Roman Polanski

Polish director who married the Manson-murdered Sharon Tate, seemed to have had sex with a thirteen-year-old, and directed Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown.

Knife in the Water (1962) -- Maybe in 1962 this was considered tension (though I doubt it), but really it's just a redundant story about an older guy and a younger guy (neither of which are charming or interesting) trying to outdo each other on a boat for an hour and a half. C

Rosemary's Baby (1968) -- A really wonderful and kooky (and creepy) and funny and just all-around bizarre movie. Although, unless I'm watching it wrong, it seems like a mistake to have Rosemary "accept" the devil's kid at the end. What was that, a joke? (Sam O'Steen directs the sequel, Look What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby.) B

Macbeth (1971) -- Noticed at the time for its nude scenes (including a coven-full of old witches) and violence, it's actually pretty good to me because of it's dreamy (and sometimes even trippy) portrayal of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's guilty fantasies.  The spooky moments make it stand out, and the rest of it is standard in a good way and perhaps even definitive. B

Chinatown (1974) -- About as good as everyone says it is. (See Jack Nicholson for the sequel, The Two Jakes.) B

The Pianist (2002) -- The first forty-five minutes or so of this movie should have been replaced with a black screen that said, "INSERT NAZI STUFF HERE."  All the things we've seen a hundred times before appear on screen: Nazis who are evil cartoon characters, huddled Jews, vicious and "shocking" killings, etc. etc.  But once we're left alone with Adrien Brody's character, the film becomes interesting--sort of like Castaway with its story of one man surviving alone.  The movie shows how the frail and artistic survive as well as the strong during horrific times.  More could have been done to distinguish this from other Holocaust movies, and we could have been given a better idea of who Brody was before the war, but in spite of its faults, this is a very good movie. B

Copyright (c) Jan 2002 - Aug 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies