7.3/10
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108 user 67 critic

Village of the Damned (1960)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 December 1960 (USA)
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In the English village of Midwich, the blonde-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gordon Zellaby
... Anthea Zellaby
... Major Alan Bernard
... Doctor Willers
... General Leighton
... Sir Edgar Hargraves
... Mrs. Harrington
Thomas Heathcote ... Mr. Harrington
... David Zellaby
... Harrington
Sarah Long ... Evelyn Harrington
Charlotte Mitchell ... Janet Pawle
Pamela Buck ... Milly Hughes
Rosamund Greenwood ... Miss Ogle
... Mrs. Plumpton
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Storyline

In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don't want to do. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

DEMONICAL...UNEARTHLY...THE STRANGEST STORY EVER TOLD! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Midwich Cuckoos  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,400,000, 31 December 1960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,175,000, 31 December 1960
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After little David opens the Chinese box for the chocolate, his father takes the box to another house where a blonde girl to also open the box. In the meantime, her mother is standing off to the side with another blonde boy in her arms. The boy child and the girl are played by the same actor, Kim Clarke Champniss. The little 'girl' is wearing a very obvious wig, and their faces are identical. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when Alan and Anthea are going away, Gordon tells Anthea that the time is 8:15. The cuckoo clock on the wall also shows 8:15 but the pendulum of the clock is not moving. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prof. Gordon Zellaby: [on telephone] Good morning. Uh, would you get me Major Bernard at his Whitehall number? Thank you.
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Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: Christmas Evil (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent
5 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

On a perfectly normal, lovely afternoon in the English countryside, a small town is suddenly taken over by an unseen presence. Everyone within the town - man, woman and child - suddenly passes out cold for no apparent reason whatsoever. Anyone who attempts to enter the town from the outside is also stricken down, yet revive instantaneously when removed from the danger zone. No one, not police or military, can pass the invisible barrier, but within a few hours the strange presence is gone. Everyone seems to be alright...until a few weeks later, when all of the women in town who are of childbearing age discover themselves to be pregnant. Nine months later, a dozen identical children are born to these somewhat suspicious mothers, children with white- blond hair and scary eyes that glow. The children are oddly emotionless and only associate with each other, acting as a single entity. Worst of all, they can make anyone do whatever they want them to do, which often has fatal results. Can kindly schoolteacher (the wonderful George Sanders), whose beloved wife has borne one of these creatures, help the alien children embrace their human half? Or will he have to destroy them all?

This is an absolute masterpiece of paranoia, sci-fi style. The acting is superb, especially by the late and under-appreciated Mr. Sanders, whose compassion and intellect sets the tone for this quiet and somewhat sad little tale. The lovely Barbara Shelley as Sanders loving wife is sweet and totally believable. Indeed, the townsfolk are all very realistic and approachable, kind and simple folk who don't really deserve the wrath of the spooky children who have invaded their small town. Young Martin Stephens, who also turned in a creepy performance in the ghostly masterpiece "The Innocents" is every bit as creepy here as George and Barbara's "son."

Filmed in moody black and white, this movie creeps along with all the menacing stealth of a thick London pea souper. This is an intelligent horror film which deserves better attention. It probably won't be appreciated by people who consider expletives and explosions to be main characters, but for people who prefer horror with brains (and not brains ripped out of skulls) this is the film for them. Fans of George Sanders shouldn't miss this; it's quite a switch from his usual smarmy roles, and a nice switch at that.

Highly recommended!


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