47 user 53 critic

Willard (1971)

GP | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 30 July 1971 (USA)
A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.



(screenplay) (as Gilbert A. Ralston), (novel)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ben (1972)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A lonely boy befriends Ben, the leader of a violent pack of killer rats.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell
Willard (2003)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man with an unusual connection to rats uses them at his own sociopathic will.

Director: Glen Morgan
Stars: Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Laura Harring
Willard (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dylan Chandler
Stars: Phillip Aguilera, Frances Chang, John Chatham
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Sir Joel Cadman, a mad scientist, kidnaps his victims and cuts open their brains in an effort to discover a means to cure his wife's brain tumor.

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr.


Complete credited cast:
... Willard Stiles
... Joan
... Henrietta Stiles
... Brandt
... Charlotte Stassen
William Hansen ... Barskin
John Myhers ... Carlson
... Jonathan Farley
... Alice
... Carrie Smith
Pauline Drake ... Ida Stassen
Helen Spring ... Mrs. Becker
... Spencer
Sherry Presnell ... Mrs. Spencer
... Martin


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

Plot Keywords:

rat | violence | blood | death | murder | See All (39) »


Where your nightmares end...WILLARD begins. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ratman's Notebooks  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The surprise box office success of this film would inspire a slew of animal-themed horror films in the early 1970s. See more »


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 »


[last lines]
Willard Stiles: [screaming] I was good to you, Ben!
See more »


Referenced in Bones: The Man in the Wall (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Creepy, weird
18 April 2001 | by See 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.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed