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National Lampoon's Animal House

Theatrical poster designed by Rick Meyerowitz
Directed by John Landis
Produced by Ivan Reitman
Matty Simmons
Written by Harold Ramis
Douglas Kenney
Chris Miller
Starring John Belushi
Tim Matheson
Peter Riegert
Karen Allen
John Vernon
Verna Bloom
Thomas Hulce
Cesare Danova
Donald Sutherland
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Charles Correll
Editing by George Folsey, Jr.
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) July 28, 1978 (premiere)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$2,700,000
Gross revenue $141,600,000 (US)

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The screenplay was adapted by Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller and Harold Ramis from stories written by Miller and published in National Lampoon magazine based on Miller's experiences in the Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College, as well as Ramis' experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, and producer Ivan Reitman's experiences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The film is about a misfit group of fraternity men who challenge their college's administrators.

Early casting ideas included Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi. Of these five comedians, only Belushi was cast and he received $35,000 for the film with a bonus after it became a hit. Several of the actors, including Tom Hulce, Karen Allen and Kevin Bacon were just beginning their careers. The studio's executives disagreed with Landis' selections and wanted to cast dramatic actors as well as comedians.

Upon its initial release, Animal House received generally mixed but often positive reviews from critics, with Time and the famed Roger Ebert proclaiming it one of the year's best. It is considered to be the movie that launched the gross-out genre, although it was predated by several films now also included in the genre. Initially budgeted at a modest $2.7 million (raised to $3 million after production got underway), the film has turned out to be one of the most profitable movies of all time. Since its initial release, Animal House has garnered an estimated return of more than $141 million in the form of video and DVDs, not including merchandising. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. This film is number 1 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies. It was number 36 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs list of the 100 best American comedies.

In 2008, Empire Magazine selected Animal House as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.



Two freshmen, Larry and Kent, are trying to get accepted to a fraternity at fictional Faber College in 1962. They first try their luck at the Omega Theta Pi House invitational party but are repeatedly steered to an area with other undesirables. They then try next door at the Delta Tau Chi House, where Kent's brother was once a member. They meet John "Bluto" Blutarsky, urinating outside the building. The Deltas "need the dues", so Larry and Kent are allowed to pledge Delta. They are given the fraternity names "Pinto" (Larry) and "Flounder" (Kent).

Meanwhile, Dean Vernon Wormer is trying to remove the Delta fraternity from campus due to repeated conduct violations. Since they are already on probation, he puts the Deltas on "Double Secret Probation" and orders the clean-cut Omega president Greg Marmalard the job of finding a way to get rid of the Deltas once and for all.

At the campus ROTC detachment drills, Doug Neidermeyer, the cadet commander, berates Flounder for wearing a pledge pin on his uniform. Later, he orders Flounder to clean his horse's filthy stable stall. While practicing their golfing, Deltas Boon and Otter become annoyed when they overhear Doug bullying Flounder. ("Only we can do that to our pledges!") After Boon takes a few swings with his driver, Otter shows him what he is doing wrong. His first ball goes into the Dean's office, the second one strikes Doug's horse. The last one hits Doug in the head, knocking him out the saddle; terrified, the horse takes off, dragging a screaming Doug behind it. Bluto and D-Day then talk Flounder into sneaking the hated animal into Dean Wormer's office late at night. They give him a gun and tell him to shoot it. Unbeknownst to Flounder, the gun is loaded with blanks. He cannot bring himself to kill the horse and fires into the ceiling, but the noise so frightens the horse that it dies.

In the cafeteria the next day, Bluto provokes Marmalard and Omega pledge Chip with his impression of a popping zit. This starts a food fight that engulfs the cafeteria.

Bluto and D-Day rummage through a trash bin to steal the answers to an upcoming psychology test. However, the exam stencil had been planted by the Omegas, and the Deltas get every answer wrong. Their grade point averages drop so low that Wormer only needs one more incident to revoke the charter that allows them to remain on campus.

Undaunted, the Deltas organize a toga party, during which Otis Day and the Knights perform "Shout". A drunken Mrs. Wormer crashes the party and spends the night with Otter. The toga party turns out to be the last straw. Wormer gets the fraternity's charter revoked, and their belongings are confiscated. To take their minds off their troubles, Otter, Boon, Flounder, and Pinto go on a road trip. Otter picks up some girls from a local liberal arts Emily Dickinson College by pretending to be the boyfriend of a girl recently killed on campus. They stop at a roadhouse because Otis Day and the Knights are performing there, not realizing that it caters to an exclusively-black clientèle. Some of the hulking regulars intimidate the guys into fleeing, leaving their frightened dates behind.

