Animal House (1978)

Comedy, Romance
John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst
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.
The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 28 Jul 1978 Released:
  • 24 Feb 1998 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

Trailer:

If your review is too long....10/10

you probably don't like teen sex comedies anyway. If you write more than 10 lines about this classic, you are taking it way too seriously. This is the King of Teen Sex Comedies, period. Anything that follows is/was a pretender or copycat. And I'll never understand why someone would spend so much time and space critiquing a film they don't like, from a genre they obviously don't appreciate. Virtually every actor plays his part realistically. I still get a huge kick out of Belushi's speech about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. Or "Do you mind if we dance with yo dates? Or "mine is bigger....my cucumber." Lots of classic lines. Just enjoy it!
Often imitated, never duplicated.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.

What started it all- and still the best10/10
This is the best college comedy ever made. Nothing has ever come close to comedic perfection, and never will again. The early bird director John Landis directs this film into greatness bringing stars John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf and Donald Sutherland to the screen in brilliance. True, this film is just about a bunch of misfits defying authority in a campus of 1962, but that's what makes it so good, and original. Belushi, Metcalf, and others bring many of the laughs here, but it is mainly it's reputation that brings this film into hilarity. A landmark in cinema comedy. By the way, screenwriters Harold Ramis and Chris Miller originally were going to make this a film about Charles Manson called Laser Orgy Girls, so thank god Douglas Kenney came in and straightened this out to the right part.
Maybe Can't Really Be Appreciated Anymore5/10

If you have only seen this movie on TV, you have not really seen this movie. One of the best movie experiences of my life was seeing this movie in the theater with a full house of college students. I have never heard an audience laugh so hard, and I was laughing with them. That experience can never be recaptured. I don't know why this movie doesn't make the midnight movie tour in college towns. That way it might have some of the same impact. Also when it came out in 1978 it is hard to explain how big John Belushi was unless you were there and saw it first hand. It's still funny on the small screen, but only if you see it uncut. Never watch it on a network, they cut out most of the jokes!
This one gets a 4.0 for sure!10/10

John Landis's directorial debut, and John Belushi's first starring role make this screw-ball comedy about college life in the early 60's a must-see. I saw this picture for the first time when it was released to theaters and laughed my buns off; it still holds up today, almost 30 years later.

Every actor in the show gives a bravura performance, with stand-out debuts by the likes of Thomas Hulce, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Bruce Davidson, and others. In addition, there's a sense throughout the picture that we all knew these guys at one time or another in our lives. Shoot, I think I may have BEEN one or two of these guys at some point in my life. Of course, the picture revolves around Belushi's terrifically over-the-top Bluto Blutarsky; but you simply can't ignore characters like Boone, Otter, Niedermeyer, Gregg Marmalade, and my personal favorite, D-Day.

The writing on this picture is really far better than the loosely-structured plot first indicates. Each character is introduced neatly at their entrance; and, by extension, the other characters are set up by the entrances of their surrounding characters. For instance, when we first meet Belushi's character, he's holding a schooner of beer in one hand and drunkenly taking a leak on the Delta Tau Chi lawn. Right away, we know what the rest of these guys are going to be like. Then, when D-Day makes his entrance, driving his hawg through the front door and up the stairs to play the William Tell Overture on his throat before pulling a beer out of his jacket and popping the top, our fears are confirmed. Meanwhile, we get to meet the uptight, repressed, and mildly facsist other frat through similar vignettes. Kevin Bacon is particularly hilarious in his initiation ("Thank you, sir! May I have another?").

John Landis made his debut with this picture, and what a debut it was! His camera follows each of the characters and events at near breakneck speed, giving the audience little time to recover from one laugh before getting slapped in the head with another. Lots of natural lighting, and sharp, steady pacing with smooth transitions keep the story moving. Refreshingly, the film doesn't rely on over-the-top special effects to hold our attention. Then again, is there really any place for SFX in a picture like this?


The whole picture is one long laugh, from beginning to end. If you're a college grad, you'll forget what it was really like to have to work hard, study, and generally bust your tail to graduate. If you haven't yet gone to college, this picture will give you all the wrong ideas. On the other hand, you've gotta see this one, if for no other reason than to learn all the right (and wrong) things to do at a college party.