Night of the Living Dead Film Review Paper Essay Example
Night of the Living Dead Film Review Paper Essay Example

Night of the Living Dead Film Review Paper Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (834 words)
  • Published: May 12, 2017
  • Type: Film Analysis
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The movie “Night of Living Dead” written by John A. Russo and George A. Romero and directed by George A. Romero may have done just that. This movie released on October 1, 1968 may not have intended to do this but appears to have this affect on many viewers all the same. The main character and the only person to live through the zombie infested night was an African American male.

There are many other non-zombie individuals throughout the film and all were white and died one right after another. The African American, with the choices he made, was the only person that lived. In the end, the non-zombie Caucasian man comes to the house and shoots the main African American character Ben without even checking to be sure if he was a zombie or not. I won


der how many white Americans in the late 1960s were more scared about the thought of being outsmarted by a black man than by being eaten by zombies. I can only imagine being a racist in the year 1968 and going to see this movie.

It must have been very upsetting. You have a film that appears to be predominantly Caucasian. The entire supporting cast is Caucasian and even the zombies appear to all be white. The one and only character in this movie that is African American is the lead role of Ben played by Duane Jones. According to www. imdb. com spoilers page, when asked the filmmakers stated that “’Duane Jones (I)' was simply the best actor for the part of Ben. ” Whether the use of an African American was planned or happened, the impact was stil

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You still have a movie in a time of extreme turbulence between the races, depicting an African American male as the brightest and most capable. Per an article written by Steven Russell of talkingpix. co. uk “Night of the Living Dead is a landmark film for the reason that is was the first made to feature a black actor in the leading role regardless of the fact that he was black. Yet it remains that in the construction of this media text, the film’s main protagonist is still a black man; the connotations of this cannot be underestimated or ignored. Whatever the reason this man was chosen to play this role, the implications were still strong.

The most powerful point to many in this film when it comes to racism is the number of Caucasians in the film and that they all died, only to be survived by this African American male. All the great plans and attempts of all the “white” characters fail. There are several scenes that they might have made it out alive, had the “overly emotional white girl” not ruined their efforts. Ben’s character is met with distrust and resistance. Stephen Harper of www. rightlightsfilm. com agreed in saying “However, Barbra's clear mistrust of Ben — she positions the knife on the fridge ambiguously, so that the audience is unsure whether she wishes to use it against the zombies or against Ben — suggests that, for all her docile domesticity, she has been affected by the racism of the world outside. Barbra, after all, she is not perfect. ” Even the white males in the film seem to be far too arrogant

or led by emotions. No one is able to keep a level, unemotional and rational head on their shoulders except Ben.

In the end Ben is the sole survivor. The police and cavalry come in to save the day and upon seeing Ben shoot him. He lives all the way through the night only to be shot dead by a non-zombie white man. To say this is a movie about race lines is silly. This is a horror movie that is full of suspense and a little gore. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t have an affect on society though. It doesn’t mean the young impressionable teens watching this film weren’t made to see the resourceful and intelligent traits of a man with a darker skin tone.

People in this time weren’t often forced to think of “blacks” as equals or superiors. In this movie this African American male was strong-minded and takes charge. He gave the orders and those that didn’t listen often died by their own foolish choices. It had an effect on society and I dare wager to claim that it may have had some slight change on people’s perspectives in respect to the racial lines of the time. Not bad for a zombie movie.

Works Cited

  1. IMDB The Internet Movie Database. “Trivia For Night Of The Living Dead. ” IMDb. com, Inc. 990-2008. www. imdb. com
  2. Bright Light Films. ”Night of the Living Dead Reappraising an Undead Classic. ” Stephen Harper. Issue 50. November 2005. http://www. brightlightsfilm. com/50/night. htm
  3. Talkingpix. co. uk. “The Development of Racism Within Night of the Living Dead and Jackie Brown. ” Steven Russell. http://www. talkingpix. co. uk/ArticleNightoflivingdead. html


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