Night of the Living Dead (1968) Poster

Duane Jones: Ben



  • Ben : You know a place back down the road called Beekman's? Beekman's Diner? Anyhow, that's where I found that truck I have out there. There's a radio in the truck. I jumped in to listen, when a big gasoline truck came screaming right across the road! There must've been ten, fifteen of those things chasing after it, grabbing and holding on. Now, I didn't see them at first. I could just see that the truck was moving in a funny way. Those things were catching up to it. Truck went right across the road. I slammed on my breaks to keep from hitting it myself. It went right through the guard rail! I guess - guess the driver must've cut off the road into that gas station by Beekman's Diner. It went right through the billboard, ripped over a gas pump, and never stopped moving! By now it was like a moving bonfire! Didn't know if the truck was going to explode or what. I still hear the man... screaming. These things, just backing away from it! I looked back at the diner to see if - if there was anyone there who could help me. That's when I noticed that the entire place had been encircled. There wasn't a sign of life left, except... by now, there were no more screams. I realized that I was alone, with fifty or sixty of those things just... standing there, staring at me! I started to drive, I - I just plowed right through them! They didn't move! They didn't run, or... they just stood there, staring at me! I just wanted to crush them! And they scattered through the air, like bugs.

  • Ben : Now get the hell down in the cellar. You can be the boss down there, but I'm boss up here!

  • Barbara : We were riding in the cemetery. Johnny and me... Johnny. We came to put a wreath on my father's grave... Johnny and... Then and he said, "Can I have some candy, Barbara?" And we didn't have any! And... oh! It's hot in here. Hot! And he said, "Oh it's late! Why did we start so late"? And I said, "Johnny, if you'd gotten up earlier, we wouldn't be late." Johnny asked me if were afraid, and I said, "I'm not afraid, Johnny." And this man started walking up the road, he came slowly, and Johnny kept teasing me saying, "He's coming to get you Barbara! He's coming to get you!" And I laughed at him and said, "Johnny stop it!" And then Johnny ran away. And I went up to this man, and I was going to apologize.

    Ben : What don't you just keep calm?

    Barbara : And I looked up and I said, "Good evening." And he grabbed me! He grabbed at me! And he ripped at me! He held me and ripped at my clothes!

    Ben : I think you should just calm down!

    Barbara : Oh... I screamed, "Johnny! Johnny help me! Oh... help me!". And he wouldn't let me go... he ripped at me! And then Johnny came and he ran he fought this man! And I got so afraid, I ran, I ran... and I ran, and Johnny didn't come. We've got... we have to wait for Johnny. We better go out and get him. We have to go out and get Johnny. He's out there. Please, don't you hear me? We've got to out and get him! Please! We have got to go get Johnny! Please help me! Please!

    Ben : Now look... don't you know what's going on out there? This is no Sunday school picnic!

    Barbara : Don't you understand? My brother is alone! He's out there lost...

    Ben : Your brother is dead.

    Barbara : No! My brother is not dead!

  • Ben : How long have guys you been down there? I could have used some help up here!

    Harry Cooper : That's the cellar. It's the safest place.

    Ben : You mean you didn't hear the racket I was making up here?

    Harry Cooper : How were we supposed to know what was going on? It could have been those things for all we knew!

    Ben : That girl was screaming. Surely you know what a girl screaming sounds like? Those things don't make any noise. Anybody would know somebody needed help!

    Tom : Look, it's kind of hard to know what's going on from down there.

    Harry Cooper : We thought we could hear screams, but for all we knew, that meant those things were in the house after her.

    Ben : And you wouldn't come up here and help?

    Tom : Well, if there were more of us...

    Harry Cooper : That racket sounded like the place was being ripped apart. How were we supposed to know what was going on?

    Ben : Now wait a minute. You just got finished saying you couldn't hear anything from down there. Now you say it sounded like the place was being ripped apart. It would be nice if you got your story straight, man!

    Harry Cooper : All right, now you tell me! I'm not gonna take that kind of a chance when we've got a safe place! We lock up into a safe place, and you're telling us that we gotta come up here and risk our lives just because somebody might need help, huh?

    Ben : Yeah, something like that.

  • [to Harry Cooper after having been locked outside] 

    Ben : I ought to drag you out there and FEED you to those things!

  • Harry Cooper : Did you hear me when I told you those things turned over our car?

    Ben : Oh, hell! Any good five men could do that!

    Harry Cooper : That's my point! There's not going to be five, or even ten of them! There's going to be twenty, thirty, maybe a hundred of those things out there, and as soon as they find out we're here, this place'll be crawling with them!

    Ben : Well, if there's that many, they'll probably get us wherever we are.

  • Harry Cooper : [to Barbara]  Now you'd better watch this and try to understand what's going on.

    [Ben looks at him] 

    Harry Cooper : I don't want anyone's life on my hands.

    Helen Cooper : Is there anything I can do...?

    Ben : I don't wanna hear any more from you, Mister! If you stay up here, you take orders from ME! And that includes leaving the girl alone!

  • Newscaster : Reports, incredible as they may seem, are not the results of mass hysteria.

    Harry Cooper : "Mass hysteria?" What do they think, we're imagining all this?

    Ben : Shut up!

  • Ben : [trying to use the phone]  I suppose you've tried this.

  • Ben : They know we're in here now.

  • Ben : Don't you know what's goin' on out there? This is no Sunday School picnic!

  • Ben : [seeing the remains of the woman upstairs]  Jesus!

  • Ben : I'm telling you they can't get IN here!

    Harry Cooper : And I'm telling you they turned over our car! We were damn lucky to get away at all! Now you're telling me these things can't get through a lousy pile of wood?

  • Barbara : Don't you understand? My brother is alone!

    Ben : Your brother is dead.

    Barbara : NO! My brother is NOT dead!

See also

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