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Animal House (1978)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  28 July 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 85,888 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 252 user | 89 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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


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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry Kroger (as Thomas Hulce)
Douglas Kenney ...
Chris Miller ...
Hardbar (as Christian Miller)
Bruce Bonnheim ...


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. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"We can do anything we want. We're college students!" See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 July 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Animal House  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$141,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Ivan Reitman's original choices for the roles of Boon and Otter were Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. But Director John Landis did not think Chase was right for the part and convinced Chevy to star in Foul Play (1978) instead. See more »


In the check-out line at the Food King, there is an older, electro-mechanical cash register behind Clorette, but from a different angle looking towards Larry, a more modern electronic register as used in the late 1970s is clearly visible in the next aisle over. See more »


Boon: It's not gonna be an orgy! It's a toga party.
Katy: Honestly, Boon, you're 21-years old. In six months you're going to graduate, and tomorrow night you're going to wrap yourself in a bed sheet and pour grain alcohol all over your head. It's cute, but I think I'll pass this time.
Boon: Want me to go alone?
Katy: Baby, I don't want you to go at all.
Boon: It's a fraternity party, I'm in the fraternity. How can I miss it?
Katy: I'll write you a note. I'll say you're too well to attend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Four of the listings in the cast are "mean dude," "meaner dude," "meanest dude," and "gigantic dude". See more »


Referenced in Indie Sex: Teens (2007) See more »


The Washington Post
Music by John Philip Sousa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Often imitated, never duplicated.
25 May 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

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.

117 of 135 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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