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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  24 May 1979 (USA)
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Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ...
Gaylen Ross ...
David Crawford ...
Dr. Foster
David Early ...
Mr. Berman
Richard France ...
Howard Smith ...
TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich ...
Fred Baker ...
James A. Baffico ...
Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer ...
Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre ...
Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon ...
Officer in Project Apt.
John Rice ...
Officer in Project Apt.


Following the events of Night of the Living Dead (1968), we follow the exploits of four survivors of the expanding zombie apocalypse as they take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall following a horrific SWAT evacuation of an apartment complex. Taking stock of their surroundings, they arm themselves, lock down the mall, and destroy the zombies inside so they can eke out a living--at least for a while. Tensions begin to build as months go on, and they come to realize that they've fallen prey to consumerism. Soon afterward, they have even heavier problems to worry about, as a large gang of bikers discovers the mall and invades it, ruining the survivors' best-laid plans and forcing them to fight off both lethal bandits and flesh-eating zombies. Written by Curly Q. Link

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In 1968, George Romero brought us "Night of the Living Dead." It became the classic horror film of its time. Now, George Romero brings us the most intensely shocking motion picture experience for all time. See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead  »

Box Office


$650,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) | (DVD) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

(German prints)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene between Roger and Peter in the trucks when they are kidding each other about their height was entirely improvised by the two actors. See more »


At the airfield, while Roger is filling up the helicopter, a zombie climbs over some crates to get him. As he gets to the top, the blades of the helicopter chop off the top of his head. This causes blood to ooze out of the top of his head and down his body. The pump tube for the fake blood can be seen coming from up behind the crates and up the zombie's pant leg. See more »


[pointing his gun at Stephen]
Peter: You never point a gun at anyone, mister. Scary, isn't it? Isn't it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

George A. Romero appears on screen as a TV Station Director (the bearded man wearing a scarf and a blue shirt) as his name appears, listing him as "Editor", in the on-screen credits beneath him. See more »


Referenced in Combat Shock (1984) See more »


Zombi (The Living Dead's Voices)
Composed by Dario Argento, Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli,
Antonio Marangolo, and Agostino Marangolo
Performed by Goblin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

How much is that Zombie in the window
22 January 2001 | by (Dungannon N.Ireland) – See all my reviews

By turns horrific, hilarious, disgusting and absurd Dawn of the Dead is the work of a director truly on top of his game. Given almost total control (something which was to be denied Romero in later years) George Romero gives us his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil.

Not just a mockery of the hedonistic and empty America of the late 70's Dawn is also a parable or warning if you like of the brittle structure of society and how easily it can be disintegrated. Many have criticised the film for being too over the top and questioned the quality of the acting. This for me is one of the joys of the film, Romero uses gaudy sets and effects and combines this with comic book hero dialogue to lull us into a false sense of security. Then masterfully Romero pulls the rug out from under us and brings the reality of the situation crashing in on our heads.

Dawn stands alone well but really comes into its own as part of the trilogy to which it belongs. One theory of mine is that the Alien trilogy (forgetting the miserable fourth installment) takes a lot from the dead trilogy namely the pace and claustrophobia of the two which book-end the mass hysteria and over the top horror and violence of the middle film.

Undoubtedly one of the great Horror films of modern time. Or perhaps there is something about being the only people left alive and living in a shopping mall that appeals to the kid in all of us. 10/10

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