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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

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:

Beware the Moon See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While working on this movie, Rick Baker had been asked by Steven Spielberg to work with him on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Baker turned it down, because of his obligations on this movie. Spielberg would move forward, hiring Carlo Rambaldi instead. See more »

Goofs

The couple in the street are the first to be attacked by the werewolf in London. As they walk in the street past the houses, a large studio light is reflected in the windows. 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

Lyncanthrope Films Limited wishes to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Lady Diana Spencer and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on the occasion of their marriage - July 29th 1981. See more »


Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Music by Richard Rodgers (uncredited)
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart (uncredited)
Performed by Sam Cooke
Courtesy of R.C.A. 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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