Things go from bad to worse. Babs lies to Greg, telling him that his girlfriend Mandy is carrying on an affair with Otter. Greg and some of his fellow Omegas lure Otter to a motel and beat him up.

The Deltas' midterm grades are so bad that they are all expelled from school by an ecstatic Wormer and their draft boards are notified of their eligibility. For revenge, the Deltas decide to wreak havoc on the annual homecoming parade, inspired by Bluto's impassioned speech. In the ensuing chaos, Bluto steals a car, abducts Mandy and drives off into the sunset, or rather to Washington, D.C., as the futures of many of the main characters are revealed.


Delta Tau Chi (ΔΤΧ)

  • John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky: a drunken degenerate with his own style, in his seventh year of college, sporting a GPA of 0.0. He goes on to become a United States Senator.
  • Tim Matheson as Eric "Otter" Stratton: a smooth playboy whose room is a pristine seduction den amid the sheer filth of the rest of the Delta house. Otter is the fraternity's rush chairman, and essentially the fraternity's unofficial leader. He goes on to become a gynecologist in Beverly Hills.
  • Peter Riegert as Donald "Boon" Schoenstein: Otter's best friend, who is forever having to decide between his Delta pals and his girlfriend Katy. He marries Katy in 1964, but they divorce in 1969. In the book adaptation Boon becomes a cab driver and part-time writer in New York City.
  • Thomas Hulce as Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger: a shy but normal fellow, who becomes the editor of National Lampoon magazine. "Pinto" was screenwriter Chris Miller's nickname at his Dartmouth fraternity.
  • Stephen Furst as Kent "Flounder" Dorfman: an overweight, clumsy legacy pledge, later a sensitivity trainer in Cleveland.
  • Bruce McGill as Daniel Simpson Day, "D-Day": a tough biker with no grade point average: all classes incomplete. His later whereabouts are unknown. Character supposedly based on the personality of Dan Aykroyd.
  • James Widdoes as Robert Hoover: the affable, reasonably clean-cut president of the fraternity, who desperately struggles to maintain a façade of normality to placate the Dean. He becomes a public defender in Baltimore.
  • Douglas Kenney as "Stork": During his first year, everyone thought the Stork was brain damaged; indeed, he only speaks two lines in the entire film.

Omega Theta Pi (ΩΘΠ)

Supporting characters

  • John Vernon as Dean Vernon Wormer: he wants to revoke the Deltas' charter and kick them off-campus.
  • Verna Bloom as Marion Wormer: the Dean's alcoholic wife.
  • Karen Allen as Katy: Boon's frustrated girlfriend who has a dalliance with a professor but subsequently goes on to marry and then divorce Boon.
  • Donald Sutherland as Professor Dave Jennings: a bored English professor who tries to turn his students on to left-wing politics and drug use.
  • Sarah Holcomb as Clorette DePasto: the mayor's 13-year-old daughter, who sleeps with Larry.
  • DeWayne Jessie as Otis Day: the leader of the band (Otis Day and the Knights) that plays at the toga party.
  • Mary Louise Weller as Mandy Pepperidge: a cheerleader and sorority girl who dates Greg, but is not satisfied with the relationship. She later marries Bluto.
  • Martha Smith as Barbara Sue "Babs" Jansen: a Southern belle who wants Greg for herself and finds the Deltas repulsive. She ends up a tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Cesare Danova as Mayor Carmine DePasto: the shady local mayor with suggested mafia ties.



Animal House was the first movie produced by National Lampoon, the most popular humor magazine on college campuses in the mid-1970s.[1] The periodical specialized in humor and satirized politics and popular culture. Many of the magazine’s writers were recent college graduates, hence their appeal to students all over the country. Doug Kenney was a Lampoon writer and the magazine’s first editor-in-chief. He graduated from Harvard University in 1969 and had a college experience closer to the Omegas in the film (he had been president of the university's elite Spee Club).[1] Kenney was responsible for the first appearances of two characters that would appear in the film, Larry Kroger and Mandy Pepperidge. They made their debut in National Lampoon’s High School Yearbook, a satire published in 1975.

