Cover Image: Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby

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Member Reviews

As weird as it felt reading a book, about a movie, based on a book, this was an interesting and entertaining deep-dive into the making of the film.

As a fan of the movie I was really looking forward to this, and blew through the book. An easy, palatable read with plenty of info and tidbits - it would be the perfect read for any fan of the film, or just filmmaking in general.
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This book was refreshing in that it really allowed me to learn a lot about the film of Rosemary's Baby it dug deep with details. It's kind of funny reading a book about a movie that's based on a book. The parts with Roman Poliski were yucky feels but that has nothing to do with the author. I loved the added pictures too of behind the scenes. My only issue is that at times it felt a little long winded on chapters.
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I really love the movie Rosemary's Baby and I'm obsessed with reading about cults. This book offered a great analysis of the movie. It was well written and easy to follow.  It took me a long time to read because it's more about facts about the movie and an actual story so I would take breaks here and there. 

I would recommend this book to fans of cults or the movie Rosemary's Baby. 

Unfortunately, the ebook that I received did not have the amazing cover so I didn't post it on my instagram or talk about it as much in my stories. There was one time the bookstagram club that I belong to had a a virtual movie night and the movie that was chosen was Rosemary's Baby. Of course I had background symbolism!
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Dealing with the three stages of this film from pre-production, filming and the release, Michael Newton has provided a comprehensive analysis of the film Rosemary's Baby.
With the usual excellence of the BFI books, Newton discusses Polanski's background and how he came to make the film and what led the producers to offer him the job of directing a film which took old Hollywood and new Hollywood and combined them into such a symbolic and culturally important film for its time. He provides an excellent background to how the film was shaped throughout production, taking into account the different methods of acting of Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes to the reaction of the film and how the film community reacted to it.
Highly recommended for film buffs and students alike.
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Honestly, I got about 10 pages into this and decided that this was not a book for me. I just didn’t like the way things were worded or phrased, it rubbed me the wrong way. Just not the book for me!
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A great detailed history of the famous film, Rosemary's Baby. I felt a sensation of diving into the movie once I finished reading this book. It gave more backstory of the film maker and actors. Pretty crazy what I learned from mainly the film maker. It did give so much detailed description of the making of the movie that it did overwhelmed me. But overall this was  pretty good for any horror fans. I give this book 4 out 5 stars. It's fast paced in my opinion and I learned pretty interesting stuff!

Thank you Netgalley for letting me review this.
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Rosemary's Baby by Michael Newton is a fairly comprehensive analysis of the film by the same name directed by Roman Polanski. It dives into the creation of the film itself, a lot of the thoughts Polanski and the author of the book the movie was based on, Ira Levin, had about the film. It later dives into the film itself, and it finishes up with a brief overview of some of the external issues surrounding people involved with the film, primarily Polanski.

The middle third of the book, which features the analysis of the film itself, is the strongest part of the book. It dives deeply into themes, compares and contrasts the novel to the film, and dives deeply into why Levin and Polanski made the choices they did in their respective works. It's a solid look into multiple possibilities and perspectives tied to Rosemary's Baby, and it's quite enjoyable.

That being said, the book has a number of flaws. First and foremost, it's pretentious. There are multiple lines where I had to pause to roll my eyes. Maybe that just means I'm not the target audience for such an academic-sounding read, but really, I felt a lot more pretentiousness than I felt I should have. There were moments in the writing where the pretentiousness slipped and it felt like Newton was connecting with the reader on a real level, but those only served to highlight how pompous other parts felt. 

Second, the beginning and the end of the book just didn't stand up to the middle. The first third of the book was a massive slog. This was where the author told the story of the film's production, from concept to casting to filming. I've read interesting accounts of film productions before, but this just wasn't one of them. It was dull, but I knew there was some sort of analysis coming, and I wanted to see if I'd enjoy it. 

Third, after riding the high of some fun film analysis, the ending of the book, primarily the talk about Manson, Polanski, and some of the other cultural events that were related to people related to the film, was a letdown. It went back to being dry, and honestly, slightly off-putting. 

Specifically, in regards to the small but condemning section devoted to Polanski's rape, it felt odd. I'm not sure how an author includes such a condemnation without it feeling out of place, as it's not something that meshes well with an academic analysis of a film separate from the incident, but I think it would have felt less tacked-on near the beginning rather than near the end. 

All in all, while the analysis in the middle of the book was what I really had hoped for when starting the book, the other sections left me feeling bored and let down by the time I had finished. It's quite possible the work just isn't for me. If you're a big fan of the film, I'd still say it's worth a shot.
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A stylish and informative book about the infamous and controversial Rosemary’s Baby. I hadn’t seen the film until recently, and while I don’t feel the movie holds up this book gave a great insight into the film and the story behind the scenes.
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Rosemary's Baby by Michael Newton is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.

A story of the making of the film, preconception (somewhat ironic, I know), casting, dissolution of the marriage between Farrow and Sinatra, its use of symbolism, reference (though not quite reverence) to the Catholic church, critical response, its alleged curse, and its place in film history.
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What is Rosemary’s Baby? The answer is surprisingly much more complicated than a 1969 horror film directed by Roman Polanski.

The movie has a gothic woman-in-danger who-can-help-her plot. Newlyweds Rosemary and struggling actor, Guy, find the perfect apartment in New York City. And the neighbors seem so friendly. But then the deaths start... Who can help Rosemary escape their increasingly malevolent-seeming intrusiveness? 

