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Monday, October 17, 2011

Rosemary's Baby's Lullaby on My Halloween Countdown

Approaching the bassinet with a butcher knife. Now that's a lovely image for starters, no? "Pray for Rosemary's Baby" read the ads at the time of the film's release. See why?

1968. Mia Farrow was best known prior to that time for her role as Allison MacKenzie on ABC-tv's Peyton Place. There was much publicity surrounding the shearing of her famously long, hippie-like locks in favor of a Carnaby Street/Twiggy-like 'do for the Roman Polanski film, Rosemary's Baby. On tonight's Halloween Countdown, listen to Mia guilelessly sing the theme song. It's a lullaby; an eerie, effectively creepy little lullaby, very appropriate to sing to your demon spawn should you have one. It was written by Krzysztof Komeda, the brilliant composer who frequently scored films by fellow Pole, Polanski.

Produced by William Castle ("Strait-jacket"), adapted from a novel by Ira Levin ("The Stepford Wives") and shot at Manhattan's The Dakota apartment building. Farrow received divorce papers from Frank Sinatra while filming there. Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, would be murdered the following year by Charles Manson and his followers, who titled their death spree "Helter Skelter" after the 1968 song by The Beatles, one of whose members, John Lennon, would one day live (and in 1980 be murdered) in The Dakota, where Rosemary's Baby had been filmed. In December 1968, in Los Angeles, composer Komeda had a tragic car accident which led to a haematoma of the brain that caused his death. He was 35.

Now, is this song going to lull you off to sleep? You will have pleasant dreams, I hope. Our madonna, Rosemary, wouldn't want it any other way,... babies!

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