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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 -  Horror  -  1 October 1968 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 77,812 users  
Reviews: 571 user | 268 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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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 her brother Johnny travel by car from Pittsburgh to the countryside to visit the gravestone of their father in the cemetery. Out of the blue, they are attacked by a strange man and Johnny is murdered. Barbra runs and releases the brake of Johnny's car since the keys are in his pocket, and flees to an isolated farmhouse, where she locks herself inside. Barbra is in shock and soon she finds a man, Ben, who is also escaping from the inhuman creatures and he reinforces the doors, windows and openings in the house. He also finds a shotgun and a radio and they learn that the radiation from a satellite that was returning from Venus has somehow reactivated the brain of the dead. Then they find five humans hidden in the basement: Harry Cooper, his wife Helen and their daughter Karen that is sick; and Tom and his girlfriend Judy. Harry has an argument with Ben, since he believes that the basement is the safest place for them and Harry does not agree. Along the night, the tension ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pits the dead against the living in a struggle for survival! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the cast are credited at the start of Night of the Living Dead (1968). Perhaps because the film has no major stars whatsoever. See more »

Goofs

Sheriff McClellan has large shells on his belt, which would not possibly fit in the rifle he is carrying. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff McClelland: Put that thing all away on the fire! We don't want it getting up again!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits play over still frames of the hunters dragging Ben out of the house with meat hooks. After the credits, there's a short scene of the hunters setting a pile of zombies on fire. See more »

Connections

Edited into O.C. Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1216)
(uncredited)
Music by Spencer Moore
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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