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Village of the Damned (1960)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,975 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 69 critic

In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Village of the Damned (1960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Barbara Shelley ...
Martin Stephens ...
Michael Gwynn ...
Laurence Naismith ...
Richard Warner ...
Harrington
Jenny Laird ...
Mrs. Harrington
Sarah Long ...
Evelyn Harrington
Thomas Heathcote ...
James Pawle
Charlotte Mitchell ...
Janet Pawle
Pamela Buck ...
Milly Hughes
Rosamund Greenwood ...
Miss Ogle
Susan Richards ...
Mrs. Plumpton
Bernard Archard ...
Vicar
...
P.C. Gobby
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Storyline

In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don't want to do. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

english | children | village | soldier | eye | See more »

Taglines:

Beware the stare that will paralyze the will of the world. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Village of the Damned  »

Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eerie effect of the children's glowing eyes was created by matting a negative (reversed) image of their eyes over the pupils when they used their powers. See more »

Goofs

The action takes place in the 1950s (some characters are wearing medal ribbons for the Korean War), but all of Major General Leighton's campaign ribbons predate 1939; he has no ribbons for World War Two. He could have retired before 1939, but he would have been far too old to rejoin after the war. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prof. Gordon Zellaby: [on telephone] Good morning. Uh, would you get me Major Bernard at his Whitehall number? Thank you.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Aaaaaaaaaaargh!! Those EYES!!
21 May 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Village of the Damned is a strongly compelling Science-Fiction highlight and easily of the eeriest movies I ever saw. Although it's a very modest and simply made production, the scary-effect of this film is a lot more effective than some of its big-budgeted colleagues. On a random day, the entire English village of Midwich falls into a trance-like sleep. Completely inexplicably, they awake again seemly normal but two months later it appears that every fertile woman in town got pregnant on the day of the blackout. The newborns show a strange resemblance in looks and – what is even more bizarre – they're telekinetic! Due to their amazing intelligence and emotionless behavior, they form a huge threat and freak out the entire little town. `Village of the Damned' is loyally adapted from John Wyndham's novel `The Midwich Cuckoos'. Throughout the whole film, you don't get much explanation and, as a viewer, you're forced to guess at the mystery's origin. Although highly unlikely, the events in Midwich really are alarming and make you feel uncomfortable. This effect is reached through solid tension and macabre atmosphere much more than through special effects. The eerily lit eyes of the ‘children' are the only real effects but they cause a lot more fear than gallons of blood ever could! Village of the Damned also owes a lot of its power to a terrific casting job. Essentially to achieve the obtained scary effect were the children. Well, they did a good job! The offspring looks alienated almost naturally and their appearance literally chills your blood. The concerned adult in Village of the Damned is excellently played by George Sanders. Sanders was a terrific and shamefully overlooked English class actor who committed suicide in the early 70's. He has a got a few other delightful horror movies on his repertoire like `Psychomania' and `Doomwatch' (both are some of his last films). Village of the Damned is a highly recommended picture that'll certainly keep you close to the screen till the end-credits role. Equally recommended is the (unofficial) sequel called `Children of the Damned'. There's a bit more background in that film, as well as some more explicit horror sequences. The 1995 remake by John Carpenter, however, is rather unexciting and one of the most redundant films ever made. Stick to the original and be scared!


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