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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.

Director:

John Landis

Writer:

John Landis
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Popularity
2,049 ( 218)

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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 ... Truck Driver
David Naughton ... David Kessler
Griffin Dunne ... Jack Goodman
David Schofield ... Dart Player
Brian Glover ... Chess Player
Lila Kaye ... Barmaid
Rik Mayall ... 2nd Chess Player
Sean Baker Sean Baker ... 2nd Dart Player
Paddy Ryan Paddy Ryan ... First Werewolf
Jenny Agutter ... Nurse Alex Price
Anne-Marie Davies Anne-Marie Davies ... Nurse Susan Gallagher
John Woodvine ... Dr. J. S. Hirsch
Frank Oz ... Mr. Collins / Miss Piggy
Don McKillop Don McKillop ... Inspector Villiers
Paul Kember Paul Kember ... Sergeant McManus
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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:

Twenty years later, the Moon rises again... [20th anniversary re-issue] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Werewolf in London See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,786,512, 23 August 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,565,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,565,292
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Griffin Dunne revealed in a 2017 interview that "Nobody ever broke character; nobody ever came up and talked to us like, "Hey, kids, how are you liking America?" or any of that stuff. They just looked at us like we were cursed." See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes, David and Jack reveal they are in northern England, and all the locals speak with Yorkshire accents. Yet the terrain is far too mountainous for Yorkshire (the scenes were filmed in Wales). 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 »

Alternate Versions

Universal Studios re-mixed the film's monaural soundtrack to Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS for the 20th anniversary "Collector's Edition" DVD, replacing the older sound effects and adding some new ones (see also Jaws).
  • Extra thunderclap sound effects were added in the scene when David and Jack are walking in the moors and it starts to rain.
  • The first werewolf can now be heard growling in the rear channels as it circles David and Jack. A louder growl has been added to the rear-left channel after Jack says "It's circling us" to make the audience jump.
  • All the gunshots and car crash sound effects have been replaced.
  • The train in the "London tube" scene can now be heard moving from one channel to another
  • Despite already being bad enough, the entire mix is inexplicably pitched down a half-pitch and sounds very different from the original mix.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema: Horror (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It's not a comedy!
3 September 2005 | by martoforeverSee all my reviews

John Landis directed this at the early 80's. It was a screenplay he wrote when he was only 19 years old. The story is about 2 north American tourists that get attacked by a werewolf during their tour in England. One of them will become the most vicious and unforgettable werewolf ever.

With stunning FX's (the guy behind this won an Oscar for this job), Landis gives us a terrifying story with a lot of comedy, romance, adventure, and friendship. And of course, gore. Some scenes were so explicit they even shock today.

Yes, the plot has a lot of holes, and some things happen way too fast, and some explanations seem forced but this is a movie that is pure fun and even today is pretty enjoyable and wild.

David Naughton and the beautiful Jenny Agutter star in this picture and remember: It's not a comedy!

But it's still funny as hell!


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