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Ben (1972 film)

Ben
215px
Directed by Phil Karlson
Produced by Mort Briskin
Written by Gilbert Ralston
Starring Lee Montgomery
Joseph Campanella
Arthur O'Connell
Meredith Baxter
Music by Walter Scharf
Cinematography Russell Metty
Studio Bing Crosby Productions
Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date(s)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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 the late Michael Jackson.

Plot

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.

However, things gradually take a downward turn as Ben's swarm becomes violent, resulting in several deaths. Eventually, the police destroy the rat colony with flame throwers, but Ben survives and makes his way back to Danny. The film closes with Danny, tending to the injured Ben, determined not to lose his friend.

Cast

Theme song

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).

The song is calm and mellow, which contrasts with the horror content of the film. A live recorded version was released on the 1981 album The Jacksons Live! and eventually appeared on Jackson's Number Ones album in 2003.

Crispin Glover re-recorded a version of the song for the soundtrack of the 2003 remake of Willard.

Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith, & Lea Michele perform a cover of the song for the Glee season 3 episode Michael which was a tribute to Michael Jackson.

Reception

Ben received mixed to positive reviews, currently holding a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[1] However, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times panned the film, later placing it on his list of most hated films.[2]

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TCM Movie Database
  • Rotten Tomatoes

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