for directing, came to the film after his sensational performance in "The Dirty Dozen." "Rosemary's Baby'," he asserted during production, "is the most violent, non-violent picture I've ever worked in. It reeks of mystery, horror and eeriness, with never a blow being struck . . ." Cassavetes had other observations: "Producers like Bill Castle and directors like Roman Polanski do all the work. Actors merely make with the mouths." Also: "Actors have no guidelines. The only way they can gauge their careers is by their paychecks and their most recent notices. Actors are babies." Mia said her most prized possessions are her deaf cats, always with her on the set, and her retarded dog, kept at home, who is always bumping into the walls. Mia made some great friends with the crew of the picture but was nervous about those visitors who got on the closed set. She is actually a very shy girl, just beginning to come out of her shell. A Paramount Picture in Technicolor.



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Rosemary's Baby

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