Rosemary's Baby

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Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror novel by Ira Levin, his second published book. Major elements of the story were inspired by the publicity surrounding the Church of Satan of Anton LaVey which had been founded in 1966.[1]


Plot summary

The book centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who has just moved into the Bramford, an old Gothic style New York City apartment building with her husband, Guy, a struggling actor. The pair are warned that the Bramford has a disturbing history involving witchcraft and murder, but they choose to overlook this. Rosemary has wanted children for some time, but Guy wants to wait until he is more established. Rosemary and Guy are quickly welcomed by Minnie and Roman Castevet, an eccentric elderly couple. Rosemary finds them meddlesome and absurd, but Guy begins paying them frequent visits.

After a theatrical rival suddenly goes blind, Guy is given an important part in a stage play. Immediately following this event, Guy unexpectedly agrees with Rosemary that it is time to conceive their first child. Guy is noticed and cast in other, increasingly important roles, and he begins to talk about a career in Hollywood.

After receiving a warning from a friend, who also becomes mysteriously ill, Rosemary investigates and confirms that her neighbors are the leaders of a coven of witches, and she suspects they are after her child to use it as a sacrifice to the Devil. However, she is unable to convince anyone else to believe or help her and soon becomes certain that there is no one actually on her side, not even her own husband. She is wrong about the coven's reason for wanting the baby, but the truth is even more horrific than she imagined.


In 1968, the novel was turned into an acclaimed film adaptation starring Mia Farrow, with John Cassavetes as Guy. Ruth Gordon, who played Minnie Castevet, 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.

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. A made-for-TV movie sequel to the film adaptation of this book was also made, but is unrelated to the book's sequel.


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