National Lampoon's Animal House

National Lampoon's Animal House

4.8 15
Director: John Landis

Cast: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon


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Director John Landis put himself on the map with this low-budget, fabulously successful comedy, which made a then-astounding 62 million dollars and started a slew of careers for its cast in the process. National Lampoon's Animal House is set in 1962 on the campus of Faber College in Faber, PA. The first glimpse we get of the campus is the statue of its founder…  See more details below


Director John Landis put himself on the map with this low-budget, fabulously successful comedy, which made a then-astounding 62 million dollars and started a slew of careers for its cast in the process. National Lampoon's Animal House is set in 1962 on the campus of Faber College in Faber, PA. The first glimpse we get of the campus is the statue of its founder Emil Faber, on the base of which is inscribed the motto, "Knowledge Is Good." Incoming freshmen Larry "Pinto" Kroger (Tom Hulce) and Kent "Flounder" Dorfman (Stephen Furst) find themselves rejected by the pretentious Omega fraternity, and instead pledge to Delta House. The Deltas are a motley fraternity of rejects and maladjusted undergraduates (some approaching their late twenties) whose main goal -- seemingly accomplished in part by their mere presence on campus -- is disrupting the staid, peaceful, rigidly orthodox, and totally hypocritical social order of the school, as represented by the Omegas and the college's dean, Vernon Wormer (John Vernon). Dean Wormer decides that this is the year he's going to get the Deltas expelled and their chapter decertified; he places the fraternity on "double secret probation" and, with help from Omega president Greg Marmalard (James Daughton) and hard-nosed member Doug Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf), starts looking for any pretext on which to bring the members of the Delta fraternity up on charges. The Deltas, oblivious to the danger they're in, are having a great time, steeped in irreverence, mild debauchery, and occasional drunkenness, led by seniors Otter (Tim Matheson), Hoover (James Widdoes), D-Day (Bruce McGill), Boon (Peter Riegert), and pledge master John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi). They're given enough rope to hang themselves, but even then manage to get into comical misadventures on a road trip (where they arrange an assignation with a group of young ladies from Emily Dickinson University). Finally, they are thrown out of school, and, as a result, stripped of their student deferments (and, thus, eligible for the draft). They decide to commit one last, utterly senseless (and screamingly funny) slapstick act of rebellion, making a shambles of the university's annual homecoming parade, and, in the process, getting revenge on the dean, the Omegas, and everyone else who has ever gone against them.

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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
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Special Features

Relive all your favorite moments from your favorite fraternity through real movies clips, trivia questions, and an array of on-screen puzzlers with these two games; ; Where Are They Now? A hilarious mockumentary featuring the original cast; ; The Yearbook - An Animal House Reunion; An orginal documentary featuring interviews with Director John Landis, Producers Ivan Reitman & Matty Simmons, cast members Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Stephen Furst, Peter Riegart, John Vernon & Kevin Bacon, Composer Elmer Bernstein and writers Chris Miller & Harold Ramis plus behind-the-scenes footage and clips with John Belushi

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

Disc #1 -- National Lampoon's Animal House
1. Faber College 1962 (Main Titles) [2:35]
2. The Best House On Campus [2:39]
3. The Worst House On Campus [6:34]
4. Double-Secret Probation [1:47]
5. The New Pledges [3:40]
6. The Problem With Milton [1:58]
7. Neidermeyer's Golf Lesson [3:04]
8. A Joint With Mr Jennings [3:33]
9. A Defenseless Animal [2:09]
10. The Horse's Heart Attack [2:46]
11. The Mayor [1:02]
12. Lunch With Bluto [2:47]
13. Food Fight! [2:29]
14. Mandy's Secret Admirer [2:55]
15. The Psych Test [3:35]
16. Preparing To Party [4:43]
17. The Toga Party [2:38]
18. "Shout!" (Otis Day & The Knights) [3:26]
19. Toga Love [3:02]
20. Larry's Dilemma [2:29]
21. The Probation Hearing [6:05]
22. Closed Down [1:41]
23. Road Trip! [1:09]
24. Fawn's Fiancé [3:06]
25. The Only White People Here [6:07]
26. The Morning After [1:21]
27. My Brother's Car [2:08]
28. The Deltas Come Undone [:11]
29. When The Going Gets Tough [4:40]
30. A Really Futile And Stupid Gesture [2:33]
31. The Homecoming Parade [3:27]
32. The Deltas Strike Back [3:24]
33. The Deathmobile [3:33]
34. Where Are They Now? [1:45]
35. End Titles [4:01]
36. When In Hollywood [2:59]

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