Farrow plays a pregnant woman who fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric neighbours, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as a human sacrifice in their occultic rituals in exchange for success in his acting career.
In her review for The New York Times, Renata Adler said, "The movie—although it is pleasant—doesn't seem to work on any of its dark or powerful terms. I think this is because it is almost too extremely plausible. The quality of the young people's lives seems the quality of lives that one knows, even to the point of finding old people next door to avoid and lean on. One gets very annoyed that they don't catch on sooner."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "a brooding, macabre film, filled with the sense of unthinkable danger. Strangely enough it also has an eerie sense of humor almost until the end. It is a creepy film and a crawly film, and a film filled with things that go bump in the night. It is very good...much more than just a suspense story; the brilliance of the film comes more from Polanski's direction, and from a series of genuinely inspired performances, than from the original story . . . The best thing that can be said about the film, I think, is that it works. Polanski has taken a most difficult situation and made it believable, right up to the end. In this sense, he even outdoes Hitchcock."
Variety stated, "Several exhilarating milestones are achieved in Rosemary's Baby, an excellent film version of Ira Levin's diabolical chiller novel. Writer-director Roman Polanski has triumphed in his first US-made pic. The film holds attention without explicit violence or gore . . . Farrow's performance is outstanding."
Today, the film is widely regarded as a classic; the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 98% "Certified Fresh" rating (53 out of 54 reviews), with the site's consensus stating "A frightening tale of Satanism and pregnancy that is even more disturbing than it sounds thanks to convincing and committed performances by Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon."
- Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse
- John Cassavetes as Guy Woodhouse
- Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevet
- Sidney Blackmer as Roman Castevet / Steven Marcato
- Maurice Evans as Hutch
- Ralph Bellamy as Dr. Abraham Sapirstein
- Charles Grodin as Dr. Hill
- Patsy Kelly as Laura-Louise
- Victoria Vetri (credited as Angela Dorian) as Terry Gionoffrio
- Emmaline Henry as Elise Dunstan
- Hanna Landy as Grace Cardiff
- Tony Curtis as voice of Donald Baumgart
- Phil Leeds as Dr. Shand
- Hope Summers as Mrs. Gilmore
- Elisha Cook, Jr. as Mr. Micklas
- D'Urville Martin as Diego
- Marianne Gordon as Rosemary's Girlfriend
- Wende Wagner as Rosemary's Girlfriend
- Clay Tanner as the Devil