Rosemary's Baby | 1968
Roman Polanski perfectly captures the paranoia growing beneath the seemingly ordinary domestic surface, while veteran Ruth Gordon steals the show as the Woodhouse’s busybody neighbour, Minnie Castevet. Castle is rewarded with a cameo as the cigar-smoking man waiting outside the phone booth as a distraught Rosemary Woodhouse calls Dr Hill for help.
The ‘Bramford’, the brooding Gothic building where newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) set up home is, of course, the Dakota Apartments, 1 West 72nd Street at Central Park West.
Most famously, of course, the block was the last home of John Lennon, who was gunned down at the building’s entrance in December 1980. Across the road, in Central Park, is Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields.
Ira Levin’s original story was inspired by the Alwyn Court Apartments, a Renaissance-style block, decorated with terracotta dragons, at 180 West 58th Street – which now also houses Petrossian restaurant (where you can probably hear the Trench sisters chewing).
The only other movie to be filmed at the Dakota was Joseph L Mankiewicz’s 1949 House of Strangers with Edward G Robinson and Susan Hayward. Filming is no longer permitted in the block, though the Dakota’s exterior can be seen as the home of Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky.