6.8/10
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These Are the Damned (1962)

The Damned (original title)
An American tourist, a youth gang leader, and his troubled sister find themselves trapped in a top secret government facility experimenting on children.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Simon Wells
... Joan
... Freya Neilson
... Bernard
... King
... Major Holland
... Mr. Dingle
... Sid
James Villiers ... Captain Gregory
Tom Kempinski ... Ted (as Thomas Kempinski)
Barbara Everest ... Miss Lamont
Allan McClelland ... Mr. Stuart (as Alan McClelland)
... Mr. Talbot
Rachel Clay ... Victoria
Caroline Sheldon ... Elizabeth
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Storyline

The middle-aged American Simon Wells sails in his boat to Weymouth and stumbles with the twenty year-old Joan on the street. He believes that she is a prostitute but she is actually part of a scheme of a motorcycle gang to rob tourists. Simon is brutally beaten up by her brother King and his gang. The policemen find the wounded Simon and take him to a bar to recover, where he meets the military Bernard and his mistress Freya Neilson. On the next morning, Joan challenges King and meets Simon in his boat, and King and his gang hunts Simon down. Joan and Simon spend the night together in an isolated house and on the morning, they are located by the gang. They try to flee and stumble in a top-secret military facility managed by Bernard. They are helped by children and brought to their hideout in a cave. King falls in the sea while chasing the couple and is also helped by a boy and brought to the same place. Soon Joan finds that the children are cold as if they were dead. What is the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Children of Ice And Darkness! They Are the Lurking Unseen Evil You Dare Not Face Alone! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Hammer Films

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 July 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

These Are the Damned  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title was "On the Brink." See more »

Goofs

(at around 38mins) When Neilson wrestles King to the ground, a person's shadow (cameraman?) can be seen to move on the ground next to them. See more »

Quotes

Simon Wells: I like to listen to people who know what they're talking about. My trouble is I never believe anything they say.
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Crazy Credits

The credit "JOSEPH LOSEY director", unlike the others, recedes and vanishes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Akira (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues in the Night
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Whistled by the gang in the night coast scene to signal each other
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User Reviews

 
Much deeper than it appears?
29 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

I saw this recently on a late night "British Film Celebration" series, showing various odds and sods of yester-year. In some ways I wished I had videoed it now, as thinking about it afterwards (and thinking about it is certainly something you'll do)there's clearly something going on with the characterisation that was far more important than lets on at first. A second viewing was perhaps needed, certainly the characters don't seem quite fleshed out and when thinking about it I was wondering if that was the point. But here's what I mean by the characters:

  • The spiritually hurt "old/young" man played (and in fairness, perhaps miscast) by MacDonald Carey, desperate in some way to "complete" himself; the numerous old English establishment/power figures, feeling out of time and place, as if powerless to deal with the worlds changes, still "in" power but somehow no longer; the devout artist, passionate about her work, which in itself is a little dehumanising (there is a great, heart rending scene, where she cries in agony as Oliver Reed destroys some of her art work, that will stay with me for a while); the young girl unable to "become" what she wants, perhaps of her "possessive" brother, who really genuinely wants to protect her from the evils of the world; the emotionless children, full of potential but ultimately radioactive and poison, and most of all the "angry young men" lead masterfully by Oliver Reed, They represent the irrational human, simply wanting to "be" and nothing more.


While trying to follow some sort of standard narrative, there seems to be something else going on in this film that is talking about a far wider, human theme with actually makes it much more of a "pure" science fiction/philosophical film than it maybe gets credit for. Yes, you can look at it at face value and ultimately see it as nothing more than a curious English B movie, but...

The film moves very slowly, but its shift from what looks to be a critique on teenagers turns into a science fiction film with a very gritty message about human survival and with its grim ending its something you tend not to see much in films, either then or now.

Perhaps I am reading FAR too much into the film, but cold war polemic aside there seems to be something far more rhetorical being said about "radiation" and the death of humanity/culture/civility. There seems to be comments made on how the individual deals with a world that can face potential catastrophic change at any moment which will deny you your very humanity and dignity. I'm not saying the film does this successfully, but nonetheless it's a very interesting "attempt" and well worth a little look.

Oh...and as for the "Black Leather, Black Leather, Smash, Smash, Smash" song. Well, it's interesting... Maybe there's a comment being made there too...about inanity? Perhaps I need to get out more.


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