World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ben (1972 film)

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.


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.


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.


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]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TCM Movie Database
  • Rotten Tomatoes

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.