Book Review. Rosemary's baby. Ira Levin. Random House, New York. Eugene V. Perrin. Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve. about Rosemary's Baby book PDF: This book is writen by Ira Levin. This Rosemary's Baby book is telling about Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, an ordinary. Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby, #1), Son of Rosemary, and Son of Rosemary/Rosemary's Baby.
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pdf> we will ask and answer the question of how ROSEMARY'S BABY provides an Based on Ira Levin's bestselling novel of the same name, ROSEMARY'S BABY was a. This PDF version is provided free of charge for personal and educational use, under the Ira Levin's novel Rosemary's Baby (; “RB”) is a vivid portrait of a. Editorial Reviews. ronaldweinland.info Review. When published in , Rosemary's Baby was one of the first contemporary horror novels to become a national.
Evans recalled William Castle brought him the galley proofs of the book and asked him to download the film rights even before Random House released the publication. The studio head recognized the commercial potential of the project and agreed with the stipulation that Castle, who had a reputation for low-budget horror films , could produce but not direct the film adaptation. He makes a cameo appearance as the man at the phone booth waiting for Mia Farrow to finish her call. Evans admired Polanski's European films and hoped he could convince him to make his American debut with Rosemary's Baby. He knew the director was a ski buff who was anxious to make a film with the sport as its basis, so he sent him the script for Downhill Racer along with the galleys for Rosemary.
Within the context of New York history, this likewise places the film within a crucial moment of transition, from the relatively benign years of Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Moreover, New York became a city in the midst of a major economic crisis, one in which urban decay was everywhere visible. Historical apartment buildings like the Bramford were often being threatened by this vision of an even newer New York. There are no visits to the theater, not even a glimpse of Times Square.
When Rosemary keeps staring at a young woman named Theresa in the laundry room at the Bramford it is because she mistakes her for a famous actress. Guy is a struggling actor although all we see him acting in a professional venue in is a TV commercial for a motorcycle. And when Rosemary attempts to rest in the midst of her menstrual cycle, she settles in with a copy of Sammy Davis, Jr.
But the most vivid sense of the New York theatrical world emerges through discussions initiated by Roman, who claims to have been the son of a turn-of-the-century Broadway producer who worked with such figures as Forbes Robertson, Modjeska, and Minnie Fiske.
These names evoke an almost forgotten and dusty New York theater world Guy has never even heard of Forbes Robertson , one which was at its height during the period when buildings like the Bramford were being constructed. New York theater becomes part of this repressed history of the city. Roman implicitly seduces Guy into betraying his wife for the sake of the Devil and his followers in exchange for Guy having a major career.
Furthermore, most of the elderly actors in the supporting cast had illustrious stage careers, especially Gordon, Blackmer, and Bellamy and they approach their roles with a highly theatrical relish. These actors turn the material into something at once deadly serious given the intensity with which they devote themselves to the material and borderline camp, as though the entire exercise is a theatrical and playful lark, perhaps not all that far from Bewitched itself.
The Old and the New When Rosemary and Guy first visit the Bramford, they pause as they walk down a hallway towards their future apartment and look at a section of the floor in which there are missing tiles. What we see in the space where the tiles are absent is not a concrete or wooden floor but a kind of soil which seems to be emerging, as though the natural world is beginning to reclaim this building, returning it to the dust from which it originally sprang.
As soon as Rosemary and Guy move into their apartment, they immediately begin painting things yellow and white in an attempt to open up the space with bright colors.
But this is also just as clearly an attempt to repress and paint over the past of the old woman who had lived there for so many years, a Mrs.
Gardenia, who grew herbs and lived amongst clutter and darkness.
While a central aspect of the myth of New York has been that it is an urban space perpetually driven towards destroying the old in order to make way for the new, a city for the young rather than the old, the fight for the preservation of its architectural past has also been part of its more recent history.
Nevertheless, this necessary preservation of the past also embalms it as a museum-like spectacle: The past cleaned up for contemporary consumption. Or is such insight too refined and delicate, too vulnerable to lapsing into paranoid hysteria? This decay, however, is not a simple dead end but is often connected to a concept of the natural.
The film often presents us with visions of the controlled natural: Central Park, the fountain in the foyer of the Bramford designed in the shape of flowers, the flower-printed wallpaper in the Woodhouse apartment, etc.
The very name Rosemary Woodhouse ties our heroine to the natural and the domestic wood house to flowers rose and to plant life rosemary while Mary, of course, ironically allows her to assume the function of the mother of the satanic child for the next millennium.
To be tied to nature was to be connected to a youthful life force, often explicitly pro-environmental, anti-war and anti-establishment. This emphasis on plant life connects to one of the paradoxes of New York City, an urban environment of concrete, steel and metal but one in which the natural world keeps manifesting itself. This is visible not only in parks but also the trees and bushes that spring up out of sidewalks, and the obsession of so many New Yorkers with growing flowers and plants in their apartments to say nothing of the millions of pets throughout the city , as though wanting to maintain some kind of fundamental connection to the natural otherwise repressed by the urban.
The ironic contrast between these old people and their hippie-like, lovingly tended natural environments and their pierced ears allows them to seem at once nurturing and connected to the satanic. If one despairing side of urban living is to be surrounded by cold and indifferent people living in the same building but with whom one has not the slightest personal contact, the Castavets and their acquaintances are the nightmarish other side to apartment living: the overly friendly and intrusive neighbors, always ringing your doorbell, impulsively visiting, sifting through your mail or asking you for favors.
Hutch tells Guy and Rosemary early in the film about the notorious Trench Sisters, who had resided in the Bramford and cooked and ate children. But strictly within an American context, the status of the Castevets as real-life witches allows one to situation their function within two major moments in American history: the Salem witch hunts of the 17th century and, more recently, the so-called witch hunts against real or imagined Communists in the s.
Rosemary may simply be an inheritor of a Puritanical tradition of hysteria. She believes that these people are witches who want to take possession of her as-yet-unborn child for some kind of evil sacrifice and that her husband Guy John Cassavetes is complicit with them.
She seeks refuge in Dr. Even a broom closet would be fine. Within these worlds, one is willing to accept any interior space provided it allows for a roof over the head. This apartment consists of four rooms in a historical building given the fictional name of the Bramford but which in its exterior is clearly the legendary Dakota, constructed in and one of the first major apartment buildings in New York City.
However, this vast apartment, this dream space quickly becomes, for Rosemary, a space of nightmare, one of enclosure and oppression in which finally a hospital broom closet, by contrast, seems more appealing if not more spacious. And here a paradox immediately presents itself. Directing his first Hollywood film on American soil, Polanski does not self-consciously attempt to transform the project into an American version of the type of European art film with which his reputation was initially established but, in essence, sticks to the text.
Although as a genre film it certainly does not disappoint. Instead, we have a film in which the auteur uncannily recognizes his own preoccupations through another text, a strategy that Polanski will repeat in varying ways throughout much of his later career. She does not believe this and, hearing the sound of a baby crying in the Castevet apartment next door, surreptitiously enters that apartment through a closet which connects the two apartments.
She eventually comes across the Castevets and all of their friends gathered around her baby who is not only alive but whose father, in reality, is not Guy but Satan himself. If this is the case, though, we never see her wake from it and the style of this final dream sequence if a dream is what it is is not quite of the same order as the earlier dream sequences, which are much more clearly separated out from the main sections of the narrative.
Not really. Which of these two positions is the rational one? Polanski, of course, was not a native New Yorker and, to my knowledge, never lived there. The general outline of his life story has been told repeatedly: His mother was exterminated in a concentration camp and his father and sister were sent to the camps as well, although both managed to survive.
It was there where he learned, among other things, the value of a certain rigorous craftsmanship in filmmaking.
It is also this kind of film school training which allows Polanski to temporarily, as it would turn out adapt himself to Hollywood and a production system there that likewise places strong value on craftsmanship. The Polanski legend, however, is one in which the director surpasses Hollywood in his command of technique, a director who knows more than his casts and crews in putting a film together: He becomes yet another European autocrat in Hollywood, precisely controlling every formal aspect to his films in a manner that often rubs against the more relaxed collaborative and union-dominated Hollywood method.
Moreover, it is a cinema in which the formal manipulation of elements is of the highest order, an absolute shot-by-shot control over narrative material that nevertheless repeatedly returns to the topics of violence, fear and the irrational.
Rigorous form masking and controlling something which may be fundamentally beyond control. Nevertheless, the treatment of New York in the film is one which is often informed by an experience of urban space shaped by that traumatic moment.
