Friday, September 26, 2014

“Possibly Best Horror Movie Ever Made” in Bigfork

A claim like this is always open to challenge, but Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 98% rating and it’s being shown in Bigfork just in time for Halloween this year.  It is a 1968 movie that won an Academy Award for acting by Ruth Gorden. It is about a young New York couple expecting their first child with the future father making a very unwise contract to help his failing acting career. Roman Polanski directs an outstanding cast with outstanding performances. See what all the fuss was about when the Classic Movie Series has this “R rated” film to give you some chills and get you ready for the Halloween season. Shown by Jack Nachbar at The Edge Center in Bigfork on October 9th at 6:30 PM free of charge.  Jack’s presentation will give you a better understanding of the film and the film industry at the time period of the picture.  Of course there will be a cartoon of the same period to lighten you up a bit at first.

What an extraordinary impression this movie left on the industry and public. Roman Polanski selected a story in a book not yet a hit for his first American made movie, gathered an all-start cast which no director could afford these days, got his leading lady divorced just because she was not being a stay-at-home wife, received two Academy Awards and at least 15 other industry accolades, and is ranked ninth in The American Film Institute’s “100 years…100 thriller”list. And if that is not enough, an Oscar for a leading actor in a horror film was only repeated in 1991 with “Silence of the lambs”.  The plot holds your attention probably leaving you with the chills without any explicit violence or gore.

Mia Farrow (1945) already had a reputation from the TV series “Peyton Place” before this role came about. She was not yet a box-office star, but the potential was there.  The role cost her dearly with a divorce by Frank Sinatra.  Mia kept trying to get out of the role of Rosemary Woodhouse in the film, but Polanski convinced her otherwise using a rough cut of  film showing what the resulting movie could be like. It ended up being a good role for her career, but not the Oscar nomination Polanski said she would get. She did get BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for best actress. She was in 12 of Woody Allans 13 films from 1883 to 1992. With 50 films to her credit, Mia has awards from Golden Globe, BAFTA, and best actress award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world due to her humanitarian work.

Ruth Gordon (1896-1985) plays Minnie Castevet  (center above), a seemingly caring neighbor who befriends the Woodhouses and really dominates them and the movie. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as this over zealous neighbor in “Rosemary’s Baby”.  In her career, Ruth was not only an accomplished film, stage and TV actress, but also screen writer and playwright.   She started her career on the stage at 19 years old, had roles in Harold and Maude (1971), and the Clint Eastwood films “Every Which Way but Loose” (1978) and “Any Which Way You Can” (1980). She wrote plays, film scripts and books, including co-writing the screenplay for the 1949 film “Adam's Rib”. Her awards include the Oscar, an Emmy, two acting Golden Globe awards, and three Academy Award writing nominations..

John Cassavetes (1929-1989) plays the husband and struggling actor Guy Woodhouse in “Rosemary’s Baby.” He forms a bond with the Castevets (Minnie and Roman) and shortly after gets a starring role of an actor who suddenly turns blind.  John was a film director, and screen writer besides an actor. Credited with being a pioneer of American independent film, John wrote, directed, and partially self-financed over a dozen movies. Many say these movies introduced the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.

Those are three of the stars in “Rosemary’s Baby”, but with many others you will probably recognize, this is a well done movie and well worth a trip to Bigfork to possibly be chilled a bit and better prepared for the Halloween season. So for an early chiller-start to this season’s Halloween chills and thrills, come to Bigfork and get scared by an all-star cast in “Rosemary’s Baby”. Plus add a great explanation of the film and industry by Jack Nachbar.  This movie is presented free of charge and some appropriate snacks courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist Lynn.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday, October 9th at 6:30 PM. Price of admission: free.

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