Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Rosemary's Baby (1968)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

In director Roman Polanski's effective horror film - based on Ira Levin's 1967 novel, with events occurring from 1965-1966, about the slow domination of a new bride sold out in a Faustian deal with a coven - ultimately to give birth to the Devil's child - by her social-striving, aspiring actor-husband:

  • the opening title credits atop sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, accompanied by a female voice [uncredited Mia Farrow] monotonously singing a sad lullaby tune with the words: "la-la-la-la-..."
  • the sequence of newlyweds moving into a large, rambling old apartment building in Central Park West (the Bramford): Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes), an unemployed, struggling actor, and his frail waifish wife Rosemary (22 year old Mia Farrow)
  • the dinner scene with the Woodhouse's friend Edward "Hutch" Hutchins (Maurice Evans) who explained some of the morbid history of their apartment building: "The Black Bramford" -- "Adrian Marcato practiced witchcraft. He made quite a splash in the 90s by announcing that he'd conjured up the living devil. Apparently, people believed him so they attacked and nearly killed him in the lobby of the Bramford..."
  • the sequence of Rosemary becoming "dizzy," woozy and disoriented after eating some tainted chocolate mousse (laced with sleeping powder) offered by her creepy neighbor Minnie Castevet (Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon), who was married to Roman (Sidney Blackmer)
  • the beginnings of her nightmare (reflecting her constant torment and guilt regarding her pregnancy and her lapsed Catholicism) when she hallucinated a Black Mass, imagined herself on a mattress drifting on the ocean, and then as a passenger on a presidential yacht (captained by "Hutch") and enjoying cocktail hour; then undressed, shivering and naked, she was abruptly wearing a bathing suit, while various images assaulted her: the Birth of Man paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, a typhoon at sea; she nakedly descended into the hold of the yacht, where a fire burned and she reclined back onto a mattress
Rosemary: "This is no dream, this is really happening."
  • her hallucinatory recollections of the mattress being surrounded by many chanting, overweight, elderly naked figures (of the Satanists' coven), including Guy and the Castevets; a bloody-red liquid was painted with rune designs on Rosemary's bare chest; a person resembling Mrs. John F. Kennedy (Patricia Ann Conway) who wore a white diaphanous gown descended a staircase and suggested tying her legs down in case of convulsions; attendants spread Rosemary's legs apart and bound them; during her dream-like sleep, Guy began making love to her, but then his appearance changed into a grotesque beast-like figure resembling the Devil, with yellowish eyes and clawed, scaly hands; he stroked the length of her body with his hairy claw. While being 'raped' during this horrific ritualistic copulation scene, as everyone watched her having intercourse with the Beast, she realized: "This is no dream, this is really happening."
  • the scene the next morning when Rosemary questioned mysterious scratches she found on the side of her body; she was appalled that Guy admitted making love to her while she was passed out - supposedly from mixing alcohol - "It was kind of fun in a necrophile sort of way." She remembered something quite different from Guy's recollection - a demonic, inhuman rape
  • after Hutch's shocking death, the scene of Rosemary showing Guy a book titled All of Them Witches, revealing that their neighbor Roman Castevet (aka Steven Marcato) was the son of a famous martyred witch (warlock) Adrian Marcato, but Guy downplayed her fears; Rosemary began to exhibit signs of experiencing a nervous breakdown and a belief in conspiracy theories
  • Rosemary's stunned discovery, with reassembled SCRABBLE pieces, that the name STEVEN MARCATO was an "anagram" for ROMAN CASTEVET
  • the scene of Rosemary's frantic phone call to her original doctor Dr. Hill, to alert him to her fears about her obstetrician Dr. Abe Sapirstein (Ralph Bellamy), and to schedule an appointment, when an ominous character resembling the back of Dr. Sapirstein momentarily stood behind her outside the phone booth.
  • the sequence in her apartment when Rosemary was told that her child was born dead by Dr. Abe Sapirstein, who secretly was a member of the witch's coven: "It was in the wrong position. In a hospital, I might have been able to do something about it, but you wouldn't listen"; she was disbelieving and thought her baby had been kidnapped: "You're lying. It didn't die. You took it. You're lying. You witches. You're lying!"
  • the concluding sequence of Rosemary sneaking into the Castevet's apartment through the closet passageway - with a kitchen knife upraised in her hand - where she discovered a coven of witches (including Guy), surrounding a black-draped baby cradle-bassinet to pay their respects to a Satanic child; at her first viewing, she screamed: What have you done to it? What have you done to its eyes?" amidst the neighboring Satanic cult; Roman Castevet answered: "He has his father's eyes!"; uncomprehending, she gave out a wild scream: "What are you talking about?! Guy's eyes are normal! What have you done to him? You maniacs!"; Castevet went further: "Satan is his father, not Guy. He came up from hell and begat a son of mortal woman. (Coven members cheered 'Hail, Satan!') Satan is his father and his name is Adrian"
"You maniacs!"
Roman Castevet
(Sidney Blackmer)
Minnie Castevet
(Ruth Gordon)
  • although completely distraught, she responded with nurturing and maternal comfort toward the black-draped baby crib and her baby Adrian (Satan's son or the Anti-Christ?), by rocking it to sleep

"The Black Bramford"

"Hutch" Describing the Bramford's Ghastly History

Eating the Tainted Chocolate Mousse

Scratches on Rosemary's Back

Witchcraft Book "All of Them Witches"

Rosemary's Discovery of Ominous Anagram

The Phone Booth Scene

Rosemary Notified of Her Baby's Death - and Her Utter Disbelief

Dr. Sapirstein (Ralph Bellamy) Preparing a Sedative Shot

What have you done to its eyes?

Maternal-Nurturing Response to Satanic child


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