Rosemary is part of a long line of Polanski characters who are fugitives or exiles from their own cultures, hiding out in broom closets until the inevitable knock on the door arrives. No matter how one attempts to hide, one can always be found. Only its exteriors were shot on location, over a period of two weeks. Otherwise, all of the interiors were done on the Paramount lot in California for a much longer period of twelve weeks, a common practice for the handling of location on many Hollywood films, particularly beginning in the s.
He divorced her in the midst of the shoot. But the film also suggests another possibility. Rosemary is from Omaha and while Omaha is not a small town the name itself evokes a certain kind of Midwestern provincialism.
In the novel, Minnie is from Oklahoma, a detail eliminated in the film. Visually, the film works on both of these levels. Polanski displays no wide-eyed touristic wonder towards Manhattan.
The one major exception here is the spectacular opening shot, which begins as a very simple right-to-left panning movement across the skyline as viewed from some type of rooftop expanse on the Upper West Side.
As the camera begins its languid pan, a slow reverse zoom, at first almost imperceptible, also begins revealing Central Park situated between the east and side west sides of Manhattan. The camera, again almost imperceptibly, begins to descend through a slow tilt down to a group of Upper West Side apartment buildings, the descent briefly making an almost C-shaped form, tilting down even farther as the zoom more forcefully continues to reverse until we find ourselves looking at the outside front of the Dakota from a steep, overhead perspective as two tiny human figures are seen entering the front door of the building — Rosemary and Guy, as we discover in the next shot.
In its continuously shifting and unstable perspective and its marginalization of the human figure, this shot in its comparatively modest way evokes the atmosphere of the work of structural filmmakers of the period such as Ernie Gehr and Michael Snow, films in which the space of New York interior and exteriors occasionally assume central roles: Furthermore, the shot itself prepares us for many of the concerns of the film to follow: Does the camera here represent God watching Guy and Rosemary as they enter the Bramford?
When she wakes, she finds scratches on her body. Guy tells her that he had sex with her while she was unconscious because he did not want to pass up the moment for her to conceive. Rosemary learns that she is pregnant and is due on June 28, She plans to receive obstetric care from Dr.
However, the Castevets insist she see their good friend, Dr. Abraham Sapirstein Ralph Bellamy , who says that Minnie will make Rosemary a daily drink which is more healthy than the usual vitamin pills. For the first three months of her pregnancy, Rosemary suffers severe abdominal pains, loses weight, becomes unusually pale, and craves raw meat and chicken liver. Sapirstein insists the pain will subside soon, and assures her she has nothing to worry about.
When her old friend Hutch Maurice Evans sees Rosemary's gaunt appearance and hears that she is being fed the mysterious tannis root, he is disturbed enough to do some research. Before he can tell Rosemary his findings, he mysteriously falls into a coma. When Rosemary can't bear her abdominal pains another minute, they suddenly disappear.
Three months later, Hutch dies. He leaves Rosemary a book about witchcraft and it is delivered to her at his funeral along with the cryptic message: "The name is an anagram". Rosemary deduces that Roman Castevet is really Steven Marcato, the son of a former resident of the Bramford who was accused of being a Satanist. Rosemary suspects her neighbors and Dr. Sapirstein are part of a cult with sinister designs for her baby, and that Guy is cooperating with them in exchange for help in advancing his career.
Rosemary becomes increasingly disturbed and shares her fears and suspicions with Dr. Hill, who, assuming she is delusional, calls Dr. Sapirstein and Guy. They tell her that if she co-operates, neither she nor the baby will be harmed.
The two men bring Rosemary home, where she briefly escapes them. Despite Rosemary locking them out, they enter the bedroom. Rosemary goes into labor and is sedated by Dr. When she wakes, she is told the baby died.
In the hall closet, Rosemary discovers a secret door leading into the Castevet apartment and hears a baby's cries revealing that her child is alive, she then finds a congregation gathered around her newborn son.
After seeing the disturbing appearance of her baby's eyes, Rosemary is told that Guy is not the baby's father and that the baby, named Adrian, is actually the spawn of Satan. This horrifies Rosemary, who spits in Guy's face. Roman urges Rosemary to become a mother to her son and assures her that she does not have to join the cult if she doesn't want to.
She adjusts her son's blankets and gently rocks his cradle with a small smile on her face. Abraham Sapirstein Charles Grodin as Dr.
Shand Hope Summers as Mrs.