The Village Of The Damned: Rare Clip

Rare Film Clip From The Village of The Damned

This rare footage is a newly discovered remnant from the ‘lost’ British Print of the iconic film The Village Of The Damned released in 1960. The original British edit did not have any special effects. It was later, in the American version that the famous luminous eyes of the alien children appeared.

As far as I know, this tiny scene is all that survives from the original British version — predating the American glowing eyes version.

British Version Without Special FX

Rare short 1.02 minute film clip from the ‘lost’ British version (before the adding of ‘luminous eyes’)

This rare one minute clip is from the ‘lost British Print’ and unadulterated by the famous ‘luminous eyes’ of the American one.

Compare the difference to the clip below.

American Version With Special FX ‘Glowing Eyes’

Short clip of American version with luminous eyes special FX

The effects in this film were before CGI and pretty innovative for the time!

However, I know that the director Wolf Rilla believed that blonde children with dark brown eyes were unusual and strange enough. They did not need artificial glowing eyes to express their influence and control over the human mind.

He trusted his actors to express the power of mind manipulation without the shiny additions of computer-style graphics embellishments.

I love the high action packed films we are fortunate enough to see today. In fact, we go to the IMAX regularly watching extraordinary films like Superman etc. in 3D — and what about the wonderful sound! (I’m digressing) — I certainly enjoy these films, but, I wonder if, we may rely on and enjoy too many computer generated effects? It isn’t REAL, is it?

Hey! What am I talking about here! This is the cinema! After all, when was it ever real?

Casting The Children

Casting the ‘Cuckoo Children’ for the film involved an extensive search with many auditions. Director Wolf Rilla said they were looking for beautiful (say no more!) children with the desired brown eyes, who didn’t ‘fidget’ and possessed capable acting skills.

My Audition

Meeting Wolf Rilla for the first time was exciting. He sat at the other end of the room and asked me to think of something horrid — to dwell upon something awful in my mind — and STARE.

I stilled my nervous fidgeting hands, keeping them down against my side and tried to think of something awful.

‘Quick! Think of something awful! Ermm… something horrid…think of something horrid…’

Can’t tell you what the awful horrid thing was that I thought about!—but I thought it and STARED.

I wanted the job. And I got it! I was nine years old.

Rated X Certificate

I personally, only got to see the film recently! The original release of The Village Of The Damned was rated X Certificate — therefore, being only kids, we were too young to legally see ourselves on the big screen!

Watching it for the first time so many years later, the film’s simple dramatic technique impressed me. I loved the camera work and the style. Wolf Rilla was true to his vision of telling a good Sci-fi horror story in plain black and white!

While directing me in a scene Wolf Rilla said,

Think of something bad and believe it to be real

Wolf Rilla

This may well be one of my first tips on acting!

Belief in something (good or bad) that isn’t real can make it real — and so, consequently make the audience believe it’s real.

There you have it! Acting in a nutshell!

In this make-believe world of acting anything can happen — with or without special computer effects!

How real is that!

Beware the stare!

Original Film Still – ( left to right ) Martin Stephens, June Cowell, Teresa Scoble, Lesley Scoble

The Village Of The Damned
Released in 1960

Starring

George Sanders
Barbara Shelley
Martin Stephens
Michael Gwynn

Cuckoos

Lesley Scoble
Teresa Scoble
June Cowell
Mark Mileham
Peter Preidel

The film was based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

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