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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


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

Did You Know?


The final look of the werewolf beast was based on make-up creator Rick Baker's dog Bosko. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) See more »


Cold Sweat
Music by Andrew Pryce Jackman
Bruton Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

1981: The year of the werewolf
7 December 2005 | by (Istanbul) – See all my reviews

I love werewolf movies, even the stupid one's with the exception of any "Howling" sequels. 1981 was the turning point for our hairy hero's, gone were the Elvis chop wearing dudes with terrible under-bites, and in were the really scary "werewolves" that walked on all fours and ripped their pray to pieces. An American Werewolf In London is one of two films released that year, that showed us what a little latex and a lot of imagination (and bladders) can do. John Landis, fresh off the heals of "The Blues Brothers" gives us a masterpiece of modern horror, and leaves us thinking "Are there two John Landis'?" The movie is brilliantly shot in terrifying fashion, yet Landis manages to throw us some off beat humor, so we don't soil ourselves to bad. Set in England (obviously), we follow two buddies as they hitchhike across Europe. David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne) have not a care in the world until they end up on "The Moors"... At night... With a full moon... Okay this is getting redundant, but I bet you get where I'm going (if not: refer to title). If you ever do find yourself in merry Ole' England, at night etc, etc, etc. Stay clear of a place called "The Slaughtered Lamb", in fact, just stay on sheep truck until sunlight comes around. Besides (the first) Howling, American Werewolf is the best werewolf flick out there, and holds up nicely to today's cheesy horror flops. Take warning though, if you are going to rent this film, make sure cover says: "London", not "Paris", which is a little more like... Benji in Paris.

34 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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