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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

 -  Comedy | Horror  -  21 August 1981 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 53,745 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 323 user | 175 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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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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...
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Brian Glover ...
Lila Kaye ...
...
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:

The monster movie 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:

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:  [Frank Oz]  The Miss Piggy/Yoda creator/voice talent plays Mr. Collins of the American embassy, who attempts in vain to console David. His voice is also heard later, during a Britain-only excerpt of The Muppet Show: Señor Wences (1980). He appears in all of Landis's films as a good-luck charm. 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

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 At the Movies: Episode #7.1 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Cold Sweat
(uncredited)
Music by Andrew Pryce Jackman
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.


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