736 user 163 critic

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Horror | 24 May 1979 (USA)
2:40 | Trailer
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.


George A. Romero
2,915 ( 510)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ... Stephen
Ken Foree ... Peter
Scott H. Reiniger ... Roger
Gaylen Ross ... Francine
David Crawford David Crawford ... Dr. Foster
David Early David Early ... Mr. Berman
Richard France ... Scientist
Howard Smith ... TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich Daniel Dietrich ... Givens
Fred Baker Fred Baker ... Commander
James A. Baffico James A. Baffico ... Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer Rod Stouffer ... Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre Jese Del Gre ... Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon Clayton McKinnon ... Officer in Project Apt.
John Rice ... Officer in Project Apt.


The zombie apocalypse has hit Earth. Two personnel from a TV station and two policemen set off in a helicopter to find a safe place to hide out. Their search leads them to a shopping mall where they manage to find a place that, while not zombie-free, is quite secure. So far, so good. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


First there was 'NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD'... Now GEORGE A. ROMERO'S [Dawn of the Dead] See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The revolver that Stephen finds in the maintenance office is a Röhm RG-66. He uses it throughout the film. See more »


When lead zombie "Fat Swimsuit Man" is first seen earlier in the film, he has a mustache. At the end of the film when he is shot and killed by the biker gang, the mustache is gone. See more »


[first lines]
Tony, Man at WGON - TV ('You all right?'): [after Francine awakens from a nightmare] You alright?
[Francine nods]
Tony, Man at WGON - TV ('You all right?'): Shit's really hit the fan.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The zombies overrun the mall throughout the course of the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

A unique, Japanese-dubbed variant of the Argento cut, nicknamed the "Suspiria version", was broadcast on TV Tokyo in October 1980. Aside being further censored compared to the Japanese Theatrical Version, it also deleted other scenes, such as all sequences between Peter and Roger's first meeting with Stephen and Fran and their arrival at the mall, shortening the runtime to approximately 90 minutes. Due to the poor quality of the music and effects track provided to the dubbing company, much of the film's sound design had to be reworked from scratch, and most of Goblin's score was replaced with music cues from their soundtracks for Suspiria and The Heroin Busters, as well music from Yes' album "Tales from Topographic Oceans" (which plays at the start of the film) and Jean-Michel Jarre's album "Équinoxe" (which plays as the foursome land their helicopter on the roof of the mall). Although it features the "exploding planet" opening shot from the Nippon Herald prints, the explanatory text that came after it is dropped, which is instead incorporated into Dr. Foster's dialogue during his argument with Mr. Berman (during which the planet is named "Eos"). The dialogue concerning the subplot of Fran's pregnancy also substantially differs from the original version, as Peter is now in favor of Fran having the child instead of suggesting an abortion, and his final line of dialogue, upon Fran informing him that the helicopter is low on fuel, is "We have to find a place to raise the baby" compared to his original, nonchalant "Alright". This version was negatively received by viewers, and when it was rebroadcast in July 1982, it was re-edited to incorporate Goblin's original score and Peter's final line was redubbed to make it more faithful to the original dialogue; this version was later incorporated into the uncut Japanese dub track of the Argento cut that was released on DVD. The original 1980 version has never been rebroadcast, although off-air recordings circulate online. See more »


Referenced in Elves (1989) See more »


Cosmogony Part 1
Composed by Paul Lemel
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

How much is that Zombie in the window
22 January 2001 | by gary_dillonSee all my reviews

By turns horrific, hilarious, disgusting and absurd Dawn of the Dead is the work of a director truly on top of his game. Given almost total control (something which was to be denied Romero in later years) George Romero gives us his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil.

Not just a mockery of the hedonistic and empty America of the late 70's Dawn is also a parable or warning if you like of the brittle structure of society and how easily it can be disintegrated. Many have criticised the film for being too over the top and questioned the quality of the acting. This for me is one of the joys of the film, Romero uses gaudy sets and effects and combines this with comic book hero dialogue to lull us into a false sense of security. Then masterfully Romero pulls the rug out from under us and brings the reality of the situation crashing in on our heads.

Dawn stands alone well but really comes into its own as part of the trilogy to which it belongs. One theory of mine is that the Alien trilogy (forgetting the miserable fourth installment) takes a lot from the dead trilogy namely the pace and claustrophobia of the two which book-end the mass hysteria and over the top horror and violence of the middle film.

Undoubtedly one of the great Horror films of modern time. Or perhaps there is something about being the only people left alive and living in a shopping mall that appeals to the kid in all of us. 10/10

143 of 172 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 736 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



USA | Italy


English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead See more »


Box Office


$650,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) | | (TV) | (assembly cut)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (German prints)| Mono


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed