A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.



(screenplay) (as Gilbert A. Ralston), (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Jody Gilbert ...
William Hansen ...
John Myhers ...
Almira Sessions ...
Pauline Drake ...
Helen Spring ...
Sherry Presnell ...


A social misfit, Willard is made fun of by his co-workers, and squeezed out of the company started by his deceased father by his boss. His only friends are a couple of rats he raised at home, Ben and Socrates. (And their increasing number of friends) However, when one of them is killed at work, he goes on a rampage using his rats to attack those who have been tormenting him. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rat | violence | blood | death | murder | See All (40) »


This is Willard and his friend Ben. Ben will do anything for Willard. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ratman's Notebooks  »

Box Office


$19,216,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Ernest Borgnine's autobiography, they offered him a choice of a higher salary or a percentage of the box office. Borgnine chose a higher salary. See more »


[last lines]
Willard Stiles: [screaming, just before he is attacked and overrun by the rats] I was good to you, Ben!
See more »

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User Reviews

I really liked this movie!!!
7 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Do not bother with the Crispin Glover remake, this is the real Willard. Not as scary as it is just fun. Similar to "Stanley" which came out around the same time, where an alienated Vietnam veteran uses pet rattlesnakes to kill his enemies, only Willard has a better script and much better acting. Brice Davidson is excellent as a troubled young man who finds friendship in an army of rats. Ernest Borgnine is great as the evil boss, and a young Sondra Locke shines as the nice girl who would steal Willard's heart, if not for a rat named Socrates. As low budget thrillers go, Willard is one of the more enjoyable. Kinda creepy, a little tongue in cheek, and even a little sad. If you haven't already seen it, I really think you should. Then go into the basement alone with the lights off and make some new friend... =)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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