In the English village of Midwich, the blonde-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director:

Wolf Rilla

Writers:

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay), Wolf Rilla (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Sanders ... Gordon Zellaby
Barbara Shelley ... Anthea Zellaby
Michael Gwynn ... Major Alan Bernard
Laurence Naismith ... Doctor Willers
John Phillips ... General Leighton
Richard Vernon ... Sir Edgar Hargraves
Jenny Laird ... Mrs. Harrington
Thomas Heathcote ... James Pawle
Martin Stephens ... David Zellaby
Richard Warner ... Harrington
Sarah Long Sarah Long ... Evelyn Harrington
Charlotte Mitchell Charlotte Mitchell ... Janet Pawle
Pamela Buck Pamela Buck ... Milly Hughes
Rosamund Greenwood Rosamund Greenwood ... Miss Ogle
Susan Richards ... 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:

M-G-M's new experience in suspense! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the military are testing Midwich for radiation after everyone wakes up, there is a sign in the background that says "Beware of Children." Another "Beware of Children" sign appears towards the start of the car crash scene. See more »

Goofs

An abdominal X-ray is displayed which supposedly shows the fetus of a pregnant woman. Not only is there no fetus, the X-ray isn't even that of a woman, as the pelvis is obviously that of a man. 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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Alternate Versions

In order to get an 'A' certificate in the UK no optical effects shots were used in the UK print and original footage or alternative shots used instead. Both the UK and the 'standard' version of the film run to the same length. At the end of the film no glowing eyes are seen rising from the flames in the UK version, which also has a "Made at M.G.M British Studios, Borehamwood, England" credit. Because this change was requested at the scripting stage there is no reason to believe that the two versions of the film were not edited in tandem. It is incorrectly stated that the British print has the burning man sequence cut. This was a cut requested by the Production Code office in the US and is the same for both versions of the film, where the victim is never engulfed by the flames in close-up, which contradicts the long shot seen in the sequence. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s (2014) See more »

User Reviews

 
A great classic thriller, unfortunately overshadowed by the spectacular psychological thriller released the same year - Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
9 September 2000 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

Village of the Damned is a very well-made thriller that seems to have been overlooked because of the sheer magnitude of its competition - Psycho. Both of these films are testaments to the idea that low budgets are very capable of producing great films. It is not the size of the budget that matters, it is the skill of the filmmakers and the actors. Village of the Damned makes use of a variety of very easily done but also very effective special effects, such as the boundary across which all people and animals lose consciousness, the creepy eyes on those kids, and their hypnotic powers.

The discussion of the exact same phenomenon happening to a few remote towns all over the world does a lot to show what these kids can do, and it increases the dramatic tension of the film as a whole. Cheaply made, but also very well made because a lot of thought was obviously put into it, Village of the Damned is a timeless thriller, even in black and white. When you watch a movie like this, if you are the kind of person who is so superficial about your movies that you refuse to watch black and white films, keep in mind that black and white photography REQUIRES good acting, to put it in the immortal words of Orson Welles. You can't have black and white photography and bad acting, the film would never work. Village of the Damned takes black and white photography and fills it with excellent acting, a fascinating story, and good direction that makes me wonder why this was the only film that Wolf Rilla ever directed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Village of the Damned See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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