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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Of Them Witches!
Rosemary's Baby is my favorite horror film of all time. Its got it all: a genius director, marvelous actors, a haunting tale, spooky neighbors, dastardly witches, and, of course, Satan. The film revolves around a young woman named Rosemary Woodhouse. Rosemary and her husband are expecting a child. But Rosemary doesn't look so good. Rosemary is starting to believe that she...
Published 21 months ago by Mad Zack

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars BluRay quality it is NOT
The BluRay disc adds nothing over a standard DVD. It is certainly not worth the money and isn't a restored version as indicated.
Published 14 days ago by greatshot


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Of Them Witches!, October 31, 2012
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Rosemary's Baby is my favorite horror film of all time. Its got it all: a genius director, marvelous actors, a haunting tale, spooky neighbors, dastardly witches, and, of course, Satan. The film revolves around a young woman named Rosemary Woodhouse. Rosemary and her husband are expecting a child. But Rosemary doesn't look so good. Rosemary is starting to believe that she has been impregnated by evil itself and everyone she knows might be in on it. As a thriller it works on a level Hitchcock only hinted at. Its a film that surpasses masterpiece and classic, and rests snug atop the terrain of legend.

It was once a venial sin to watch this film, condemned by the Catholic Church and the Legion Of Decency, now you can own it in glorious High-Definition, with a genial satisfaction only Criterion could bestow.

This film only gets creepier and creepier with time. There are several different ways to watch this film. And this film, in turn, tries to tell us many several different things. As film scholar David J. Skal points out in his fantastic book 'The Monster Show':

"Whether Levin's strategy was conscious or not, the plot of Rosemary's Baby was a brilliant metaphorical distillation of the widespread ambivalence and anxiety over sex and reproduction, concerns overshadowed by the garish glare of the swinging sixties. On a simplistic level, both Rosemary and the reader share lingering doubts about the chemical-occult tinkering of their reproductive systems. Rosemary drinks the stinking tannis-root cocktail that her neighbor provides while the reader(likely) swallows the magic candy of birth-control pills. Neither has a deep understanding of the effects of either substance on their bodies and their lives; they rely trustingly on patriarchal authority. Rosemary Woodhouse is led repeatedly to believe she is making her own carefully considered reproductive choices, but the decisions are all being made for her. No matter what assurances are offered, no matter what charms and preparations she uses or ingests, she is not really safe. One of the many indelible images in the film version of Rosemary's Baby is the pregnant but wasted-looking Mia Farrow dashing out against the light into midtown traffic, an apt metaphor for child-bearing under socio-technological seige."

Roman Polanski is one of my favorite living directors. He is without a doubt the most cathartic of any, living or dead, and damn near the most personal. To think that just one year after making Rosemary's Baby, tragedy would strike his home, wife, and child, is far too horrifying a concept to accept as reality. Polanski fought back with films like Macbeth and Chinatown, both are nothing short of cinematic exorcisms; Polanski fighting off his demons. His films are usually deeply personal, and Rosemary's Baby is no exception.

Another one of my personal heroes had a hand in the creation of Rosemary's Baby.

John Cassavetes gives an outrageously good performance as Rosemary's husband, Guy Woodhouse. The performance Cassavetes lays down gets better and better, and more and more complex the more you watch the film. Mia Farrow is the obvious force to be reckoned with here, but Cassavetes' performance is quickly overshadowing hers for me. Its a performance of subtlety and nuance. Each look, motion, action, pause, and word takes on different meanings after repeated viewings. Sadly, Cassavetes and Polanski hated each other. Polanski has gone on record discrediting Cassavetes' abilities as not only an actor, but as a filmmaker. And Cassavetes can be quoted as saying, "You can't dispute the fact he's an artist, but yet you have to say Rosemary's Baby is not art". The two nearly came to blows, and by the end of production had grown loathsome of each other. But you could've fooled me. It seems as if everyone involved with this film were in tune with each other, in perfect sync.

