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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Belcher ...
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Sean Baker ...
Paddy Ryan ...
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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:

John Landis - the director of Animal House brings you a different kind of animal. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En amerikansk varulv i London  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

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

Only four American work permits were requested of the British government for the production: for director John Landis, makeup artist Rick Baker, and actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne. The first three work permits were granted by the British government without question. But the British office of Actors' Equity questioned the necessity of a work permit for actor Dunne, claiming that there were already plenty of young American actors living in Great Britain who could portray the role of Jack. It was only when director/screenwriter Landis threatened to rewrite the script and re-title the movie "An American Werewolf in Paris" that the equity office reconsidered the application and granted Dunne his work permit. See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Hirsch is reading the newspaper about the murders, the first paragraphs of the news story relate to the murders, but the following paragraphs (in smaller font) relate to a completely different story (demonstrations by the New National Front). 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

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


Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Music by Richard Rodgers (uncredited)
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart (uncredited)
Performed by Bobby Vinton
Courtesy of Columbia Records
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.


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