However, Kenney felt that fellow Lampoon writer Chris Miller was the magazine's expert on the college experience.[1] Faced with an impending deadline, Miller submitted a chapter from his then-abandoned memoirs entitled "The Night of the Seven Fires" about pledging experiences from his fraternity days in Alpha Delta (associated with the national Alpha Delta Phi during Miller's undergraduate years, the fraternity subsequently disassociated itself from the national organization) at the Ivy League's Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. The antics of his fellow fraternities became the inspiration for the Delta Tau Chis of Animal House and many characters in the film (and their nicknames) were based on Miller's fraternity brothers.[1] Miller's college nickname was "Pinto" in recognition of dark spots he had on a certain private part of his anatomy. Filmmaker Ivan Reitman had just finished producing David Cronenberg's first film, Shivers and called the magazine’s publisher Matty Simmons about making movies under the Lampoon banner.[2] Reitman had put together The National Lampoon Show in New York City that featured several future Saturday Night Live cast members, including John Belushi. When most of them moved to that show except for Harold Ramis, Reitman approached him with an idea to make a film together using some skits from the Lampoon Show.[2]


Kenney met with Lampoon writer Ramis at the suggestion of Simmons. Ramis drew from his own fraternity experiences as a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis and was working on a treatment about college entitled "Freshman Year" but the magazine’s editors were not happy with it.[1] Kenney and Ramis started working on a treatment together, positing Charles Manson in a high school, calling it Laser Orgy Girls.[2] Simmons was cool to this idea so they changed the setting to college. Kenney was a fan of Miller’s fraternity stories and suggested using them as a basis for a movie. Kenney, Miller and Ramis began brainstorming ideas.[2] They agreed that Belushi should star in it and Ramis wrote the part of Bluto specifically for the comedian, having met him at Chicago's The Second City.[3] Belushi was committed to Saturday Night Live and spent Monday through Wednesday making the film and then flying back to New York to do the show on Thursday through Saturday.[3]

The result was a 110-page treatment (the average was 15 pages) that Reitman and Simmons pitched to various Hollywood studios. Simmons met with Ned Tanen, an executive at Universal Studios. He was encouraged by younger executives Sean Daniel and Thom Mount who were more receptive to the Lampoon type of humor.[1] Tanen hated the idea. Ramis remembers, "We went further than I think Universal expected or wanted. I think they were shocked and appalled. Chris’ fraternity had virtually been a vomiting cult. And we had a lot of scenes that were almost orgies of vomit... We didn’t back off anything".[2] As the writers created more drafts of the screenplay (nine in total), the studio gradually became more receptive to the project, especially Mount, who championed it.[4] Surprisingly, the studio green-lighted the film and set the budget at a modest $3 million.[1] Simmons remembers, "They just figured, ‘Screw it, it’s a silly little movie, and we’ll make a couple of bucks if we’re lucky – let them do whatever they want.’"[2]


Initially, Reitman had wanted to direct but had only made one film, Cannibal Girls, for $5,000.[2] The film's producers approached Richard Lester and Bob Rafelson before considering John Landis, who got the director job based on his work on Kentucky Fried Movie.[4] That film’s script and continuity supervisor was the girlfriend of Sean Daniel, an assistant to Mount. Daniel saw Landis’ movie and recommended him. Landis then met with Mount, Reitman and Simmons and got the job.[2] Landis remembers, "When I was given the script, it was the funniest thing I had ever read up to that time. But it was really offensive. There was a great deal of projectile vomiting and rape and all these things".[5] There was also a certain amount of friction between Landis and the writers early on because Landis was a high-school dropout from Hollywood and they were college graduates from the East Coast. Ramis remembers, "He sort of referred immediately to Animal House as ‘my movie.’ We’d been living with it for two years and we hated that".[2] According to Landis, he drew inspiration from classic Hollywood comedies featuring the likes of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and the Marx Brothers.[6]

The initial cast was to feature Chevy Chase as Otter, Bill Murray as Boon, Brian Doyle-Murray as Hoover, Dan Aykroyd as D-Day and John Belushi as Bluto, but only Belushi wanted to do it. Chase turned them down to do Foul Play.[2] The character of D-Day was based on Aykroyd, who was a motorcycle aficionado. Aykroyd was offered the part, but he was already committed to Saturday Night Live.[4] Ramis originally wrote the role of Boon for himself, but Landis felt that he looked too old for the part and Riegert was cast instead. Landis did offer Ramis a smaller part, but he declined. Landis met with Jack Webb to play Dean Wormer and Kim Novak to play his wife. Webb ultimately backed out due to concerns over his clean-cut image, and was replaced by John Vernon.[2]