What Mia Farrow does in this film is indescribable. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more empathetic portrayal of a damsel in distress. I felt all of her fears, and shared more than just basic emotions. Mia Farrow had the ability to communicate feelings effortlessly on film, a very rare and unique gift that Polanski skillfully manipulated and fine-tuned. Not only a great performance but an iconic one. "What have you done to its eyes" will stay with me forever.

It is a truly mystifying picture. Its impossible to not feel Rosemary's paranoia, or even question her sanity, or your logic. Atmospheric and isolated at the same time, this film will play with your sensibilities. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend this one. This is a film that should not be missed by anyone. It is just that good.

And this Blu-Ray Edition is stellar. The picture is very good, and what we've come to expect from Criterion: Quality Above All Else. The colors are very impressive. When compared to the previous DVD release, the picture is a Godsend. The sound is even better. Krzyzstof Komeda's score has never sounded better. Its as if this was my very first time actually hearing it. It was a wonderful experience.

The supplements, in my honest opinion, could have included a little bit more red meat. The disc includes an Interview with Author Ira Levin from 1997, a feature length documentary about the composer of the picture, and the best stuff collected by Criterion: the new interviews with Roman Polanski, Robert Evans, and Mia Farrow herself, I can see myself watching these many times over. But, not to gripe with a next to perfect release of my favorite film, it could have easily included a commentary track. Or the Vintage Behind The Scenes Feature available on the previous DVD release. I guess Criterion just didn't feel like going all out with this one, which is sad for me, I just can't get enough of this one.

Regardless of how I feel about the bonus features, the movie LOOKS and SOUNDS great. Thank you Criterion a million times over! If you're a fan of the film, DO NOT HESITATE. Its worth the upgrade, its worth the cost, and you'll love the product!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last! Thank You, Criterion!, August 21, 2012
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Roman Polanski's 1968 film version of Ira Levin's bestseller is one of the finest horror films ever made. Polanski adapted Levin's terrifying novel of ancient evil in a modern setting with every thrill intact. He filmed on location in NYC, and he somehow managed to convey a sense of claustrophobia and quiet panic on busy streets and sidewalks. To create suspense is very difficult; to sustain that suspense for 2 hours and 16 minutes is all but impossible. But he did it, with the help of excellent photography and production design, a wonderfully creepy musical score, and a terrific cast. Mia Farrow is simply magnificent as Rosemary, and she's matched by John Cassavetes, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Oscar-winner Ruth Gordon, and an A-list of Broadway veterans. From start to finish, it is a perfect film.

Like so many other great movies, ROSEMARY'S BABY was suffering the ravages of time, and earlier VHS and DVD releases prove it. The print was fuzzy, the colors were faded, and the sound had a muffled, indistinct quality. Now, the wonderful folks at the Criterion Collection have done something about it. The picture and sound have been newly remastered from original materials, and they've added a lot of extras as well. I'm very grateful for the Criterion Collection--they've already rescued and improved hundreds of classic titles, and they're still going strong. ROSEMARY'S BABY is the latest addition to an impressive list of Criterion gems on DVD and BluRay. On behalf of film fans and collectors everywhere, I thank them.

PS: Polanski is still going strong, too. If you haven't seen The Ghost Writer yet, check it out. It's another perfect thriller.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pray for Rosemary's Baby., November 2, 2012
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Traditionally, this has been my favorite movie and probably holds that position for the longest amount of time. Over the years, other films have come and gone and even some of Polanski's other films have stolen the top spot. I admire his entire body of work, but after viewing the BD version of this film there is no doubt that once again Rosemary's Baby is definitely my favorite Polanski film.

The BD quality of this disc manages to still retain the gritty look of the original film print while delivering a significant improvement from previous DVD transfers. The problem with many BDs these days is that some of the essence is lost. It all looks digital now. Everything is too sharp, too crisp, too "perfect" but with this transfer, you can still see film grain, slight imperfections in sharpness that give a resonating feeling of uneasiness and perhaps a vintage sort of rustic quality. Another great improvement is the richness and depths of the colors and contrast of the film. Some of the "blooming" effects of overexposure are minimized. More details can be picked up. The nuances of the wallpaper, the trinkets in the Castavet's house, the chunks of tanis root. This film is brilliant!

