IMDb > Village of the Damned (1960)
Village of the Damned
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Village of the Damned (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   9,295 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) &
Wolf Rilla (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Village of the Damned on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 December 1960 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What Demonic Force Lurks Behind Those Eyes? See more »
Plot:
In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Low-key and very effective sci-fi horror, made with intelligence and restraint See more (94 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Sanders ... Gordon Zellaby
Barbara Shelley ... Anthea Zellaby
Martin Stephens ... David Zellaby
Michael Gwynn ... Alan Bernard
Laurence Naismith ... Doctor Willers
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

Peter Vaughan ... P.C. Gobby
John Phillips ... General Leighton
Richard Vernon ... Sir Edgar Hargraves
John Stuart ... Professor Smith
Keith Pyott ... Dr. Carlisle
Alexander Archdale ... The Coroner
Sheila Robins ... Nurse
Tom Bowman ... Pilot
Anthony Harrison ... Lieutenant
Diane Aubrey ... W.R.A.C. Secretary
Gerald Paris ... Sapper
Bruno ... The Dog
June Cowell ... The Children
Linda Bateson ... The Children
John Kelly ... The Children
Carlo Cura ... The Children
Lesley Scoble ... The Children
Mark Milleham ... The Children (as Mark Mileham)
Roger Malik ... The Children
Elizabeth Mundle ... The Children
Teri Scoble ... The Children (as Theresa Scoble)
Peter Preidel ... The Children
Peter Taylor ... The Children
Howard Knight ... The Children
Brian Smith ... The Village Children
Janice Howley ... The Village Children
Paul Norman ... The Village Children
Robert Marks ... The Village Children
John Bush ... The Village Children
Billy Lawrence ... The Village Children

Directed by
Wolf Rilla 
 
Writing credits
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) &
Wolf Rilla (screenplay) &
Ronald Kinnoch (screenplay) (as George Barclay)

John Wyndham (novel "The Midwich Cuckoos")

Produced by
Ronald Kinnoch .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ron Goodwin 
 
Cinematography by
Geoffrey Faithfull (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Gordon Hales 
 
Casting by
Irene Howard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Ivan King 
 
Makeup Department
Eric Aylott .... makeup artist
Joan Johnstone .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Denis Johnson .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Middlemas .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Gordon Daniel .... dubbing editor
J.B. Smith .... dubbing mixer
Cyril Swern .... sound recordist
A.W. Watkins .... recording supervisor
 
Visual Effects by
Tom Howard .... photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Drake .... camera operator
Gerald Moss .... photographer: second unit
Dennis Fraser .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eileen Sullivan .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Music Department
Ron Goodwin .... conductor
 
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... driver: generator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lee Turner .... continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
77 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1960) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2005) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The map co-ordinates for Midwich, given over the radio when pilots are being advised to avoid the local airspace, refer to the real life village of Woodmancott in Hampshire.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Spaced: Epiphanies (#1.6)" (1999)See more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Was Martin Stephens's voice dubbed?
Why was the title changed to "Village of the Damned"?
See more »
23 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Low-key and very effective sci-fi horror, made with intelligence and restraint, 7 December 2006
Author: J. Spurlin from United States

The best way to watch this movie is ignorantly. Go to Netflix now, put the movie at the top of your queue and watch it when it arrives. Read about it later. If you enjoy sci-fi classics like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Them!"; if you love the Britishness of the Hammer horror pictures; if you prefer a well-told story, rich suspense, sympathetic characters and black-and-white photography to special effects, color and gore, you will want to see this film right away.

The movie begins in Midwich. We meet the scientist Gordon Zellaby having a telephone conversation. Mid-sentence he passes out. At the same moment, every single person and animal in town has passed out just as suddenly; some unknown force has put all the inhabitants of Midwich to sleep. When the army gets involved, we discover this force has precise boundaries. One soldier, after being lassoed around the waist, walks past the boundary, loses consciousness and immediately revives when his fellows pull him out of the infected area. A few hours later, this strange force disappears and everyone wakes up. The mystery remains unsolved for weeks, but it has a sequel. All Midwich women of childbearing age are unaccountably pregnant.

Watching this science-fiction movie paired with almost any modern one demonstrates how storytelling has devolved as special effects have advanced. It also demonstrates how one simple effect can be more memorable than a thousand complex ones. I happened to see this just before watching "The Forgotten" (2005), a stupid movie with expensive effects; but not of those expensive effects is as potent as this movie's signature device. When the blonde-haired Midwich children wreak psychic havoc, the picture freezes and their eyes glow. That inexpensive trick shot is worth the millions blown on "The Forgotten."

Another nice effect: George Sanders. He plays the hero, Gordon Zellaby, a scientist who becomes a dubious father to one of the Midwich freaks. Sanders plays rogues in almost every other movie, but here he is sweet-natured and convincingly so; he betrays not a shadow of his usual cynicism. Were this his only surviving film, one would think he was born to play kindly old men. The excellent cast has one other outstanding performance by Martin Stephens, who plays Sanders's cold-hearted "son." Would you be surprised to learn his voice was dubbed by a female actress specializing in children? I was surprised to learn it wasn't. That is the boy's own eerily precise diction.

Special praise must also go to the director and photographer, Wolf Rilla and Geoffrey Faithful, who give the movie the detached air of a documentary. The script, credited to Stirling Silliphant, George Barclay and Rilla, is an excellent adaptation of a fine book, "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Beynon Harris. Fans of this movie will want to read it. The book has many enjoyable details that were necessarily and wisely cut from the adaptation. To note one difference, the children in the movie are psychically linked: what one knows they all know. But in the book, the boys are psychically linked with the boys, the girls with the girls; but there is little or no link between the two sexes. The reasons for this are fascinating.

I haven't seen the John Carpenter remake, and I don't want to. What would the ideal remake of this film look like? It would look like the original: black-and-white, set in the late fifties, cast with Brits and scripted with the same restraint. Maybe modern resources could add a piquant touch or two; it would be amusing to see all those sheep fall asleep in the opening scene. Oh, and that awful model shot of the school could be replaced. Otherwise, we have the film we want, so why remake it?

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Village of the Damned (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Time for a Sequel rollingndoe
Why are they all there when taught by Zellaby? irvberg2002
How smart is Dr. Zellaby? irvberg2002
That pilot had the worst luck. Mohr Stoutbeard
Ideas about the children? kalliope42
Favorite version? kiriyama_shuya
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