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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Belcher ...
Sean Baker ...
Paddy Ryan ...
Anne-Marie Davies ...
Don McKillop ...
Paul Kember ...


Two American college students are on a walking tour of Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The werewolf is killed but reverts to its human form, and the local townspeople are unwilling to acknowledge its existence. The surviving student begins to have nightmares of hunting on four feet at first but then finds that his friend and other recent victims appear to him, demanding that he commit suicide to release them from their curse, being trapped between worlds because of their unnatural deaths. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A masterpiece of terror See more »


Comedy | Fantasy | Horror


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En amerikansk varulv i London  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Jackson was so bowled over by this movie - most especially by the the makeup and special effects - he insisted on hiring the responsible personnel for his planned music video Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983). When John Landis agreed to direct (his first music video), he brought on board his foremost "werewolf" crew including, Robert Paynter (cinematography), Elmer Bernstein ("creepy" music), Rick Baker (special makeup effects) and his wife Deborah Nadoolman (costume design). See more »


The orderly explains that David is being served toast and jam. However in subsequent shots, it is obvious there's no jam on any of the toast. See more »


[first lines]
Truck Driver: That way is Proctor, and over here is the moors. I go this way.
Jack: Thanks for the ride, sir. You have lovely sheep.
Truck Driver: Boys, keep off the moors, stick to the roads. The best to ya...
David: Thanks again.
[then to the sheep]
David: We'll miss you.
David: Bye girls...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy star as themselves. See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »


Bad Moon Rising
Written by John Fogerty (uncredited)
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Courtesy of Fantasy Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Horror Comedy?
29 August 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

An almost impossible genre, the horror comedy is a sometimes dead genre. One of the best, An American Werewolf in London is a comical title that lives up to being a comedy and a horror movie. The special effects by Rick Baker alone, make this movie a hit. The off edge comedy and the almost slap stick style acting welcomes the horror. Many surprises throughout the movie, An American Werewolf in London has a little bit of everything. There are moments of laughter, hate, love, drama, and horror, the movie pushes the envelope in being an original work, even though it is a remake! Keep your ear open for the movie's soundtrack. Several songs with the word "moon". Like the soundtrack, the movie is full of interesting tid-bits. All in all, a great movie, a near classic.

28 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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