Ben (1972)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

As a sequel to Willard, this strange film tells of the friendship between an ill boy and a highly intelligent rat, Ben--who happens to be the leader of a 4,000 member killer rat pack. Yes, that hit song from Michael Jackson is from this movie, which may provide more insight into the film's plot.
Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Bing Crosby Productions


Joseph Campanella
as Cliff Kirtland
Arthur O'Connell
as Bill Hatfield
Rosemary Murphy
as Beth Garrison
Meredith Baxter
as Eve Garrison
Kaz Garas
as Joe Greer
Paul Carr
as Kelly
Kenneth Tobey
as Engineer
Lee Paul
as Carey
Norman Alden
as Policeman
Scott Garrett
as Henry Gray
Arlen Stuart
as Mrs. Gray
Tom Steele
as Fireman Covered with Rats
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Critic Reviews for Ben

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

A really odd mix of killer rat flick and Disney-esque kiddie movie. Too weird to utterly dismiss.

September 6, 2004

One of the "better" rat attack flicks, if that's a worthwhile distinction.

July 25, 2002

Quote not available.

July 17, 2005

Quote not available.

May 6, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Quote not available.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Quote not available.

June 18, 2003
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Ben


If there is something more discomforting than Willard befriending rats is seeing a sweet sick kid developing a touching relationship with his little friend Ben the disgusting intelligent rat, which is what makes this trashy B movie creepier than the first movie, especially with that song.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Huge, Oscar nominated film in 1972. Loyalty from rats who protect their human friend. This film was a follow up to "Willard", but the sequel had more impact. The weirdest fact about this film is that it was made by Bing Crosby Productions! MY, whatever happened to the reputation of Bing? The trailer from BEN:‎ [img][/img] Ben is a 1972 horror film about a young boy and his pet rat, Ben. The film is a sequel to the 1971 film Willard. The film is known for its sentimental theme song performed by Michael Jackson. A lonely boy named Danny Garrison befriends Ben, the rat leader of the swarm of trained/telepathic rats found in Willard. Ben becomes the boy's best friend, protecting him from bullying and keeping his spirits up in the face of a heart condition. [img][/img] SEE the entire film here: RT REVIEWS: 20% Poorly made sequel to the original Willard. Lots of unintentional laughs. Was nominated for an Oscar!! 50% When you listen to Jackson's lilting lament to poor Ben I think few realize it's a child's song to his mutant, possibly psychic, intelligent, homicida... 60% The whole thing between Ben and Danny is quite sweet and the movie is nice. However, it's hardly comparable to "Willard" which was a drama developing ... [img][/img] NOTES: 1 Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times panned the film, later placing it on his list of most hated films. 2 The film's title theme song of the same name is performed by Lee Montgomery in the film and by Michael Jackson over the end credits. Jackson's recording of the song became a #1 pop hit single. Later included on Jackson's album of the same name, "Ben" won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (it lost to "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure). 3 A live recorded version was released on the 1981 album The Jacksons Live! and eventually appeared on Jackson's Number Ones album in 2003. [img][/img] Lee Montgomery as Danny Garrison Joseph Campanella as Cliff Kirtland Arthur O'Connell as Bill Hatfield Meredith Baxter as Eve Garrison Rosemary Murphy as Beth Garrison Kaz Garas as Joe Greer Paul Carr as Kelly Richard Van Vleet as Reade Kenneth Tobey as Engineer James Luisi as Ed Lee Paul as Careu Norman Alden as Policeman Scott Garrett as Henry Gray Arlen Stuart as Mrs. Gray Richard Drasin as George Directed by Phil Karlson Produced by Mort Briskin Written by Gilbert Ralston Music by Walter Scharf Cinematography Russell Metty Studio Bing Crosby Productions Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation Release date(s) June 23, 1972 Running time 94 minutes [img][/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

This is supposed to be a creepy movie, but it's more funny than creepy. Plus, I really felt for the poor little boy who had no friends, it made Ben not seem as threatening as people think he is in the movie. When the police get involved in the end, it's also pretty funny. I had mixed feelings on this movie, but it was okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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