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These Are the Damned (1963)
"The Damned" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror  -  7 July 1965 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,662 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 42 critic

An American tourist, a youth gang leader, and his troubled sister find themselves trapped in a top secret government facility experimenting on children.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Macdonald Carey ...
Simon Wells
Shirley Anne Field ...
Joan
...
Freya Neilson
...
Bernard
...
King
...
Major Holland
Brian Oulton ...
Mr. Dingle
Kenneth Cope ...
Sid
James Villiers ...
Captain Gregory
Tom Kempinski ...
Ted (as Thomas Kempinski)
Barbara Everest ...
Miss Lamont
Allan McClelland ...
Mr. Stuart (as Alan McClelland)
James Maxwell ...
Mr. Talbot
Rachel Clay ...
Victoria
Caroline Sheldon ...
Elizabeth
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Storyline

Legal and illegal criminality. An American tourist with a boat is robbed by a gang of teenager boys, assisted by the leader's sister. But soon afterward she jumps to the victim's boat to escape her brother's incestuous jealousy. The couple fly together and is hunted by the entire gang. Both happen to enter high-classified military territory. There might be a third and atomic world war, after which no ordinary man could survive. But now and then children are born who are "naturally" radio-active and have cold blood. They might survive in the post-war world and carry on mankind. They are fetched and brought to an underground construction where they are educated by TV. They are told that they are on a space ship moving toward the earth, which they should eventually colonize. This military project seems to be a failure because of a high mortality among the children. - The military soon finds the gang. The couple finds the children and tries to help them to escape. This situation will ... Written by Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Children of Ice And Darkness! They Are the Lurking Unseen Evil You Dare Not Face Alone! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 July 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

These Are the Damned  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although submitted to the BBFC in 1961 the UK release was held back by almost a year after director Joseph Losey delayed making a requested censor cut which showed King beating Wells with his umbrella. Losey eventually made the cut and the film was released in 1963. See more »

Goofs

(at around 38mins) When Neilson wrestles King to the ground, a person's shadow (cameraman?) can be seen to move on the ground next to them. See more »

Quotes

Joan: Whoever I am, I'm not who you think... You never even asked my name!
Joan: With a figure like that, you don't need a name!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bloodiest Show on Earth: Making Vampire Circus (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues in the Night
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Whistled by the gang in the night coast scene to signal each other
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much deeper than it appears?
29 August 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I saw this recently on a late night "British Film Celebration" series, showing various odds and sods of yester-year. In some ways I wished I had videoed it now, as thinking about it afterwards (and thinking about it is certainly something you'll do)there's clearly something going on with the characterisation that was far more important than lets on at first. A second viewing was perhaps needed, certainly the characters don't seem quite fleshed out and when thinking about it I was wondering if that was the point. But here's what I mean by the characters:

  • The spiritually hurt "old/young" man played (and in fairness, perhaps


miscast) by MacDonald Carey, desperate in some way to "complete" himself; the numerous old English establishment/power figures, feeling out of time and place, as if powerless to deal with the worlds changes, still "in" power but somehow no longer; the devout artist, passionate about her work, which in itself is a little dehumanising (there is a great, heart rending scene, where she cries in agony as Oliver Reed destroys some of her art work, that will stay with me for a while); the young girl unable to "become" what she wants, perhaps of her "possessive" brother, who really genuinely wants to protect her from the evils of the world; the emotionless children, full of potential but ultimately radioactive and poison, and most of all the "angry young men" lead masterfully by Oliver Reed, They represent the irrational human, simply wanting to "be" and nothing more.

While trying to follow some sort of standard narrative, there seems to be something else going on in this film that is talking about a far wider, human theme with actually makes it much more of a "pure" science fiction/philosophical film than it maybe gets credit for. Yes, you can look at it at face value and ultimately see it as nothing more than a curious English B movie, but...

The film moves very slowly, but its shift from what looks to be a critique on teenagers turns into a science fiction film with a very gritty message about human survival and with its grim ending its something you tend not to see much in films, either then or now.

Perhaps I am reading FAR too much into the film, but cold war polemic aside there seems to be something far more rhetorical being said about "radiation" and the death of humanity/culture/civility. There seems to be comments made on how the individual deals with a world that can face potential catastrophic change at any moment which will deny you your very humanity and dignity. I'm not saying the film does this successfully, but nonetheless it's a very interesting "attempt" and well worth a little look.

Oh...and as for the "Black Leather, Black Leather, Smash, Smash, Smash" song. Well, it's interesting... Maybe there's a comment being made there too...about inanity? Perhaps I need to get out more.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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