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
Other conflicts of budget and the era in which the film was made included shooting on 35mm print but only having equipment to edit on 16mm. The crew had to transfer all the footage to 16mm before they could work on editing it. John A. Russo also notes they rarely had time or film for more than one take on any shot, and they had no way of checking it. He had to trust George A. Romero was getting every shot just right. The sound was also mixed without seeing the picture. See more »
As soon as Barbra walks into the farmhouse, there is a crew's hand in the shot before the stuffed animals. See more »
They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.
Well, it's eight o' clock, and it's still light.
A lot of good 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.
Well, if it really bugged you, Johnny, you wouldn't do it.
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.
Well, she ...
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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 »
The Turner Classic Movies Channel (TCM) released a restored print of Night of the Living Dead through the cooperation of the Film Foundation. This version greatly improves the sound quality and clarity of the film, and is now considered to be the clearest print of the film. See more »
A wave of mass murder sweeps across America as the recently dead return to life to kill and feast on their victims. A group of people board themselves up in an abandoned house to try and hold out against a small army of the undead. This is the classic low-budget horror film that is the model for recent hits such as the Evil Dead and The Blair Witch Project. George Romero stages a national disaster but reduces it to a single house for greater effect. The story focuses on the weaknesses of each of the characters in the house - their cowardice, their greedy, their stupidity etc. This makes the drama inside the house almost as palatable as the danger from outside and makes the characters more believable and important.
The undead are not huge works of special effects, nor are they anything other than lumbering beasts. But the threat they pose is well demonstrated - the film makes them feel unstoppable and relentless and makes their lingering presence more menacing and less comical than it could have been. The use of an unknown cast also makes it more realistic as none of them have any baggage. Duane Jones is the standout actor as Ben - who is not without flaws himself.
The downbeat, realistic atmosphere to the film gives it a greater sense of tension and continues right through to the very depressing conclusion. An excellent flagship for low budget horrors.
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