Thursday, June 5, 2008

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #2 - Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Directed by Roman Polanski
Poster Designed by Bemis Balkind
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - USA

[click to enlarge]

There's something deeply unsettling about this poster for Roman Polanski's classic terror Rosemary's Baby, isn't there? From the rare use of the colour green (for whatever reason, it's not a very popular colour in key art design) to the horizontal image of Mia Farrow's face superimposed over that of a seemingly innocent baby carriage resting where no baby carriage should. It all creates a deep sense of fear and foreboding. It just gives me the creeps.

It's also the most sophisticated horror poster I've seen. I mention the horror genre's need to have instant images, ones that stand out from the crowd, and while this one certain does the latter, it has a slowburning effect. You don't think it's creeping you out until you look at it a few times and start feeling a chill (maybe it's that cold muted green?)

And then that tagline - "Pray for Rosemary's Baby" - well... that just seals the deal. Classic.


JS said...

How great that it's your second favorite.

I share the same birthday as Rosemary's Baby.

And apparently so does the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) and Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). :)

leah said...

that's a beauty, kam. i like the way farrow's delicate profile is echoed in the sinister rocky escarpment, almost like a second profile of something ancient and ugly lurking below...(but then again in see bunnies and all manner of animals in clouds, too, so maybe it's just me)
one thing that puts me off a bit, though, is the incongruous white band across the bottom.

i wish the countdown weren't nearly over, i've only caught the tail-end but it's been a joy. well done! looking forward to #1

Anonymous said...

Phil Gips designed this poster when he worked with Steve Frankfurt. Bemis Balkind had nothing to do with it; they shouldn't be getting credit for it. I should know. That poster hung in my parents house.
I am the daughter of Phil.

qnz#1blogger said...

This is the scariest movie poster ever.

Desi Panga said...

What makes a Poster so special? and when it comes to the movie posters there's a lot that goes into making them!!

10 Best Movie Posters of 2008

lola said...

bemis-balkind had nothing to do with this incredible poster! ask peter bemis. it was designed by phil gips, probably one of the greatest graphic designers in hollywood! he also designed the espn logo.

Peter Nguyen said...

I used to work under Phil Gips, one of the best designers I know. He designed the Rosemary's Baby poster.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to the protests of Phil Gips' daughter, plus Lola and Peter Nguyen -- it is outrageous that 'Rosemary's Baby' is attributed to Bemis Balkind. The movie campaign preceded Bemis' acquaintance with Gips by a decade or more. Phil Gips is one of the timeless giants of design and a classy human being -- he does not deserve to be undercut and discredited by the ignorance (or direct intention??!!) of this blog site. Do your research!! Anyone who doubts it can be in touch here: --Judith Kahn