I can't see it possible that anyone reading this blog and it my age didn't see this in theaters when first released in 1971.
Bruce Davison stars as Willard Stiles, a rather spineless young man whose boss humiliates him at work, stole the business from Willard's father and Willard never speaks up or stands up for himself.
He lives at home with his bizarre mother (Elsa Lanchester) in a broken, decaying mansion. One day he befriends a rat family and begins to take care and raise them.
His two favorite rats are a white one named Socrates and a brown one named Ben. Before too long Willard has thousands of rat friends and he trains them to do his bidding. After his mother dies he begins having a relationship with a beautiful temporary office worker named Joan (Sondra Locke).
Willard uses his rats to help him steal money from a wealthy man, ruin his bosses (Ernest Borgnine) party raise general havoc. Ben and Willard constantly go against each other, and it appears that Ben has more of a mind of his own.
A Willard's life spirals down deeper he uses his rats to attack and kill his boss in a scene that is never forgotten when once seen. It still gives me the creeps even to this day.
Director Daniel Mann brings out the very, very best in a top notch cast which also includes Michael Dante, Jody Gilbert, J. Pat O' Malley, Joan Shawlee and Sherry Presnell.
The Blu-ray presentation from Shout is absolutely beautiful and it makes the film look like it was shot last week. I hadn't seen this film in 46 years, but as I watched it it all came flooding back. You know a movie is good if it sticks with you that long, and this is a damn good movie.
The film was thought lost for many years due to legal problems associated with Bing Crosby Productions and the fact that the original distributor, Cinerama Releasing went out of business.
Shout has to be commended for getting this film out once again and in a beautiful package. Extras include commentary from Bruce Davison, trailers, radio spots, stills and an interview with Davison as well.
Highly recommend film that is surely one of the top releases of 2017 and a very fitting film for my 6000th post!