Animal House

July 28th, 1978

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Animal House

Still of John Belushi, Tom Hulce, Tim Matheson and Peter Riegert in Animal HouseStill of John Belushi in Animal HouseStill of John Belushi in Animal House

At a 1962 College, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him.

Release Year: 1978

Rating: 7.6/10 (51,805 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Director: John Landis

Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce

Faber College has one frat house so disreputable it will take anyone. It has a second one full of white, anglo-saxon, rich young men who are so sanctimonious no one can stand them except Dean Wormer. The dean enlists the help of the second frat to get the boys of Delta House off campus. The dean's plan comes into play just before the homecoming parade to end all parades for all time.

Writers: Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney

Tom Hulce - Larry Kroger (as Thomas Hulce)
Stephen Furst - Kent Dorfman
Mark Metcalf - Doug Neidermeyer
Mary Louise Weller - Mandy Pepperidge
Martha Smith - Babs Jansen
James Daughton - Greg Marmalard
Kevin Bacon - Chip Diller
John Belushi - John Blutarsky
Douglas Kenney - Stork
Chris Miller - Hardbar (as Christian Miller)
Bruce Bonnheim - B.B.
Karen Allen - Katy
James Widdoes - Robert Hoover
Tim Matheson - Eric Stratton
Peter Riegert - Donald Schoenstein

Taglines: Relive the best 7 years of your college education.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 28 July 1978

Filming Locations: 729 East 11th Street, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $276,538 (USA) (30 July 1978) (12 Screens)

Gross: $141,600,000 (USA) (1979)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Originally, Harold Ramis and Doug Kenney's idea was titled "Laser Orgy Girls", a comedy about Charles Manson as a high school student. Producer Matty Simmons suggested that the setting be changed to college and the content to be toned down. Ramis also incorporated ideas from an earlier treatment he wrote titled "Freshman Year" based on his experiences in college.

Continuity: When Niedermeyer closes the door on Flounder at the Omega house they show a close up of him with the stairway in the background. Two red dressed girls are coming down the stairs. A second later the stairway is empty and then the girls start down the stairs again.

Otter: Let me give you a hint. She's got a couple of major-league yabbos.
Boon: Beverly!
Otter: No. But you're getting warmer. Here's another: "Oh God, Oh God, OH GOD!"
Boon: Marlene! Don't tell me you're gonna pork Marlene Desmond!
Otter: Pork?
Boon: You're gonna hump her brains out, aren't you?
Otter: Boon, I anticipate a deeply religious experience.

User Review

Often imitated, never duplicated.

Rating: 10/10

You'll have to excuse me and some of the other proponents of 'National Lampoon's Animal House' if we seem a little defensive about the movie. That's because it's often not recognized as the superior comedy classic that it is. Instead, too often it is lumped in with the multitude of inferior films that it inspired, which is totally unfair.

Some of the conventional wisdom about 'Animal House' is absolutely right, though. John Belushi does give a bravura performance that is reminiscent of the great comics before him like Chaplin, Keaton (Buster, not Michael), the Marx Brothers, etc., and he does it with a wonderful economy of words. His character of "Bluto" Blutarsky is often emulated and imitated but many times the persons doing so have no idea what it was that made him and his performance so great.

Tim Matheson as "Otter" and his other frat house buddies were also prototypes that were much imitated too, and again often without success. Otter was the quintessential smooth talker, always working an angle on everybody, especially the ladies. When a woman tells him that his lovemaking wasn't that great, he cocks his head, points a finger at himself and mouths the words, "not great?" in mock disbelief. Before Tom Hanks got "Big" he made a career out of playing this character. Also John Vernon set a standard for straight men with his portrayal of the beleaguered Dean Wormer, plagued by his "zoo fraternity."

Not all of the movie's humor aims low, by any means; some of it is quite sophisticated. (Yes, you read it right.) The screenwriters and director John Landis did a great job evoking Kennedy-era America and they found a lot to laugh at. This comedy is an unqualified classic by the simplest definition-- it makes you laugh, long and loud.

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