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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Trailer
1:42 | Trailer
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
1,764 ( 528)
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:

From the director of Animal House -- a different kind of animal See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three insert heads were also built: a hero animatronic head with complete cable-controlled functions, and two stunt heads used for shots of the attacks. The stunt head could be fitted with soft or hard teeth depending on the action it had to perform. For the heads, the jaw was a simple hand-grip caliper mechanism, with handles moved in opposite directions to open and close the jaw. For certain shots of the moving Werewolf up close, Baker puppeteered the stunt head while sitting on the moving camera dolly. See more »

Goofs

It would seem extreme to take a badly injured patient all the way from Yorkshire to London - a journey of some 200 miles - when St James' Hospital in Leeds would be a lot closer. That is, unless the parents requested their son be taken to a hospital in London, due to ignorance of UK geography or assuming a hospital in the capital would provide the best treatment. Either that, or the locals felt it would be much safer to get David as far away from them as possible. 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...
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Crazy Credits

Lycanthrope 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 »

Alternate Versions

Due to a mastering error, the second Region 2 DVD (the 2-Disc Special Edition) has been edited to remove the scene where David calls home and speaks to his sister just before he attempts to cut his wrists with a pen knife
  • All earlier releases of the film including the initial 2-disc 21st Anniversary Edition are uncut. Universal Studios issued a statement saying that they will remove all affected stock and issue replacement discs. All Blu-ray releases are complete and uncut
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Soundtracks

Cold Sweat
(uncredited)
Music by Andrew Pryce Jackman
Bruton Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Going Out On A Limb (no pun intended)!!
23 May 2004 | by jbirtelSee all my reviews

A Film maker's film that's an homage and a refreshing take on the werewolf legend. It's scary; rich in dialogue; practical... (in a horror movie???) AND Funny!

Especially in DTS sound... It's Scary!!!

Specifically...for anyone who enjoys the old 'Universal Studios' classic renditions of the "Wolf Man" saga, this modern 'fairy tale horror' doesn't violate any traditions. If you haven't seen the old classics, not to worry;...this flick stands on its own.

The story unfolds!...And the tension begins!...slowly!

Actors Naughton and Dunne are perfectly cast as your typical college students, backpacking their way thru Europe for...well...for what ELSE!!?!! Their back & forth banter is priceless!! Their 'on screen' chemistry is, unfortunately, too short (that's kinda redeemed in the DVD commentary by both actors). And their trek across the fog laden moor ranks as one of the most frightening scenes in movie history.

But the real star of the film is director John Landis!

Along with the Cast!

And make-up artist Rick Baker.

Not since "Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" has Comedy/Horror worked so well. The difference is: unlike "A&C Meet Frankenstein", this film is a horror story laced with a sharp and clever 'comic relief'. And Landis captures that fine line balance between horror/humor that is unprecedented.

A near definitive werewolf movie that's bloody! scary! funny! satirical! funny! intelligent! sexy! charming!...and ultimately sad!!!...(did I say funny twice?). HEY...if you ever take time to see only one werewolf movie; then...

Well...everyone's got their opinion.

But this film ranks way up their in horror. A Classic!!

With a soundtrack that's perfectly placed! And composer Elmer Bernstein perfectly placing the music.

Grab the popcorn! And Hang On!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$30,565,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,669,378
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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