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Village of the Damned (1960)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  7 December 1960 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 9,777 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 70 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

Taglines:

What Demonic Force Lurks Behind Those Eyes? 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 blond wigs that the children wear had a built-in dome to give the impression that they had a larger than normal cranium. See more »

Goofs

Just before the credits, there's a long crane shot which ends in the trees. It's obvious that the crane snagged a branch on its way up, because a branch suddenly snaps into the frame. They follow the shot with a brief view of other branches waving around, as though to cover the mistake...but the first branch was *not* blowing in the wind. 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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: John Candy/Men at Work (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A great classic thriller, unfortunately overshadowed by the spectacular psychological thriller released the same year - Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
9 September 2000 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Village of the Damned is a very well-made thriller that seems to have been overlooked because of the sheer magnitude of its competition - Psycho. Both of these films are testaments to the idea that low budgets are very capable of producing great films. It is not the size of the budget that matters, it is the skill of the filmmakers and the actors. Village of the Damned makes use of a variety of very easily done but also very effective special effects, such as the boundary across which all people and animals lose consciousness, the creepy eyes on those kids, and their hypnotic powers.

The discussion of the exact same phenomenon happening to a few remote towns all over the world does a lot to show what these kids can do, and it increases the dramatic tension of the film as a whole. Cheaply made, but also very well made because a lot of thought was obviously put into it, Village of the Damned is a timeless thriller, even in black and white. When you watch a movie like this, if you are the kind of person who is so superficial about your movies that you refuse to watch black and white films, keep in mind that black and white photography REQUIRES good acting, to put it in the immortal words of Orson Welles. You can't have black and white photography and bad acting, the film would never work. Village of the Damned takes black and white photography and fills it with excellent acting, a fascinating story, and good direction that makes me wonder why this was the only film that Wolf Rilla ever directed.


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