Did Rosemary Woodhouse imagine it all? Was her husband so desperate to further his acting career that he let the devil possess him and rape his wife? Did the elderly neighbors secretly poison Mrs. Woodhouse? Or was life in the big city, filled with different types of people, cultures, and religions, too much to handle for a small town, Catholic girl? Whatever the case, Rosemary's Baby is a hell of a film that is part horror flick, psychological drama, and social commentary.
After seeing this film in my late teens, I couldn't shake the thought of the ominous apartment building Rosemary resided in. Now, nearly two decades later, I have become accustomed to seeing the Dakota during my weekly trek to Trader Joe's.
The Dakota doesn't look quite as ominous in person; even so, it does have a great deal of presence. Located on Central Park West, its renaissance architecture, elegant gas lanterns, and wrought-iron gates are distinctive in an area where stunning buildings are commonplace. In addition to its exterior being used in Rosemary's Baby, the Dakota is etched in the global memory as the place where John Lennon met his tragic fate at the hands of a deranged former fan.
Today, however, the Dakota is a quintessential symbol of New York wealth. Apartments in the building routinely sell for over $10 million (Yoko Ono owns nearly a dozen). Longtime residents of the housing cooperative include Maury "You Are Not the Father" Povich and his wife, American Journalist, Connie Chung, as well as legendary recording artist, Roberta Flack.
But what of Rosemary Woodhouse? Regardless of what really happened to Rosemary and her baby, Mrs. Woodhouse's fashion was on point. The mod outfits and pixie hair cut are the stuff of legend. Which begs the question: how can a woman walk around dazed, scared, and confused, yet have the awareness to rock such gorgeous outfits? Mind boggling.
Directed by Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby stars Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Ruth Gordan.