Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Pssst, want to check out Rosemary's Baby in our new look?
See all comments
The true dread and horror of this movie comes from the lack of autonomy some women experienced while pregnant. So many of Rosemary's choices are taken out of her hands by her domineering husband, a parade of crones whose knowledge is assumed by merit of their age, and her doctor of course, all in the name of "what's best for her." Watching a woman say yes to what she knows is wrong in her heart because refusing or contacting the outside world is simply not an option is about as scary as it gets for me.
poiatica - Hey, poiatica, your criticisms are idiotic.
"And the whole, I had sex with you while you were sleeping... Hey, Roman Polansky, have you heard of conjugal rape"
Hey, poiatica, do you know anything about the history of laws regarding conjugal rape? Up until very recently (as in the past 20 or 30 years), "conjugal rape" wasn't even a recognized crime in many places in the world, including much of the United States - it was generally believed that the husband had the "right" to have sex with his wife at any time. And even if it was already a law in New York in 1968, there would still have been a lot of women unwilling to prosecute their husbands for it (that's still a problem to this day.)
Besides all that, your "criticism" is made even more nonsensical by the fact that the sleep rape scene is presently as something that is clearly supposed to be frightening and twisted, and it clearly unsettles Rosemary herself. In other words, Polanski, though he is a creep and a rapist, definitely isn't using this film to condone drugging one's wife and then having sex with her (or allowing someone else to rape her.)
Your "argument" that the scene is evidence of Polanski's twisted mind, his creepiness, and his inability to distinguish rape from consensual sex is further demolished by the fact that this scene is not an invention of that "sexist jackass" at all - rather, it's taken very directly from Levin's novel (and there's no prosecution for "conjugal rape" in that one either.)
Even your claim of the film's sexism is rather dubious. Rosemary is naive, yes (but not any moreso than the female and male protagonists of lots of other horror films) - but after all, the full story of what has happened to her is so twisted that it's unlikely anyone would have guessed it. That she figures out as much as she does actually shows her to be quite intelligent.
And in order for claims of sexism to stick, there has to be a gap in the way the men and women are portrayed (men are good and smart, women are dumb and malevolent, etc.) - however, that's not the case with this film. The men and women of the coven are equally conniving and manipulative and evil, and Rosemary's husband is shown to be willing to do anything to have success in his career, even at the expense of others' lives. That's not a positive portrayal of men or women. Additionally, both men and women make up the small group of characters in the film who are good, insightful, and helpful.
Here's the thing: Many valid complaints can be made about the film - yours just aren't among those "valid complaints." You didn't like the film, and that's perfectly fine, but that doesn't mean that every bad thing you can think of to say about must be valid.
A superb horror. Love the quaint mood of the movie. Wish I could say the same about the ending though.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!
In 20 official lists
View all lists this movie is in
This movie ranks #9 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #10 in IMDb's Horror Top 50
This movie ranks #10 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #27 in Tim Dirks's 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
This movie ranks #39 in Stanley Kubrick, Cinephile
This movie ranks #44 in MovieSense 101
This movie ranks #44 in IMDb's 1960s Top 50
This movie ranks #78 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #130 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #170 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #243 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #348 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #485 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #572 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #663 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #696 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #733 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #736 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #763 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #786 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life