5 months ago
If you’re of a certain age, you’ve likely seen Rosemary’s Baby—the ’68 original, not the Zoe Saldana snoozer of a remake—and been privy to the film’s slow-burn, skin-crawlingly spooky plot.
As scary as the premise, which sees Rosemary (Mia Farrow) mothering Satan’s child, the real behind-the-scenes story may be even more terrifying.
But what you may not know is how much grief the film (and previously, book) brought to all who came in contact with it. There’s a Hollywood legend that the story is cursed.
So Vanity Fair‘s Rosemary Counter—the perfect name for a journalist writing on this subject, don’t you think?—recently wrote at length about the curse.
Among her findings:
-The movie came out in June 1968. That autumn, Krzysztof Komeda, who scored the movie, fell off a cliff and into a coma, never regaining consciousness.
-In April 1969, the film’s producer, William Castle, contracted a terrible case of the kidney stones. As Counter writes, “While delirious in the hospital, he hallucinated scenes from the film and was said to have yelled, ‘Rosemary, for God’s sake, drop the knife!’ Castle recovered, just barely, and never made a Hollywood hit again.”
-Director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife at the time, Sharon Tate, was brutally murdered in August 1969 by the Manson Family—along with the couple’s unborn son.
-At the Tate crime scene, “Helter Skelter” was written (misspelled, that is) in blood on the wall. The song was on the Beatles’ White Album, and years later, John Lennon would be assassinated near the luxury apartment building the Dakota, where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed.
-Author of the novel Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin, was not immune from the curse. His then-wife, who’s pregnancy he loosely based his plot on, divorced him in ’68, and he was dogged by religious groups for years. He would end his career as a recluse and in obscurity.
Watch the original trailer for Rosemary’s Baby below.