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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  1 October 1968 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 78,845 users  
Reviews: 571 user | 270 critic

A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as John Russo) , (screenplay) (as George Romero)
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Title: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Duane Jones ...
Ben
...
Karl Hardman ...
Marilyn Eastman ...
Keith Wayne ...
Tom
Judith Ridley ...
Kyra Schon ...
Charles Craig ...
S. William Hinzman ...
Zombie (as Bill Heinzman)
George Kosana ...
Frank Doak ...
Scientist
Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille ...
Field Reporter
...
Zombie / Posse Member
Samuel R. Solito ...
Zombie / Posse Member
Mark Ricci ...
Washington Scientist
Edit

Storyline

Barbra and Tommy visit their father's grave in a remote cemetery when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbra manages to get away and takes refuge in what seems to be an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. Barbra and Ben are surprised when they realize there are 5 people hiding out in the basement: Harry, Helen and Judy Cooper; and a young couple, Tom and Judy. Dissensions sets in almost immediately with Harry Cooper wanting to be in charge. As their situation deteriorates, their chances of surviving the night lessen minute by minute. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laugh Track: Night of the Living Dead  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$114,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the cast and crew of the film had nothing but positive things to say about Duane Jones (Ben), Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper) would later refer to him as a tortured individual, due to the racial tensions which were still high in the United States during the late sixties. Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper) had become good friends with Jones, and Jones' unfortunate death in 1988 affected him greatly. He would often become emotional when talking about Jones, and believed he received a rotten deal in life due to the nation's racial tensions. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Johnny tells Barbara that they have a "three-hour drive" ahead of them to return home to Pittsburgh. However, later in the film when the TV broadcast is listing local rescue stations, all of the town names given are located in the greater Pittsburgh area. See more »

Quotes

Field Reporter: Chief, do you think that we will be able to defeat these things?
Sheriff McClelland: Well, we killed nineteen of them today right in this area. The last three, we caught them trying to claw they're way into an abandoned shed. They must of thought someone was in there, but there wasn't though. We heard them making all kind of noises so we came over, beat 'em off and blasted them down.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no on-screen copyright notice, nor any of the usual legal disclaimers typically found in movie credits; this is the main reason the film has been in the public domain since its release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Croatoan (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Shock/Stormy
(uncredited)
Music by Ib Glindemann
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Low budget, creepy and unique - legendary for a reason
15 May 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

This landmark 1968 horror-shocker is a great example of what can be done with a limited budget, a simple idea, and some dedicated and talented participants. Very nicely shot, mostly well acted, NOTLD grabs your attention from the very beginning to the very end - and what a classic end it is.

The story begins with Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and her brother visiting the grave of a friend of their mother, and takes off almost immediately, as they are attacked by a horde of cannibalistic zombies. Narrowly escaping, but losing her emotional balance in the process, Barbara escapes to a house a bit farther down the road where she meets Ben (Duane Jones), the hero of the film. They discover a family with a sick little girl and a young couple in the basement of the house and they all get to work barricading themselves in and preparing weapons and other defenses. The rest of the story concerns the group dynamics between these survivors as the dead close in on their refuge, the story of what is going on in the rest of the USA - revealed through TV reportage and radio broadcasts, and sheer survival. The human side of this film is an interesting and accurate character study concerning what happens to people whose very lives are threatened.

The horror of this film is, unlike a lot of its recent descendants, less a matter of blood and gore than a matter of the real active horror of realistically depicted scenes of murder, death and cannibalism. Though the black and white footage involving blood and gore is certainly effective, there may not be quite enough of it for today's average horror fan. The photographic techniques of this film are innovative and powerful - showing just enough of the sheer hideousness of the film's basic concepts to disturb viewers, but not enough to allow them to detach from the film's protagonists.

I strongly recommend this film to anybody interested in the art of film making, and to those who enjoy the horror genre, though it is hard to imagine any serious horror fan who hasn't already seen this.


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