Rosemary's Baby is part of "my canon," a totally arbitrary and subjective list of my 100 favorite movies. For reviews of other movies on this list, look for the Top 100 category on the right sidebar.
The most chilling moment in Rosemary’s Baby sounds like nothing at all: by now convinced that every man she knows has conspired to offer her unborn baby to Satan, Rosemary waits in a phone booth, trapped and terrorized, for a phone call from an obstetrician named Dr. Hill. Considering her husband, the elderly couple next door, and another doctor named Sapirstein all seem to be in on this treacherous plot, Rosemary has reason to distrust everyone. Having finally picked up a call from Dr. Hill, Rosemary doesn’t notice when a tall, hulking man approaches the phone booth, his back facing the audience. The camera tracks slightly right and downward, there’s a brief musical cue on the soundtrack—and that’s it. The effect of such a minuscule formal choice, however, is shattering, as this unknown man comes to symbolize all of the evil besieging Rosemary: from her husband and friends, the supposed terrain of love and family; from a heteronormative culture, which sees Rosemary’s pregnancy as her ultimate worth in marriage; and from the patriarchal medical field, which prescribes dubious pills and concoctions and expects only silence and obedience from Rosemary.
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