This book sees the film over fifty years after its creation. Was it a referendum on old vs. young generations? Did it have a detective or a conspiracy plot? Was it a woman’s or a misogynist’s film? Pro or anti-religion? Comedy or a tragedy? Or could it be all of these things at once?

The author also sees connections between the film’s director and its stars personal life and history to the way the movie was filmed. Mia Farrow had only recently married older actor Frank Sinatra. Polanski’s entire family was killed in Nazi death camps. His prior films had portrayed women as both victim and victimizer. He also had a connection with the neo-Satanist cult leader, Manson, and child abuse allegations in his future.

This book is an enthralling deep dive into Rosemary’s Baby. It will expand the reader’s viewpoint of the film from being a simple horror film into much more. 5 stars!

Thanks to British Film Institute, Bloomsbury Academic and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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A great deep dive into Rosemary's Baby, arguably one of the best horror movies ever made. Perfect for any aspiring filmmaker or superfan. The writer proves an in depth look at not only the film, but also the inspiration, reception, and atmosphere during this time. It feels like a dvd extra or commentary that provides so much more to the film. The writers extensive research shine through the solid writing to give an amazing read.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this arc. This is a short read, just under 200 pages (also the last 16% are footnotes), with photographs that looks at how the movie Rosemary’s Baby came to be made with plenty of behind-the-scenes scope. There’s a lot covered on the themes and motifs of Ira Levin and Polankski’s work, which I highly enjoyed. However I did find the author’s analysis of the movie familiar, with plenty of interpretations I’d already read before and so there was nothing new here, and felt the last part of the book, which looked at the cultural impact of the movie, was rather short and abrupt and wished they’re had been more of it. Similarly it’s impact on the horror genre is quite brief and wished it had been fleshed our more. Nonetheless if you like the movie then this book is a must for your book shelf/coffee table. 3.5/5.
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My thanks to Bloomsbury Academic- BFI Publishing for a temporary digital edition via NetGalley of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Michael Newton in exchange for an honest review.

This work is part of the BFI Film Classics series that introduces, interprets and celebrates landmarks of world cinema. In it Michael Newton studies the film’s development and its adaptation from novel to film including the casting and filming processes.

He examines the roles played by studio executive Robert Evans, the film's producer William Castle, director Roman Polanski and its stars including Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes. There is also a close textual analysis of the film’s meanings and resonances.

In the final section he examines the film’s reception and its cultural impact, as well as how it became linked with the horrific murders of Sharon Tate, Polanski’s wife, and their unborn child by members of the Manson cult; along with the later controversies surrounding Polanski. The text is accompanied by photographs from the set and stills from the film. There are copious notes, a bibliography and suggestions for further reading.

‘Rosemary’s Baby’ ranks among my all time favourite novels, cementing my admiration for its author, Ira Levin. On viewing the film, my first R rated one, I was impressed at how faithful it was to its source material. Since then I have lost count of the number of times that I have viewed it.

This is clearly an academic work that will be of interest to film studies students, and yet it remains accessible to those who are fans of horror and film. 

Overall, I really appreciated having the opportunity of doing this deep dive into ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. I now want to watch it again keeping in mind the elements that Newton highlighted. 

Highly recommended.
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3.5⭐

I enjoyed reading this analysis of Rosemary's Baby overall, but I struggled through some parts of it. I'm more of a casual fan of Rosemary's Baby, and I think this book would be better for someone who really loves it. There were a lot of names, dates, and industry background information to sift through in this one. 

However, once the book got more into the actual film analysis, I enjoyed it much more. I also want to re-watch the movie now. I wish there would have been a little more organization / flow, but it was still an interesting read.
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I received this book from Bloomsbury Academic through NetGalley for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This book is an exploration of the film, perfect for aficionados of genre film making. It focuses on the clarification of the gothic, the horror movie.  It's an examination of the meanings and cultural impact of the film itself while also writing of the casting, producing and film design elements. With photos and in-depth details, this short book is absolutely a necessity for future film makers and students. Personally, I've seen the film several times and this exploration is spot on! Thoroughly enjoyable experience and I highly recommend the book to those who simply enjoy a gothic movie as well as the student.
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I didn't read the description before requesting this and just assumed it was a retelling of Rosemary's baby but it is instead a book about the movie itself. I do enjoy horror movies and novels so I found this interesting. You are offered some insight on the movie with the background information, themes, and symbolism. This was a quick read as well and makes me want to go watch the movie now! Thank you netgalley and to the publisher!
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This is what happens when you don't read the blurb. You expect something but you get something else. I was hoping I would read the horror story. But unfortunately it's a book about the horror movie. And I had such high expectations.
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This book provides an in depth account of the making of the  cult classic "Rosemarys Baby ".  While its not a thrilling read it provides ample information in regards to the movies cast and crew. It also delves deep into the movies symbolism.  


I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Having seen the title movie countless times and recently reading the novel for the first time, this book was a quick and fun and full of great facts. From the backgrounds of individuals who worked on the film to the histories of Old Hollywood, the Church of Satan and beyond, this was a treasure trove of information.
If you're a film buff or just really really love this movie (and novel) as much as I do, you're going to want to pick this up.
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This is an absolutely fascinating account and critical analysis of the classic horror film, Rosemary’s Baby. The author clearly knows the subject very well and does a great job of showcasing how the movie’s major themes reflected the culture of its time period. 

There’s lots of insight into what happened before, during, and after the movie was made. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a bit more about Polanski’s and Sharon Tate’s relationship, along with the connections many made between the movie and Tate’s murder. All in all, though, this book is more than worthwhile for film and horror lovers who enjoy looking at the deeper meanings behind some of history’s most revered movies. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
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