Night of the Living Dead The Criterion Collection: Shot outside Pittsburgh on a shoestring budget, by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, Night of the Living Dead, directed by horror master George A. Romero, is a great story of independent cinema: a midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time.
A deceptively simple tale of a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse who find themselves fending off a horde of recently dead, flesh-eating ghouls, Romero’s claustrophobic vision of a late-1960s America literally tearing itself apart rewrote the rules of the horror genre, combining gruesome gore with acute social commentary and quietly breaking ground by casting a black actor (Duane Jones) in its lead role.
Romero’s most prominent successors—independent filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, and acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro, whose monster-movie romance The Shape of Water is currently up for thirteen Oscars—discuss the groundbreaking casting of an African American actor in the film’s lead role.
Night of the Living Dead was restored by the Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and the Celeste Bartos Preservation Fund.
Illustration cover by Sean Phillips
- 4K digital restoration, supervised by director George A. Romero, coscreenwriter John A. Russo, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and producer Russell W. Streiner
- Restoration of the monaural soundtrack, supervised by Romero and Gary Streiner and presented uncompressed on the Blu-ray and 4K UHD
- In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film and two Blu-rays with the film and special features
- Night of Anubis, a work-print edit of the film
- Program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez
- Sixteen-millimeter dailies reel
- Program featuring Russo on the commercial and industrial-film production company where key Night of the Living Dead participants got their starts
- Two audio commentaries from 1994 featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor Judith O’Dea, and others
- Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley
- Programs about the film’s style and score
- Interview program about the direction of the film’s ghouls, featuring members of the cast and crew
- Interviews with Gary Streiner and Russell Streiner
- Newsreels from 1967
- Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stuart Klawans
Of interest: Night of the Living Dead entered the public domain in the United States because the original theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, failed to place a copyright indication on the prints, and at that time, United States copyright law held that public dissemination required a copyright notice to maintain a copyright.
Where to buy Night of the Living Dead The Criterion Collection.