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Ben (1972)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 23 June 1972 (USA)
A lonely boy befriends Ben, the leader of a violent pack of killer rats.



(characters), (as Gilbert A. Ralston)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
... Danny Garrison (as Lee Harcourt Montgomery)
... Cliff Kirtland
... Billy Hatfield
... Beth Garrison
... Eve Garrison
... Joe Greer
... Kelly
... Reade
... Engineer
... Ed
Lee Paul ... Carey
... Policeman
Scott Garrett ... Henry Gray
Arlen Stuart ... Mrs. Gray
... George (as Richard Drasin)


A lonely boy named Danny Garrison befriends Ben, the rat leader of the swarm of rats trained by Willard Stiles. Ben becomes the boy's best friend, protecting him from bullying and keeping his spirits up in the face of a heart condition. However, things gradually take a downward turn as Ben's swarm becomes violent, resulting in several deaths. Written by Johnny P

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For the Summer of '72 See more »


Horror | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ben, la rata asesina  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Willard (1971) was the first theatrical production from Bing Crosby Productions (BCP) since its purchase by Cox Broadcasting in 1968. By 1971, Bing Crosby was no longer associated with BCP, which had produced a number of pictures during the 1940s and 1950s. BCP also produced this sequel. See more »


When Beth and Eve discuss their concern about David, the daughter turns her head towards her mom twice. See more »


Danny Garrison: [singing while showing his Ben marionette to the real rat, Ben] Start the day, oh come along now, Ben. Come on out, before I count to ten. If you stay, you will miss all the fun and there's room for everyone.
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Referenced in Lovelace (2013) See more »


Start the Day
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Walter Scharf
Sung by Lee Montgomery (uncredited) while playing with marionettes
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User Reviews

Disney in the sewers
11 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

I haven't encountered many people who agree with me so far, but I thought the 1971 film Willard was a deliciously grim and underrated horror gem. It handled about an extremely introvert adolescent whose only friends were a bunch of rats he could communicate with. The more recent remake starring Crispin Glover is worth a look as well. That's why I was glad that I found myself a copy of this 'Ben', the quickly produced sequel to 'Willard'. The film starts where Willard left off and wonder-rodent Ben finds a new human friend. A young boy with a heart condition takes Ben in and sings him songs. Nonetheless, Ben and his thousand of followers need food and the constantly increasing rat-plague terrorizes the neighborhood. This sequel isn't half as unsettling as Willard and it's merely driven by sentiment. The poor boy's heart condition is shamelessly exploited and the whole 'nature versus man' fable isn't very convincing. The friendship between boy and rat is pictured like some kind of Disney fairy-tale. The rodent saves the boy from bullies and even shows him around in the sewers. Ben may easily be skipped…it has very few excitement and hardly any memorable moments. I guess the only winner here is Michael Jackson who had scored a monsterhit with the title song. Lucky for him, most people don't even know he's singing about a rat.

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