7.9/10
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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | | Horror | 4 October 1968 (USA)
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There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as John Russo), (screenplay) (as George Romero)
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3,372 ( 50)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ben
... Barbra
... Harry Cooper
... Helen Cooper
Keith Wayne ... Tom
... Judy
... Karen Cooper / Corpse in House
Charles Craig ... Newscaster / Zombie
... Zombie (as Bill Heinzman)
... Sheriff McClelland
Frank Doak ... Scientist
Bill Cardille ... Field Reporter (as Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille)
... Zombie / Posse Member
Samuel R. Solito ... Zombie / Posse Member
Mark Ricci ... Washington Scientist
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Storyline

Barbra and Johnny visit their father's grave in a remote cemetery when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbra manages to get away and takes refuge in what seems to be an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. Barbra and Ben are surprised when they realize there are 5 people hiding out in the basement: Harry, Helen and Karen Cooper; and a young couple, Tom and Judy. Dissensions sets in almost immediately with Harry Cooper wanting to be in charge. As their situation deteriorates, their chances of surviving the night lessen minute by minute. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

George A. Romero's original masterpiece. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laugh Track: Night of the Living Dead  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$114,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,452, 15 October 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$89,029, 9 November 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Night of Anubis workprint)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the cast and crew of the film had nothing but positive things to say about Duane Jones (Ben), Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper) would later refer to him as a tortured individual, due to the racial tensions which were still high in the United States during the late sixties. Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper) had become good friends with Jones, and Jones' unfortunate death in 1988 affected him greatly. He would often become emotional when talking about Jones, and believed he received a rotten deal in life due to the nation's racial tensions. See more »

Goofs

When one of the zombies is shown picking up and eating a cricket, the cricket continues chirp even after being eaten. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barbara: They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.
Johnny: What?
Barbara: Well it's eight o' clock and it's still light.
Johnny: A lot of god the extra daylight does us, you know we've still got a three hour drive back, we're not going to be home until after midnight.
Barbara: Well, if it really bugged you, Johnny, you wouldn't do it.
Johnny: You think I wanna blow Sunday on a scene like this? You know, I figure we're either going to have to move mother out here or move the grave to Pittsburgh.
Barbara: Well she ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There is no on-screen copyright notice, nor any of the usual legal disclaimers typically found in movie credits; this is the main reason the film has been in the public domain since its release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1216)
(uncredited)
Music by Spencer Moore
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Important low budget horror masterclass
28 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

A car drives up a road, towards a graveyard. Cut to the graveyard, a woman and her brother have brought flowers to their mother's grave. Soon the brother starts taunting his sister, saying: "They're coming to get you, Barbara". Barbara laughs it off and after her brother runs away, she heads to the seemingly innocent man visiting a family member's grave to apologize, and out of nowhere he grabs her. Her brother attempts to fight him off but ends up being killed in the process and Barbara escapes to a farmhouse nearby.

That's how this incredible, highly influential masterclass in horror film making begins. What is still so fascinating about this film is that it retains its ability to genuinely, truly scare the crap out of you. It's not just a 'jump moment' film, George A. Romero sets the mood perfectly with a sublime script and truly effective use of music. As far as modern low budget horror films go, this is nearly the best of them, surpassed only by Sam Raimi's masterpiece "The Evil Dead".

"Night of the Living Dead" isn't scary because of the zombies (although the flesh eating sequences are still among the greatest and most horrifying horror scenes ever made). The film is still effective because it all has a feeling of impending doom. It seems hopeless, disturbing, terrifying because of the claustrophobic mood it sets. It's not the zombies that scare us, it's the idea of being trapped in a small area with nowhere to go and death itself standing right outside your door. What a brilliant film!

8/10


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