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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

 -  Horror  -  21 August 1981 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 52,340 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 322 user | 172 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

A masterpiece of terror See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre lobo americano en Londres  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 3,103,703 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

(re-release)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Landis has reported that when he was approving a high-definition transfer of the film for DVD in the mid-2000s, he was taken aback by how gory the film actually was. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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

All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living, dead, or undead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pet Sematary (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Rebel
(uncredited)
Music by Francis Monkman
Bruton Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Our Dual Natures Served Up Hollywood Style
26 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Landis reveals a philosophical take on mankind in this film, namely, that we have two natures: one benign, one monstrous. The werewolf legend handily serves as that proposition's allegorical vehicle, and compared to the alluded-to Nazi atrocities in two scenes, the legend actually pales. Sadly, under the dark impetus of our arrogance and vanity, our metaphorical "full moon", man is perfectly capable of transforming into nightmarish beast.

As a director, Landis approaches Hitchcock in terms of scene economy and symbolism. For example, the opening sequence set on the moors of northern England features the tragic hero David and his friend Jack climbing out of the bed of a truck laden with sheep - benign animals destined for slaughter. Biped "sheep" David and Jack meander to "The Slaughtered Lamb", a pub sheltering cowering, xenophobic locals from the monster afoot on the moors during full moon. Soon the inhospitality of the town folk compels the two lambs to leave - virtually sending them to their slaughter.

And so it goes throughout this brilliant film. Without revealing the ending, it can be stated that Landis makes his case against the idea that love conquers all; instead, he suggests that love only gives the beast within us pause.

Beware the moon.


43 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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