The supplemental documentary offers interviews with Farrow, Polanski, and Evans. This is different from the Paramount DVD, some of the same content is included, some is left out, but there is plenty more that has been added. I have read many books on Polanski, interviews, and different essays on the film and still have been given new insight into the film and what went into it. A very worthwhile supplement, indeed. The other is a bit about long time collaborator who did the score, and yet another with the author of the book Ira Levin.

If you have never seen this film, it is what I would consider a genuine horror movie. It easily trumps anything that has come out in the past decade (or two) and is absolutely the most terrifying film I have seen. This is psychological horror that will leave you most uncomfortable even long after leaving the theater. What you won't find is BOO! (laugh) repeat. The Exorcist and The Omen are other good examples of this "genuine horror" I speak of, but Rosemary's Baby is still absolutely the best of the three.

If you HAVE seen this film before and enjoy it, the upgrade is well worth it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We're your friends, Rosemary. There's nothing to be scared about. Honest and truly there isn't!", November 15, 2012
This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This "baby" looks amazing for 44. Roman Polanski's classic horror film receives a deluxe, lovely looking restoration for Blu-ray. When "Rosemary's Baby" was released back in 1968 there wasn't anything quite like it--Ira Levin who was a respected novelist suddenly found himself a bestselling one as well as something of a magnet for fans of horror fiction. His novel although faithfully adapted for the screen by Polanski manages the hat trick of the "is she crazy or isn't she" plotline while working in a fair amount of dark humor into a film that is a legit horror flick as well. In fact one could argue that films like "The Howling" and "An American Werewolf in London" (although those films are quite a bit different working with the permissive cinema of the 1980's)walked the mix of satire and horror established by Polanski and Levin here with this film.

It's easy to forget what a fine actress Mia Farrow was. She gives a terrific performance transforming her character a fun loving woman who gradually changes into a woman suffering from paranoia (although it isn't paranoia IF they are out to get you)and fragile. John Cassavetes shines here as well as his character gradually transforms from a loving, involved husband to an aloof shadowy figure. The supporting cast including the late Ruth Gordon (who won an Oscar for her performance)and Ralph Bellamy are superb adding a nice mixture of the kooky and macabre.

The image quality for the Blu-ray is a massive upgrade from the DVD released in 2000. Working with a 4K transfer of the original elements that have been cleaned up, normalizing grain from scene-to-scene and restoring damage that's occurred with time (including some fading of the negative elements). The depth, detail and textures are astonishingly strong.

The original mono soundtrack has been cleaned up and is presented for the first time in a lossless format on home video. Keep in mind, however, that this is a film made in 1968 and so the limitations of the mono recording are evident but dialogue remains crystal clear and there are subtle elements evident in the soundtrack that add to the suspense of the film. Criterion has done a nice job of using Protools to clean up the pops, clicks and other elements in the soundtrack that were evident on the earlier DVD.

The special features are quite nice as well although those who purchased the original DVD may want to keep it as the special features have not been licensed for this edition. The original DVD included an original production featurette as well as retrospective interviews with Polanski and Robert Evans.

Having said that this edition does have nice new interviews with the participants presented in HD. We get 45 minutes of interviews with Polanski, Evans and actress Mia Farrow. Recorded in 2012 the thoughts shared by all three are quite interesting and candid. Of special interest is Polanski discussing working with filmmaker/actor John Cassavetes. Cassavettes was a tremendously talented filmmaker with an approach antithetical to that of Polanski and evidently the two occasionally did not see eye to eye on the direction of Polanski.

We also get "Ira Levin and Leonard Lopate" where Levin discusses the genesis of the project, his approach to the material and his thoughts on the film as well as the sequel he wrote in its wake.

Finally there's a feature length documentary on composer Krzysztof Komeda who wrote the evocative score for the film.

