Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rosemary's Baby-Now and Then

I visited New York City last month and one of the places on my must see list was The Dakota apartment building near Central Park. Construction on the building was finished in 1884. In 1968 the exterior was used in Roman Polanski's film, "Rosemary's Baby", starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes.
This high angle shot is from the opening credits of the film.

The Upper West Side of Manhattan was quite sparse during The Dakota's early years.

Here you see Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes walking outside the building. That's Central Park in the background.
In the film, this couple, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into the the building, called the Bramford. They befriend this older couple, the Castevets, who happen to be witches/devil worshipers. Many of the building's older residents are part of this coven. The Castevets convince Guy that he could have fame and success in his acting career if his wife conceives Satan's child.
The Dakota is also known as the home of former Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon was murdered in this entryway behind me on December 8th, 1980. He was shot several times in the back by Mark David Chapman when he was returning home for the night.
Yoko and John, outside The Dakota shortly before his murder.

This is actress Ruth Gordan, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Minnie Castevet. Some of her other films include "Harold and Maude" and "What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?". She was also a successful screenwriter, having received Oscar nominations for "Adam's Rib", "Pat and Mike", and "A Double Life".

In this scene, Mia is waiting for her friend, Hutch, outside the Time and Life building.
That's Radio City Music Hall in the background. Home of the Rockettes.