Night of the Living Dead is an American independent horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and was completed on a US $114,000 budget. The film became a financial success, grossing $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally. Night of the Living Dead was heavily criticized at its release owing to explicit content, but eventually garnered critical acclaim and has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." The film has entered the public domain due to an error by the distributor.
The story follows characters Ben (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O'Dea), and five others trapped in a rural farmhouse inPennsylvaniawhich is attacked by unnamed "living dead" monsters which later became known in popular culture aszombies.Night of the Living Deadwas the basis of five subsequentLiving Deadfilms (1978-2010) also directed by Romero, and has inspired two remakes (1990, 2006).