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 the *one* movie you should not see alone. 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
See  »

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 »


Willard Stiles: Tear him up!
See more »


Referenced in Throw Momma from the Train (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

I wouldn't call it "Psycho", but it's still quite memorable
22 May 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

My mom remembers seeing "Willard" when it first came out, and so she encouraged me to see it. It tells the story of Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison), an outcast who still lives with his mother Henrietta (Elsa Lanchester). But Willard discovers that their house has some other inhabitants: rats. He quickly befriends the critters, and then turns them into a sort of army who will obey all his commands. To add to this situation, Willard and his mother believed that his father died naturally, but it begins to look like Willard's boss Al Martin (Ernest Borgnine) may have been involved.

The old, dark house, and the young man living with his mother might bring to mind "Psycho", but "Willard" seems to me to be more of a story of an outcast taking revenge on the world that rejected him.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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