36 user 40 critic

Willard (1971)

GP | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 30 July 1971 (USA)
A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.



(screenplay) (as Gilbert A. Ralston), (novel)
4,843 ( 2,376)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
William Hansen ...
John Myhers ...
Pauline Drake ...
Helen Spring ...
Sherry Presnell ...

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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) »


Where your nightmares end...WILLARD begins. 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?


The surprise box office success of this film would inspire a slew of animal-themed horror films in the early 1970s. See more »


[last lines]
Willard Stiles: [screaming, just before he is attacked and overrun by the rats] I was good to you, Ben!
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Followed by Ben (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Not what you expect
8 December 2005 | by (Lyles, TN USA) – See all my reviews

If you're expecting this to be a horror film, you'll be disappointed. Yes, it does have its scary moments, but plays better as a psychological drama than straight horror. The pace is glacial, but the performances are top-notch, particularly Ernest Borgnine as the man you'll love to hate, and a young Bruce Davison, already showing signs of his creative brilliance.

It should go without saying that the atrocious Irwin Allen wannabe "rat disaster" sequel "Ben" is to be avoided--"A Boy and his Rat" indeed!--but I'm not so emphatic on the 2003 remake of Willard. Any film pairing the already creepy Crispin Hellion Glover and R. Lee Ermey has something going for it. Glover doesn't have anywhere near the range of Davison, but Ermey is at least as intense as Borgnine, though without the greasy sneer that made Al Martin so unpleasant.

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