Rounding things out is an excellent essay discussing the film as well as Levin's afterward for the republication of the book. The booklet also reproduces drawings that Levin did to help him visualize the layout of the apartment in the film.

For fans of this classic film THIS is the edition to own.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hail Blu-Ray!, November 5, 2012
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I ordered Rosermary's Baby Blu-Ray by Criterion as soon as I came across it on Amazon about 2 months ago. I was very excited. I won't review the movie here but I will say that it has a style and quality most movies lack today. Blu-Ray picture quality is fantastic ; they really did a great job with the transfer. However, I was hoping that there would be more bonus features on this edition. Sadly, this Blu-Ray does not have any feature commentary. That's a real shame. They have new interviews with Mia Farrow, Roman Polanski and the producer which runs about 46 minutes. There are 2 more featurettes but that's about it. While watching the new interviews, I learned that the original take for Rosemary's Baby was 4 hours! Then the editor cut it down to 2.5 hours. I really wished they had the original cut or at least some of the deleted scenes. I wish there was a documentary about the occult, witchcraft and the satanic materials from the movie (I've always been curious about the origin of tannis root). Maybe an interview with the author of the book. Even though I'd recommend this movie to anybody who has good taste in cinema and to those who already own the standard DVD edition, I really think Criterion could have produced more extensive Blu-ray edition. That's my only disappointment,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!, February 2, 2014
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YIKES! There are no words to express the magnitude of this motion picture. Ruth Gordon is as the nosy next door neighbor is remarkable. How can you not love when she asked so earnestly "Whaddaya pay for a chair like that?" or when she cleans up a speck off the ground in the midst of Rosemary discovering her baby is half demon. She is capable of making the most unheard of situations seem natural. Mia Farrow was spectacular and so was "Guy" her husband. Her best friend Hutch was great; this was perfectly cast. Beyond that..the storyline is so eerie..it feels so normal until suddenly nothing is as it seems and it becomes downright spooky. Slasher films are so blatant..it's scarier still in Rosemary's Baby where you get "too comfortable" with the normalcy and finally everything falls apart. Wow! I have seen this movie a thousand times and fascinates me with each new viewing. I would love to see it for the first time again but unfortunately that's pretty impossible. Love the high def. too! Added more magic if that's even possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film worth buying on a criterion blu-ray, December 2, 2013
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Not only have I got the ball rolling on converting my dvds to blu-ray, there are a select few that are upgraded to Criterion Blu-Ray. Based on the Ira Levin's novel (among my favorite books), and directed by one of the greatest filmmakers, this is one I knew I had to have. Roman Polanski's vision of this paranormal thriller remains as suspenseful to me as it was to my grandmother when she saw it at my age (23). Criterion's packages the film with collectors in mind: the case and menu feature superior aesthetics, interesting extra features (but limited, the movie is older and featurettes were not as common in the 60'a), engrossing commentaries/interviews, and coolest of all the booklet containing essays, photos, and the author's own sketches and notes. This is a great purchase, pricey but worth adding to your library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite films, August 5, 2013
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You undoubtedly love it because of its unique style and great storytelling. I love it because of that apartment! I've dreamed of having one just like it in NYC since I was a teenager. Fat chance, huh? I also want those sheets and bedspread.

Anyway, I don't really see much difference in sound or picture quality between this edition and the one Paramound put out some years ago. I happy with both. The special features and booklet on the Criterion edition are nice. However, the making-of featurette on the Paramount edition with extensive comments from PD Dick Sylbert was much more enjoyable, I thought. I'm keeping both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy with purchase, January 20, 2013
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Excellent picture quality crisp and clear would recommend to anyone. Better than original movie seen in theatres. Very, very satisfied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My FAVE Polanski Film!!! :), October 30, 2012
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This review is from: Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Finally Available on Blu-Ray... Snatched it up Right Away... Included a Picture.

New, Restored Digital Transfer, Approved by Director Roman Polanski

with Uncompressed Monaural Soundtrack!

:)
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Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] by Roman Polanski (Blu-ray - 2012)
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