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National Lampoon's Animal House
John Belushi and Kevin Bacon




Overview -
ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collection of true-life experiences and memories with a great deal of embellishment. Nothing is sacred in this film, in which every gesture, phrase, and song became de rigueur in fraternity houses nationwide after its release. Decadence, debauchery, and delinquency prevail at Delta House, the scourge of the fraternity system at Faber College in 1962. In an effort to rid himself of the troublesome brothers, Dean Wormer (John Vernon) hatches a plan in cahoots with the brown-nosing Greg Marmalard (James Daughton) of rival fraternity Omega to have the Deltas kicked off campus. Unfortunately for them, the determination and drive of the Deltas is more than anyone counted on. In their last stand against the uptight dean, the antiheroes of Delta drink, smoke, romp, frolic, and dance--going out with a bang. This outrageous, much-loved comedy classic features the first major film role of the late, great John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky, the hard-partying, beer-guzzling champion of Delta house.

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More About National Lampoon's Animal House

 
 
 

Overview

ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collection of true-life experiences and memories with a great deal of embellishment. Nothing is sacred in this film, in which every gesture, phrase, and song became de rigueur in fraternity houses nationwide after its release. Decadence, debauchery, and delinquency prevail at Delta House, the scourge of the fraternity system at Faber College in 1962. In an effort to rid himself of the troublesome brothers, Dean Wormer (John Vernon) hatches a plan in cahoots with the brown-nosing Greg Marmalard (James Daughton) of rival fraternity Omega to have the Deltas kicked off campus. Unfortunately for them, the determination and drive of the Deltas is more than anyone counted on. In their last stand against the uptight dean, the antiheroes of Delta drink, smoke, romp, frolic, and dance--going out with a bang. This outrageous, much-loved comedy classic features the first major film role of the late, great John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky, the hard-partying, beer-guzzling champion of Delta house.

Main Cast & Crew

John Landis - Director
John Belushi
Tim Matheson
Tom Hulce
Stephen Furst
James Widdoes
Peter Riegert
Kevin Bacon
Mark Metcalf
Karen Allen
James Daughton

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD (Widescreen Double Secret Probation)
  • Run Time: 109
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 025192155024
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Release Date: August 2003

Related Categories:
Movies > Comedies

Related Keywords:
Campus Life
Classic
Scams And Cons
Teenage
On-The-Road
Recommended
Theatrical Release
Sex
1960s
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
In National Lampoon's first film, a parody of 1962 college life, it's campus hijinks galore as the rowdiest fraternity at Faber College battles rival fraternities and administrators, chases women, and throws toga parties. Chief animal John "Bluto" Butarsky (John Belushi) leads the fraternity in wacky hijinks and raunchy debauchery as they take on the establishment of the college. This extremely popular college comedy became an instant classic, quickly beoming one of the most oft-quoted films ever made.

Notes:
Theatrical Release: July 28, 1978. Estimated budget: $3 million. The film has grossed more than $140 million at the box office. ANIMAL HOUSE is number 36 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies. ANIMAL HOUSE, which was shot in only 35 days on location in Oregon, was allegedly based on the college experiences of National Lampoon writer Chris Miller. This was comedian-actor John Belushi's first starring role in a feature film. He was already well known as one of the Not Ready for Prime-Time Players on TV's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Director John Landis and Belushi conceived of the part of Bluto--which was written specifically for Belushi--as a combination Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. The part of D-Day was written for Dan Aykroyd but he didn't do it, probably because of his commitment to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. The studio wanted Chevy Chase to be Otter, but Landis thought that Chase was too recognizable a face to pull the character off. The part of the dean had been offered to Jack Webb. The studio insisted that the movie include a movie star, so Landis brought in Donald Sutherland to do two days' shooting. Landis played a cafeteria worker in a constant battle with Bluto, but all of his scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. The film helped launch the careers of director Landis, screenwriter Harold Ramis, and producer Ivan Reitman, as well as its cast of relative newcomers, including Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst, and Peter Riegert. ABC aired a short-lived television series in the spring of 1979 based on ANIMAL HOUSE, entitled DELTA HOUSE. The series was produced by the team responsible for the movie. Reprising their film roles were John Vernon, Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill, and James Widdoes, with the other parts recast. A new female character, the Bombshell, was played by then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer. Also looking to capitalize on ANIMAL HOUSE mania, NBC and CBS each produced their own ripoffs, BROTHERS AND SISTERS and CO-ED FEVER. The bass player in the fictional band, Otis Day and the Knights, is then unknown blues musician Robert Cray. Cray was instrumental in getting the musicians together for the filming. "Seven years of college down the drain."--Bluto (John Belushi) "Knowledge is good."--Faber College motto "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."--Dean Wormer (John Vernon) to Flounder (Stephen Furst)

Reviews:
"...There's enough bite and bawdiness in the Matty Simmon-Ivan Reitman production to provide lots of smile and several broad guffaws..." - 06/28/1978 Variety


"...Stupidly funny....Rent it again and see if you don't laugh..." - 04/15/1994 Entertainment Weekly, p.66


"...Cheerfully sleazy....Innocent fun..." - 07/28/1978 New York Times, p.C7


"...There's sophistication under the slapstick..." - 12/01/2003 Total Film, p.130


"[With an] infectious burlesque spirit and deft use of gross-out humor..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.13


"[J]oyously, liberatingly infantile....It's Belushi, as Delta's wildman-mascot Bluto, who informs the film's raucous, anarchic spirit." - 09/05/2008 New York Times

 

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