Animal House

Animal House

4.8 15
Director: John Landis

Cast: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon


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The first DVD edition of Animal House offered little to shout about, and while a second "Collector's Edition" was released within eight months, this edition has remained extant and may, in fact, be somewhat more commonly available. The transfer is a full-screen pan-and-scan effort. This doesn't detract too much from the film, overall, as Animal HouseSee more details below


The first DVD edition of Animal House offered little to shout about, and while a second "Collector's Edition" was released within eight months, this edition has remained extant and may, in fact, be somewhat more commonly available. The transfer is a full-screen pan-and-scan effort. This doesn't detract too much from the film, overall, as Animal House does not depend on widescreen visuals. The source print is fine, but the transfer itself is both a little soft and somewhat grainy, with a bit of blurring on movement. Colors are good, with strong black levels and good shadow detail, and fleshtones appear to be spot on (the characters are made up in various degrees of sallow, pasty, and rubbery looking). The Dolby 2.0 mono audio is adequate to the task with good bass, clear dialogue, and solid sound effects. There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. The disc extras consist of some production notes, cast and director information, and a somewhat battered and slightly faded trailer (also in full-screen).

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Drubbed by critics who sniffed at its bawdy, tasteless gags, 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House became a box-office smash that spawned a host of imitations (right up to the present day) and wormed its way into our collective consciousness. Inexpensively produced with a talented but largely unknown cast and a director with one modest hit (Kentucky Fried Movie) to his credit, Animal House revolutionized the way Hollywood makes comedies. The raucous antics at Faber College's disreputable Delta House had audiences howling with laughter: Who knew dead horses and toga parties could be so funny? Rowdy frat boys and '60s pop tunes in movies became de rigueur overnight; John Landis became a hot director; cast members Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon went on to become stars; and many of the film's punch lines became part of our cultural vernacular. Best of all: More than 20 years later, Animal House is just as funny as ever.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The 1970s were full of movies that constituted cultural phenomena, with The Exorcist, Jaws, The Omen, Star Wars, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all coming out in about a four-year span. One title that is usually overlooked -- probably because it didn't take itself remotely as seriously as these others -- but had every bit as much impact as any of those films, was National Lampoon's Animal House. Shot during late 1977 and early 1978 on a modest budget, Animal House proceeded to return many times its investment and jump-started the careers of its director and most of its cast. College students who had too much energy and not enough outlets for it suddenly began organizing "toga parties"; interest in fraternities, which had been declining since the mid-'60s, suddenly spiked; and it was suddenly not only okay, but even expected, for college students (who'd come to represent the conscience of the nation in some circles during the Vietnam War) to be goofy again. On the most superficial level, Animal House was no more profound than such collegiate comedies of an earlier era as Too Many Girls (1940), Good News (1947), or The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), and even less serious than Apartment for Peggy (1948) or Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949). What it did do was take audiences back to that earlier era of college humor, add some sex in a carefully calculated manner, and inject just enough of a '70s consciousness so that audiences could laugh at the film -- and at the idea of the film -- and hold those late '50s/early '60s pop and R&B songs in their heads. The movie's impact and the nature of its acceptance can be measured by the fact that the only star to emerge from it was John Belushi, his gonzo portrayal of "Bluto" Blutarsky marking a high-point in his big-screen career that he never again achieved. What's more, the movie's influence is still being felt today in every teen comedy by the Farrelly brothers, the Wayans brothers, and any of their rivals, most of whom emphasize gross-out humor to a degree that Animal House director John Landis never would have considered. Ironically, amid the slapstick humor and outsized characterizations that filled the movie, Animal House had a very serious source of inspiration. Co-author Chris Miller did base some of the material on his experiences as an undergraduate at Dartmouth (a fact that Dartmouth has been trying to live down ever since), but the authors also intended part of the plot as an allegory about the Nixon White House. The inspiration for Dean Wormer and the Omegas, and their activities undermining the Deltas, was Richard Nixon and the "plumbers," his dirty-tricks squad, which directed their activities against the president's political enemies. Indeed, if you look closely at the portrayal of the dean by John Vernon and of Omega house leaders Greg Marmalard and Doug Neidermeyer by James Daughton and Mark Metcalf, respectively, it's easy to see similarities to Nixon, his aides H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman. This doesn't make Animal House into All the President's Men, and knowing it doesn't make the movie any more (or less) funny, though it may make it seem slightly more subversive, as well as more intelligent. Animal House is still best appreciated for what is seen onscreen -- some good jokes and sight gags and memorable characterizations, with Belushi's Bluto proving that "fat, drunk, and stupid" may not get you through life, but it is one way to get through seven years of college. The viewer does best to just sit back and -- echoing Stephen Furst's exclamation as all comic hell breaks loose at the denouement -- say to themselves, "Oh boy, is this great!"

