6.2/10
3,671
55 user 60 critic

Willard (1971)

GP | | Horror | 30 July 1971 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.

Director:

Daniel Mann

Writers:

Gilbert Ralston (screenplay) (as Gilbert A. Ralston), Stephen Gilbert (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bruce Davison ... Willard Stiles
Sondra Locke ... Joan
Elsa Lanchester ... Henrietta Stiles
Ernest Borgnine ... Martin
Michael Dante ... Brandt
Jody Gilbert ... Charlotte Stassen
William Hansen ... Barskin
John Myhers John Myhers ... Carlson
J. Pat O'Malley ... Jonathan Farley
Joan Shawlee ... Alice
Almira Sessions ... Carrie Smith
Pauline Drake Pauline Drake ... Ida Stassen
Helen Spring Helen Spring ... Mrs. Becker
Alan Baxter ... Spencer
Sherry Presnell Sherry Presnell ... Mrs. Spencer
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Storyline

A social misfit, Willard is made fun of by his co-workers, and squeezed out of the company started by his deceased father by his boss. His only friends are a couple of rats he raised at home, Ben and Socrates. (And their increasing number of friends) However, when one of them is killed at work, he goes on a rampage using his rats to attack those who have been tormenting him. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Teamed up to Tear 'em up! [poster for double-feature pairing "Willard" and "Ben"] See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Ernest Borgnine's autobiography, they offered him a choice of a higher salary or a percentage of the box office. Borgnine chose a higher salary. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, Willard plans on drowning the rats, apparently not knowing that rats are capable swimmers. The animals would have easily swam across the pool from the 'island' and escaped. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Willard Stiles: [screaming] I was good to you, Ben!
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User Reviews

Creepy, weird
18 April 2001 | by thomandybishSee all my reviews

A little flick that blends elements of psycho-drama and animals-run-amuck, along with a hint of old-dark-house. Willard is a socially-maladjusted young man who lives in a gloomy, Victorian house with his co-dependant mother. Their relationship constitutes the weird part of the movie, nudge, nudge. Willard is tolerantly allowed employment at his late father's business, presided over by passive-agressive Ernest Borgnine. With no social life and no friends, Willard resorts to training rats with above-average intelligence. Of course, things take a dark turn when Willard's mother dies and Borgnine's bully tendencies come to the fore, prompting the put-upon Willard to use his rodent buddies to even the score. Also on hand is Sondra Locke as caring co-worker who tries to enter into Willard's world and may be his means of salvation. You find yourself rooting for her to win out. Spawned a more (in)famous sequel, BEN, remembered primarily for it's theme song, which provided Michael Jackson with one of his first solo hits. Very appropriate, in hindsight.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ratman's Notebooks See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$19,216,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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