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Rosemary's Baby

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Published on Jul 17, 2008

Rosemary's Baby
Author Ira Levi

Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror novel by Ira Levin, his second published book.The book centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who has just moved into the Bramford, a New York apartment building, with her husband Guy, a struggling actor. Rosemary is initially warned that the Bramford has a disturbing past history, but she and Guy simply laugh. Soon, Rosemary and Guy are befriended by Minnie and Roman Castavet, an eccentric elderly couple whose apartment backs up to their own. Rosemary finds them meddlesome and absurd, so she is a little disturbed when Guy begins paying them frequent visits.

Guy and Rosemary decide to conceive their first child. On the night they plan to try to conceive, Minnie Castavet stops by with a special treat - chocolate mousse. Although Rosemary eats only a fraction of her portion, she soon begins feeling woozy and dreams that she is being raped by something not human, while her elderly neighbors watch. The next morning, Guy tells her that she just had a bad dream.

Soon after, she discovers she is pregnant; at the same time, Guy's acting career suddenly begins to thrive. The pregnancy is very difficult at first; Rosemary endures terrible, continuous pain. As the months wear on, the pains ease but Rosemary begins to suspect her elderly neighbors are not the kindly souls they appear to be. After receiving a warning from a friend, she discovers her neighbors are the leaders of a coven of witches, and she suspects they are after her child to use it as a sacrifice. However, she is unable to convince anyone to believe her. Eventually, she finds out the horrible truth, that Guy allowed the devil to impregnate her in exchange for a successful career. She is informed that she is the mother of the long-awaited anti-christ born in June 1966 (6/66).

In 1968, the novel was turned into an acclaimed film adaptation starring Mia Farrow, with John Cassavetes as Guy. Ruth Gordon, who played Minnie Castavet, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Roman Polanski, who wrote and directed the film, was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Other actors in the movie include: Ralph Bellamy, Elisha Cook Jr. and Charles Grodin.

The movie was filmed partially on location at The Dakota, off Central Park West in New York City.

Levin published a sequel to the novel, titled Son of Rosemary in 1997. Levin dedicated it to Mia Farrow. The TV movie, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby was made in 1976, but was not connected to the novel.Whether directly or not, many subsequent novels and films are inspired by Levin's novel Rosemary's Baby... The Devil's Advocate (film) repeats Levin's plot-contrivances, in which another woman becomes a pawn for her husband's upward rise to fame; The Astronaut's Wife, is about a woman who is impregnated by an extraterrestrial-alien that has taken over the mind and body of her husband (Coincidentally, in both those films the subject wife is played by Charlize Theron). Similarly, the novels Lupe (1977) by Gene Thompson, and The Glow (1978) by Brooks Stanwood, share plot elements with Rosemary's Baby; the former story about a Hispanic hare-lipped boy who dabbles in the occult and reincarnates himself in the womb of his unwitting female host-victim, and the latter (in essence) about a coven of elderly New York City 'vampires' who prey on healthy thirtysomething joggers for their immortalizing blood serum. With the exception of Lupe (San Francisco, CA), the individual storylines of these aforementioned films and novels largely take place in New York City; the protagonist couples are young, upwardly mobile, and acquire choice residency near Central Park (as in Levin's novel, the spacious "classic" floorplan of the Woodhouse couple's Bramford apartment.
M.C.
Baron Samedi
Freiburg,17.Juli 2008
HS

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