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Full Frame]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Belushi John "Bluto" Blutarsky
Tim Matheson Eric "Otter" Stratton
John Vernon Dean Vernon Wormer
Verna Bloom Marion Wormer
Tom Hulce Larry "Pinto" Kroger
Stephen Furst Kent "Flounder" Dorfman
Cesare Danova Mayor Carmine DePasto
Donald Sutherland Prof. Dave Jennings
James Daughton Greg Marmalard
Mary Louise Weller Mandy Pepperidge
Bruce McGill Daniel Simpson "D-Day" Day
Mark Metcalf Doug Neidermeyer
DeWayne Jessie Otis Day
Karen Allen Katy
James Widdoes Robert Hoover
Martha Smith Babs Jensen
Sarah Holcomb Clorette DePasto
Kevin Bacon Chip Diller
Peter Riegert Donald "Boon" Schoenstein
Douglas Kenney Stork
Joshua Daniel Mothball
Robert Irvin Elliott Meaner Dude
Pricilla Lauris Dean's Secretary
Reginald H. Farmer Meanest Dude
Sunny Johnson Otter's Co-ed
Stephen Bishop Charming Guy with Guitar
Eliza Garrett Brunella
John Freeman Man on Street
Helen Vick Sorority Girl
John Landis Actor
Otis Day & the Knights Actor
Robert Cray (uncredited) Bandmember, Otis Day and the Knights

Technical Credits
John Landis Director
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Stephen Bishop Songwriter
Lynn Brooks Makeup
Michael Chinich Casting
Robert P. Cohen Asst. Director
Clifford C. Coleman Asst. Director
Charles Correll Cinematographer
Jean-Pierre Dorleac Costumes/Costume Designer
Bud Ekins Stunts
George Folsey Editor
Hal G. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Mark Goldenberg Score Composer
Jim Halty Stunts
Peter V. Herald Co-producer
John Hughes Screenwriter
William B. Kaplan Sound/Sound Designer
Douglas Kenney Screenwriter
Philip H. Lathrop Cinematographer
John J. Lloyd Art Director
Anne McCulley Set Decoration/Design
Gary McLarty Stunts
Richard Meyer Editor
Henry Millar Special Effects
Chris Miller Screenwriter
Ann Mills Editor
Dean Edward Mitzner Production Designer
Deborah Nadoolman Costumes/Costume Designer
Marilyn Phillips Makeup
Harold Ramis Screenwriter
Bill Randall Sound/Sound Designer
Ivan Reitman Producer
Matty Simmons Producer
Gerald Soucie Makeup
Bill Varney Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Yaconelli Camera Operator

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Scene Index

Chapter List
0. Chapter List
1. Faber College 1962 (Main Titles). [5:15]
2. The Worst House On Campus. [2:54]
3. Double-Secret Probation. [3:40]
4. Neidermeyer's Golf Lesson. [5:17]
5. The Horse's Heart Attack. [2:08]
6. Lunch With Bluto. [6:38]
7. The Toga Party. [5:58]
8. "Shout" (Otis Day & The Knights). [2:11]
9. The Probation Hearing. [7:57]
10. Road Trip!. [6:22]
11. The Only White People Here. [2:38]
12. The Going Gets Tough. [3:26]
13. A Really Futile And Stupid Gesture. [5:31]
14. The Deltas Strike Back. [2:31]
15. Where Are They Now?. [5:15]
16. End Titles. [4:16]


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