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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | | Horror | 4 October 1968 (USA)
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters.

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(screenplay) (as John Russo), (screenplay) (as George Romero)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ben
...
...
...
Keith Wayne ...
Tom
...
...
Charles Craig ...
...
Zombie (as Bill Heinzman)
...
Frank Doak ...
Scientist
Bill Cardille ...
Field Reporter (as Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille)
...
Zombie / Posse Member
Samuel R. Solito ...
Zombie / Posse Member
Mark Ricci ...
Washington Scientist
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Storyline

Barbra and Johnny 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 won't stay dead. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the radiation of a detonated satellite returning from Venus is theorized to be the cause of the dead rising and attacking the living, according to the filmmakers, the actual cause is never determined. See more »

Goofs

As indicated in the trivia area, the farmhouse used for filming didn't have a proper basement or cellar (it only had a tiny dirt root cellar without an interior set of stairs) so the basement of a small film production house was used. This is backed up by all of the wiring seen in the basement. There is far too much wiring both electrical and telephone for a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse. For example, there even appears to be an old multi line telephone junction box installed on one of the rafters. Hardly what would be expected in an old country house. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barbara: They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.
Johnny: What?
Barbara: Well it's eight o' clock and it's still light.
Johnny: A lot of god the extra daylight does us, you know we've still got a three hour drive back, we're not going to be home until after midnight.
Barbara: Well, if it really bugged you, Johnny, you wouldn't do it.
Johnny: You think I wanna blow Sunday on a scene like this? You know, I figure we're either going to have to move mother out here or move the grave to Pittsburgh.
Barbara: Well she ...
[...]
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

Featured in Tales from the Darkside: Pain Killer (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1204)
(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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