Belushi received only $35,000 for Animal House, with a bonus after it became a hit.[3] Landis also met with Meat Loaf in case Belushi did not want to play Bluto. Landis worked with Belushi on his character; they decided that Bluto was a cross between Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. Despite Belushi's presence, Universal wanted another movie star because they said that the whole movie did not have a star, just a lot of sub-plots. Landis had been a crew member on Kelly's Heroes and had become friends with actor Donald Sutherland (he even used to babysit his son Kiefer).[2] To address Universal's misgivings, Landis called up Sutherland, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, and asked him to be in the film. He ended up becoming the highest-paid member of the cast. For two days work, Sutherland was initially offered $35,000. He told Landis that Universal had to do better than that. Universal then offered him $35,000 and 15% of the film's gross, assuming that the movie would be quickly forgotten. Sutherland wanted sure money and settled for $50,000, a decision which (by his own admission) has cost him millions.[2]


Plaque at the site where the house used to portray the Delta House formerly stood

The filmmakers' next problem was finding a college that would let them shoot the film on their campus.[2] They had submitted the script to a number of colleges and universities, and the movie was set to be filmed at the University of Missouri until the president of the school read the script and refused permission.

The president of the University of Oregon, William Beaty Boyd, [7] had been a senior administrator of a major California university years before. In the 1960s his campus was considered for a location of the film The Graduate.[2] After he consulted with other senior administrative colleagues who advised him to turn it down, production moved to the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California. The reason given by the president was that the board believed the film script to be without artistic merit. The Graduate went on to become a classic. He was determined not to make the same mistake twice when the producers inquired about filming at Oregon. He even went so far as to allow the filmmakers to use his office as Dean Wormer's.[2] The university agreed because, after consulting with student government leaders and officers of the Pan Hellenic Council, the Director of University Relations advised the president that the script, although raunchy and often tasteless, was a very funny spoof of college life.[2]

The actual house depicted as the Delta House was originally a residence in Eugene, the Dr. A.W. Patterson House. Around 1959, it was acquired by the Psi Deuteron chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and was their chapter house until 1967, when the chapter was closed due to low membership. The house was sold and slid into disrepair, with the spacious porch removed and the lawn graveled over. The interior of the Sigma Nu house was used for nearly all of the interior scenes. The individual rooms were filmed on a soundstage. At the time of the shooting, the Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Nu fraternity houses sat next to the old Phi Sigma Kappa house. The Omega House, owned by Phi Kappa Psi, is currently the Alpha Epsilon Pi house.[8] The Patterson house was demolished in 1986.[9] A suite of physicians' offices now occupies the site. A large boulder placed to the west of the parking entrance displays a bronze plaque commemorating the Delta House location.

Principal photography

Landis brought the actors who played the Deltas up five days early in order to bond. Actor James Widdoes remembers, "It was like freshman orientation. There was a lot of getting to know each other and calling each other by our character names".[2] This tactic encouraged the actors playing the Deltas to separate themselves from the actors playing the Omegas, helping generate authentic animosity between them on camera.[2] One night, some girls invited several of the cast members to a fraternity party. They arrived assuming they had been invited and were greeted with open hostility.[2] As they were leaving, Widdoes threw a cup of beer at a group of drunk football players and a fight broke out. Tim Matheson, Bruce McGill, Peter Riegert, and Widdoes narrowly escaped, with McGill suffering a black eye and Widdoes getting several teeth knocked out.[2]

The actors playing the Deltas stayed at the Rodeway Inn; they moved an old piano from the lobby into McGill's room, which became known as "party central".[2] Belushi and his wife, Judy, had a house in the suburbs in order to keep him away from alcohol and drugs.[2] While shooting the film, Landis and Bruce McGill staged a scene for reporters visiting the set where the director pretended to be angry at the actor for being difficult on the set.[10] Landis grabbed a breakaway pitcher and smashed it over McGill's head. He fell to the ground and pretended to be unconscious. The reporters were completely fooled, and when Landis asked McGill to get up, he refused to move.[10] The studio became more enthusiastic about the film when Reitman showed executives and sales managers of various regions in the country a 10-minute production reel that was put together in two days.[4] The reaction was positive and the studio sent 20 copies out to exhibitors.[4] The first preview screening for Animal House was held in Denver four months before it opened nationwide. The crowd loved it and the filmmakers realized they had a potential hit on their hands.[2]

