Trivia: Night of the Living Dead

  • Ability Over Appearance: Ben was not written to be black and Romero claims he only cast Duane Jones because he gave the best audition, rather than to make a point or be controversial.
    • Inverted with Judith Ridley, who played Judy. The producers were so struck by her beauty that they wrote a part for her.
  • AFIS 100 Years 100 Thrills: #93
  • The Danza: Judith Ridley as Judy.
  • Dawson Casting: Tom and Judy's actors were in their 20s when playing as the young teenage couple.
  • Tears of Fear: Roger Ebert described children in the first theatrical showing were sitting in their seats silently crying in horror.

    What's so special in this case is that thanks to movie gimmicks such as those created by William Castle, many horror movies of the '50s and '60s had become the equivalent to carnival fun-houses, good for a harmless thrill and very popular with kids. As a result children growing up at that time went to see Night of the Living Dead expecting spooky fun and instead were genuinely terrified by what they saw, a fact not lost upon Mr. Ebert.
  • Throw It In:
    • The character Judy wasn't originally in the story. Apparently the actress was just so sweet and photogenic that the crew created a part for her and just made up scenes for her as they went along. Which explains why she's basically a Living Prop.
    • The car crashing into a tree was done on a whim because they needed an excuse for why there was suddenly a dent in it after getting in an accident during production.
    • Barbra goes barefoot quickly in the movie because the crew lost one of the shoes. To this day the actress believes it was stolen by a crew member with a foot fetish.
    • Barbara's description of the events in the cemetery don't match what happened very well. This can be explained in-movie by the fact that she's going a little nuts. It's a little clearer why this is when you learn that that scene was ad-libbed, and the cemetery scene was the last scene filmed anyway.
  • What Could Have Been: In the original script Barbara was originally meant to survive the zombie attack.
  • Word of Dante: The supposed racial undertones of the film and especially the Downer Ending are purely speculation on the part of critics and fans, as George A. Romero has repeatedly stated that the character of Ben was written as a white man and no social allegory was originally intended. Hasn't stopped fans from treating it as canon or stopped Romero himself from since taking credit for it.
  • Working Titles for the film included Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters.