6.2/10
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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.

Director:

Daniel Mann

Writers:

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

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bruce Davison ... Willard Stiles
Sondra Locke ... Joan
Elsa Lanchester ... Henrietta Stiles
Michael Dante ... Brandt
Jody Gilbert ... Charlotte Stassen
William Hansen 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
Ernest Borgnine ... Martin
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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:

This is Willard and his friend Ben. Ben will do anything for Willard. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Davison had a rat placed on his shoulder as part of his audition. See more »

Goofs

When Joan gives Willard the cat Chloe as a pet, she tells him that female cats are good company. Chloe was played by a male. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Bless the Child (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a boy's best friend is his rats.
5 August 2005 | by Nightman85See all my reviews

A truly memorable 1971 thriller that has became a bit of an underground classic.

Handsom, shy Willard Stiles doesn't have an ideal life. He lives with his domineering widowed mother, is bullied by his boss, and doesn't have any friends. That is, until he befriends the rats in his garden and learns that he can make them do his bidding!

Highlighted by a touching and sympathetic performance from Davison, Willard is a different kind of "nature-strikes-back" film. It's a rare occasion where the human characters, rather than the animals, drive the film to its intense climax. There's plenty of twists and turns to be had, as well as a few moments of skin-crawl, especially for those who aren't fond of rodents! The movie also has a bit of a darkly humorous side to it. It's a bit of a rare movie to find these days, but seek it out and hope for a much-needed DVD release of this B movie classic.

Followed by a rather dark remake in 2003

*** 1/2 out of ****


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