Soundtrack and score

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack:
National Lampoon's Animal House
Soundtrack by various artists
Released 1978
Recorded RCA Studios, New York and Sound Factory West, Hollywood
Genre Rock and roll, R&B, film score
Length 36:23
Label MCA
Producer Kenny Vance
Professional reviews

The soundtrack is a mix of rock and roll and rhythm and blues with the original score created by film composer Elmer Bernstein, who had been a Landis family friend since John Landis was a child.[11] Bernstein was easily persuaded to score the film, but was not sure what to make of it. Landis asked him to score it as though it were serious. Bernstein said that his work on this film opened yet another door in his diverse career, to scoring comedies.[11]

Soundtrack album listing

Side one
Track Title Writer(s) Performed by Length
1. "Faber College Theme"   Elmer Bernstein Elmer Bernstein 0:24
2. "Louie, Louie"   Richard Berry John Belushi 2:55
3. "Twistin' the Night Away"   Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 2:38
4. "Tossin' and Turnin'"   Richie Adams, Malou Rene Bobby Lewis 2:15
5. "Shama Lama Ding Dong"   Mark Davis Lloyd Williams (Otis Day and the Nights) 2:55
6. "Hey Paula"   Raymound Hildebrand Paul & Paula 3:27
7. "Animal House"   Stephen Bishop Stephen Bishop 4:05
Side two
Track Title Writer(s) Performed by Length
1. "Intro"   0:48
2. "Money (That's What I Want)"   Berry Gordy, Jr., Janie Bradford John Belushi 2:28
3. "Let's Dance"   Jim Lee Chris Montez 2:38
4. "Dream Girl"   Stephen Bishop Stephen Bishop 4:39
5. "(What a) Wonderful World"   Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert, Lou Adler Sam Cooke 2:06
6. "Shout"   Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, O'Kelly Isley Lloyd Williams (Otis Day and the Nights) 4:23
7. "Faber College Theme"   Elmer Bernstein Elmer Bernstein 1:55

Other songs in the film


On its opening weekend, Animal House grossed $276,538, in 12 theaters.[12] The film grossed over $1,000,000 per week, becoming the third most popular 1978 US film.[13] It made $120.1 million in North America and went on to have a domestic lifetime gross of $141.6 million.[12]

Critical reception

At the time of its release, Animal House received universal acclaim from critics[14] and is widely regarded as one of the 10 best films of 1978.[15][16][17][18] Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and wrote, "It's anarchic, messy, and filled with energy. It assaults us. Part of the movie's impact comes from its sheer level of manic energy... But the movie's better made (and better acted) than we might at first realize. It takes skill to create this sort of comic pitch, and the movie's filled with characters that are sketched a little more absorbingly than they had to be, and acted with perception".[19] Ebert later placed the film on his 10 best list of 1978.[20] In his review for Time, Frank Rich wrote, "At its best it perfectly expresses the fears and loathings of kids who came of age in the late '60s; at its worst Animal House revels in abject silliness. The hilarious highs easily compensate for the puerile lows".[21] Gary Arnold wrote in his review for The Washington Post, "Belushi also controls a wicked array of conspiratorial expressions with the audience... He can seem irresistibly funny in repose or invest minor slapstick opportunities with a streak of genius".[22] David Ansen wrote in Newsweek, "But if Animal House lacks the inspired tastelessness of the Lampoon's High School Yearbook Parody, this is still low humor of a high order".[23] Robert Martin wrote in The Globe and Mail, "It is so gross and tasteless you feel you should be disgusted but it's hard to be offended by something that is so sidesplittingly funny".[24] Time magazine proclaimed Animal House one of the year's best.[25]

When the film was released, Landis, Widdoes and Allen went on a national promotional tour.[10] Universal Pictures spent $4.7 million promoting the film at selected college campuses and helped students organize their own toga parties.[26][27] One such party at the University of Maryland attracted some 2,000 people, while students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison tried for a crowd of 10,000 people and a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.[27] Thanks to the film, toga parties became one of 1978's favorite college campus happening.[3]


The film inspired a short-lived half-hour ABC television sitcom, Delta House, in which Vernon reprised his role as the long-suffering, malevolent Dean Wormer. The series also included Steven Furst as Flounder, Bruce McGill as D-Day and James Widdoes as Hoover.[28] The pilot episode was written by the film's screenwriters, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller and Harold Ramis.[29] Michelle Pfeiffer made her acting debut in the series and Peter Fox was cast as Otter. John Belushi's character from the film, John "Bluto" Blutarsky, is in the army, but his brother, Blotto, played by Josh Mostel, transfers to Faber College to carry on Bluto's tradition.[29]

Animal House inspired Co-Ed Fever, another sitcom but without the involvement of the film's producers or cast.[28] Set in a dorm of the formerly all-female Baxter College, the pilot of Co-Ed Fever was aired by CBS on 4 February 1979, but the network canceled the series before airing any more episodes.[30] NBC also had its Animal House-inspired sitcom, Brothers and Sisters, in which three members of Crandall College's Pi Nu fraternity interact with members of the Gamma Iota sorority.[28] Like ABC's Delta House, Brothers and Sisters lasted only three months.[31]

The film's writers planned a movie sequel set in 1967 (the so-called "Summer of Love"), in which the Deltas have a reunion for Pinto's marriage in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.[32] The only Delta to have become a hippie is Flounder, who is now called Pisces. Later, Chris Miller and John Weidman, another Lampoon writer, created a treatment for this screenplay, but Universal rejected it because the sequel to American Graffiti (More American Graffiti), which contained some hippie-1967 sequences, had not done well. When John Belushi died, the idea was indefinitely shelved.[32]

Home video

Animal House was released on videodisc in 1979.[33] A Collector's Edition DVD was released in 2002, with a 30-minute 1998 documentary entitled "The Yearbook - An Animal House Reunion" by producer JM Kenny with production notes, theatrical trailer, and new interviews with director Landis, stars Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Peter Riegert, Mark Metcalf and Kevin Bacon.[34] The "Double Secret Probation Edition" DVD released in 2003 features cast members reprising their respective roles in a "Where Are They Now?" mockumentary, which posited the original film as a documentary. One major change shown in this mockumentary from the epilogue of the original film is that Bluto went on from his career in the U.S. Senate to become the President of the United States, with a voiceover on a shot of the north portico of the White House, since by then Belushi was no longer alive. This DVD also includes "Did You Know That? Universal Animated Anecdotes," a subtitle trivia track, the making of documentary from the Collector's Edition, MXPX "Shout" music video, a theatrical trailer, production notes, and cast and filmmakers biographies.[35] In August 2006, the film was released on an HD DVD/DVD combo disc, which featured the film in a 1080p high-definition format on one side, and a standard-definition format on the opposite side.[36] Along with the film Unleashed, Animal House was one of Universal's first two HD/DVD combo releases,[37] but was later discontinued in 2008 after Universal decided to switch to the Blu-ray Disc format following the conclusion of the high definition optical disc format war.[38]


Animal House is considered to be the movie that launched the gross-out genre (although it was predated by several films now also included in the genre) inspiring countless other comedies such as Porky's, the Police Academy films, the American Pie films, and Old School among others.[1][6] Produced on a small ($2.7 million) budget, the film became one of the most profitable movies of all time. Since its initial release, Animal House has garnered an estimated return of more than $141 million in the form of video and DVDs, not including merchandising. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film culturally significant and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.[39] Animal House is first on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies. In 2000, the American Film Institute ranked the film #36 on 100 Years... 100 Laughs, a list of the 100 best American comedies.[40] In 2006 Miller wrote a more comprehensive memoir of his experiences in Dartmouth's AD house in a book entitled, The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie,in which Miller recounts hijinks that were considered too risqué for the movie. In 2008, Empire Magazine selected Animal House as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[41] The film was also selected by The New York Times as one of The 1000 Best Movies Ever Made.[42]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Peterson, Molly (July 29, 2002). "National Lampoon's Animal House". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Nashawaty, Chris (July 29, 2002). "Building Animal House". Entertainment Weekly.,,285149,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d Schwartz, Tony (23 October 1978). "College Humor Comes Back". Newsweek: pp. 88. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Medjuck, Joe (July 1978). "The Further Adventures of Ivan Reitman". Take One. 
  5. ^ Olson, Eric (23 October 1978). "Director, John Landis: The Dean Speaks". Digital Movie Talk. 
  6. ^ a b Mitchell, Elvis (25 August 2003). "Revisiting Faber College (Toga, Toga, Toga!)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "AEPi Oregon". University of Oregon. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  9. ^ "On Film". University of Oregon Archives. October 23, 1978. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  10. ^ a b c Arnold, Gary (13 August 1978). "The Madcap World of John Landis". The Washington Post: pp. H1. 
  11. ^ a b Kenny, J.M (1998). "The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion". Animal House: Collector's Edition DVD (Universal Studios). 
  12. ^ a b "National Lampoon's Animal House". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  13. ^ Zito, Tom (8 September 1978). "The Sleaze is Pleased". The Washington Post: pp. D1. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger (1 January 1978). "National Lampoon's Animal House". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Rich, Frank (14 August 1978). "School Days". Time.,9171,946996,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  22. ^ Arnold, Gary (11 August 1978). "National Lampoon's Animal House: Bringing the Beast Out of the Fraternity". The Washington Post: pp. B1. 
  23. ^ Ansen, David (7 August 1978). "Gross Out". Newsweek: pp. 85. 
  24. ^ Martin, Robert (5 August 1978). "Animal House - A Lampoon Zoo". The Globe and Mail. 
  25. ^ "Year's Best". Time. 1 January 1979.,9171,916590,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  26. ^ "Bed Sheets Bonanza". Time. 23 October 1978.,9171,946118,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  27. ^ a b Darling, Lynn; Joe Calderone (26 September 1978). "TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!: The Toga Party, Popping Up on Campuses Across the Country". The Washington Post: pp. C1. 
  28. ^ a b c Waters, Harry F (29 January 1979). "Send in the Clones". Newsweek: pp. 85. 
  29. ^ a b Shales, Tom (18 January 1979). "Bluto's Gone but His Brother's Carrying On". The Washington Post: pp. B15. 
  30. ^ "Co-ed Fever: Episode Listings".;episodes. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  31. ^ "Brothers and Sisters (1979): Episode Listings".;episodes. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  32. ^ a b Quindlen, Anna (5 September 1980). "Young Actor Weary of Lying About Age". New York Times. 
  33. ^ "Disc Duel". Time. 19 February 1979.,9171,912373,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  34. ^ Wolk, Josh (4 September 1998). "House Rules". Entertainment Weekly.,,83682,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  35. ^ Kim, Wook (5 September 2003). "National Lampoon's Animal House Double Secret Probation Edition". Entertainment Weekly.,,479987,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  36. ^ Bracke, Peter M (7 August 2006). "National Lampoon's Animal House (HD DVD)". High-Def Digest. Internet Brands. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  37. ^ Bracke, Peter M (June 26, 2007). "Unleashed (Re-issue) (HD DVD)". High-Def Digest. Internet Brands. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  38. ^ Lambert, David (19 February 2008). "Site News - Universal Switching From HD DVD to Blu-ray Disc *UPDATED*". Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  39. ^ "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989–2006". National Film Registry. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  40. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  41. ^
  42. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 film about a misfit group of fraternity boys who take on the system at their college.

Directed by John Landis and written by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, and Chris Miller.
It was the Deltas against the rules... the rules lost! Taglines



Dean Wormer: Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?
Greg: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.
Dean Wormer: Cut the horseshit, son. I've got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.
Greg: You're talking about Delta, sir.
Dean Wormer: Of course I'm talking about Delta, you TWERP! This year is going to be different. This year we are going to grab the bull by the BALLS and kick those punks off campus.
Greg: What do you intend to do sir? Delta's already on probation.
Dean Wormer: They are?
Greg: Yes, sir.
Dean Wormer: Oh. Then as of this moment, they're on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!
Greg: Double Secret Probation, Sir?
Dean Wormer: There is a little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution which gives the dean unlimited power to preserve order in time of campus emergency. Find me a way to revoke Delta's charter. You live next door. Put Neidermeyer on it. He's a sneaky little shit, just like you, right? [Greg nods] The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me.

Boon: Where are you going? We just got here.
Katy: No, Boon, you just got here. I've been downstairs for an hour entertaining some kid from Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas.
Boon: Umm - maybe we could drive up to your folks' place this weekend.
Katy: Oh, fabulous. My car filled with your beer buddies going up to empty my parents' liquor cabinet. It's too depressing to think about.
Boon: No! Just gonna be you and me. And Otter and another girl.
Katy: Is this really what you're gonna do for the rest of your life?
Boon: What do you mean?
Katy: I mean hanging around with a bunch of animals getting drunk every weekend.
Boon: No! After I graduate, I'm gonna get drunk every night.
Katy: Boon, I think I'm in love with a retard.
Boon: Is he bigger than me?

