Film Analysis - Rosmary's Baby

by Laurice Engelhard, June 2014

600 words

2 pages


Sinister and macabre: what is so creepy about the movie Rosemary’s Baby? This paper will contain a review and analysis of the film, based on the novel by Ira Levin. This is a 1968 classic American horror movie, directed by Roman Polanski. The thriller includes neither vivid horror scenes, nor do any monsters appear in it, however, it keeps the viewer in suspension from beginning to the end. Rosemary’s Baby is impregnated with ill omens and images of satanic cult in the heart of New York in middle 60’s. In my opinion, there is more to this film, than just mystical plot. It depicts the American society on the verge of 50’s and 60’s, the beginning of a new era, the disillusionment and forced acceptance of the new life realia.

The film seemed to me highly symbolic and meaningful. From the viewpoint of a today’s audience, it might be regarded as a mere representative of many other movies about the birth of Anti-Christ — the child of Satan. A lot of parallels can actually be drawn between the 1968 Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski and 1997 The Devil’s Advocate by HYPERLINK "" Taylor Hackford . Both movies include people striking a bargain with the Devil and sacrificing women to Satan’s evil will, regardless of their feelings, practically driving them mad. Moreover, in both films the Devil wishes for the birth of Anti-Christ as his successor on Earth to commit evil and put the world to chaos and devastation. There is also one more film by Polanski, The Ninth Gate, released in 1999, bearing slight resemblance to Rosemary’s Baby, as Satanism is also its main theme.

A series of odd and ominous events, which occurred after the release of Rosemary’s Baby, are worth mentioning in the context of its symbolism. The most prominent ones are the cruel murder of Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate in 1969, who was 8 months pregnant, by the followers of HYPERLINK "" \o "Charles Manson" Charles Manson programmed to killings by The Beatles songs, and death of John Lennon, shot in front of the Dakota building (the one, where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed) by Mark Chapman, possibly an occult fanatic.

It seems quite probable that the film Rosemary’s Baby was made with the intention to portray the image of the social processes in America in 1950’s and 1960s. The historical events of that time resemble the plot of the film very much. The middle of the twentieth century in the USA was marked by multiple manifests, Civil Rights Movement that brought the overwhelming hope for the better future. This looks very much alike the beginning of the film, where Rosemary and her husband move to a new home filled with hope for a baby, a good job and happy life together. However, Rosemary was dragged into the cruel reality of suspicion, conspiracy against herself and her baby; she became an article of commerce and eventually …

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