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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  1 October 1968 (USA)
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Reviews: 575 user | 281 critic

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



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


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


George A. Romero's original masterpiece. See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laugh Track: Night of the Living Dead  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$114,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Pittsburgh police provided personnel and equipment. See more »


When Ben creates a torch out of one of the table legs and is about to push the chair outside and light it in front of the zombies, he opens the door and for a split second you can see it is daylight outside, but it cuts back to nighttime in the next shot when he gets outside. See more »


Barbara: Johnny has the keys...
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 »


Referenced in McCloud: Fifth Man in a String Quartet (1972) See more »


Battle to the Death
Music by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin
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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