Neidermeyer: Dress that line. Dress that line, mister! Dress that line, soldier. Mister, hold my mount. [to Kent] You fat, disgusting slob! You're a goddamned disgrace!
Boon: [watching from afar] A vicious mother, isn't he?
Otter: He can't do that to our pledges.
Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.
Neidermeyer: [to Kent] Redo those buttons! Dress that belt buckle! Straighten that cap! And goddamn it, tuck up those pyjamas! Attention! Eyes front! What's that on your chest, mister?
Kent: It's a pledge pin, sir.
Neidermeyer: A pledge pin! On your uniform?
Neidermeyer: Just tell me, mister, what fraternity would pledge a man like you?
Kent: It's a Delta pin, sir.

Mayor Carmine De Pasto: If you want this year's homecoming parade in my town, you have to pay for it.
Dean Wormer: Carmine, I don't think it's right that you should extort money from the college.
Mayor Carmine De Pasto: Look, these parades you throw are very expensive. You using my police, my sanitation people, and my Oldsmobiles free of charge. So, if you mention extortion again, I'll have your legs broken.

Otter: Bluto! I think you know everybody here.
Mandy: Greg, can't you--
Otter: Don't worry. Just keep your hands and feet away from his mouth.
Greg: Don't you have any respect for yourself?
Babs: This is absolutely gross! That boy is a P-I-G, pig!
Bluto: See if you can guess what I am now. [puts mashed potatoes in his mouth, then squeezes his cheeks, spraying them] I'm a zit. Get it?
Greg: All right, you bastard. Let's go, right here!

Otter: I just checked with those guys at the Jewish house, and every one of our answers on the psych test were wrong!
Boon: Every one? [pause] Those ASSHOLES must've stolen the wrong FUCKING exam!

[Bluto and D-Day look at each other awkwardly]

Otter: You guys up for a toga party?
Bluto: Toga! Toga!
Otter: Ah, I think they like the idea, Hoov.
Note: Bluto's "Toga! Toga!" is ranked #82 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

Otter: Point of parliamentary procedure!
Hoover: Don't screw around, they're serious this time!
Otter: Take it easy, I'm pre-law.
Boon: I thought you were pre-med.
Otter: What's the difference?
Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did. [winks at Dean Wormer] But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
[Leads the Deltas out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]
Greg: Order!
Dean Wormer: You've done it this time buster! No more Delta! I'm calling the national office! I'm going to revoke your charter! And if you wiseguys do one more thing, one more, I'm going to kick you out of college! No more fun of any kind!

[The Deltas, led by D-Day and Bluto, are cutting up Flounder's brother's Lincoln to make the Deathmobile]
Flounder: My brother's gonna kill me.
Bluto: My advice is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: You should listen to him, he's pre-med!

Dean Wormer: Where are the other two - Stratton and Schoenstein?
Hoover: We can't find them, sir. We looked everywhere, but-
Dean Wormer: Never mind. Did you boys see your grade point averages yet?
Hoover: They're not posted yet, sir.
Dean Wormer: I've seen them. Mr. Kroger, two C's, two D's and an F - that's a 1.2 grade average. Congratulations, Kroger, you're at the top of the Delta pledge class.
[Bluto gives Kroger a congratulatory nudge]
Dean Wormer: Mr. Dorfman.
Flounder: Hellooooo.
Dean Wormer: 0.2. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Mr. Hoover, president of Delta House - 1.6. Four C's and an F. A fine example you set. Daniel Simpson Day has no grade point average. All courses incomplete. Mr. Blu- [looks up to see that Bluto has stuck pencils up his nose] Mr. Blutarsky. Zero POINT zero. Now I want you to tell Mr. Stratton and Mr. Schoenstein exactly what I'm about to tell you right now.
Hoover: And what's that, sir?
Dean Wormer: You're out! Finished at Faber! Expelled! I want you off this campus at 9:00 Monday morning! And I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I have notified your local draft boards and told them that you are now all, ALL eligible for military service.
[Flounder's mouth flutters]
Dean Wormer: Well? [Flounder opens his mouth a bit] WELL? [Flounder opens his mouth some more] OUT WITH IT! [Flounder vomits on Dean Wormer]

Bluto: Hey! What's this lying around shit?
Stork: Well, what the hell we s'posed to do, you moron?
D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...[pauses to remember the rest of the phrase]... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! [runs out, alone; then returns]
Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst! "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this! Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer—
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
Bluto: And we're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: Let's do it.
Bluto: LET'S DO IT!!


  • It was the Deltas against the rules... the rules lost!
  • We can do anything we want. We're college students!
  • Relive the best 7 years of your college education.


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