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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » National Lampoon's Animal House » User review

Give me an F, give me an A, give me a B....

  • Mar 3, 2004
Rating:
+5
It is remarkable to me how well this film's appeal has held up over the years since its initial release more than 25 years ago. Ably directed by John Landis with a talented ensemble cast in which John Belushi (John "Bluto" Blutarsky) generates especially inspired mayhem, Animal House is within a tradition of earlier comedies, both on stage (dating back to ancient Greece) and on film (notably those directed by Preston Sturges), in which Irresponsible Youth and Civilized Society are in direct and constant conflict. In this instance, members of Delta House (anarchists and hedonists) versus the Omegas (prim and proper prudes) on the Faber College campus in 1962. The adversarial relationship between the two fraternities is exacerbated by Dean Vernon Wormer (brilliantly portrayed by John Vernon) who also seems determined to rid the college (if not the planet Earth) of the devilish Deltas. Rather than a carefully developed plot, Landis and the co-authors of the screenplay (who include Harold Ramis) prefer to present the action within a picaresque framework: one zany episode follows another as the Deltas' adventures evolve. Drunk or sober, Belushi (the pledge trainer, of course) and his fraternity brothers successfully reject all efforts to moderate their behavior. Sometimes life imitates art as when, following the release of this film, fraternities on campuses throughout the United States developed social activities (e.g. toga parties) no doubt inspired by the inmates of Delta House.

Then (1978) and now, I think the Dexter Lake Club incident is unnecessary, indeed a mistake. (Yes, that's Robert Cray among the members of Otis Day's band.) Also the illicit rendezvous with a group of young ladies from Emily Dickinson University seems superfluous. (Obviously, Emily is preferable to Fairleigh.) However, the film ends with a brilliantly staged demolition by the Deltas of the town's annual Founder's Day parade. Be sure to remain for a brief but hilarious "Where are they now?" update. Within a relatively brief period of time, I saw both Animal House and Good News (1947) again. Both examine undergraduate life but that's about all they share in common. Those who plan to see Animal House for the first time (or again) are urged to see Good News first. It stars June Allyson (Connie Lane), Morris Ankrum (Dean Griswold), Tom Dugan (Pooch), Connie Gilchrist (Cora the Cook), Jane Green (Mrs. Drexel), and Peter Lawford (Tommy Marlowe). The portrayal of life on the Tait College campus in Good News establishes a frame-of-reference within which to appreciate even more the high level of satire at work throughout most (but not all) of Animal House.

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More National Lampoon's Animal Hous... reviews
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    John Belushi is the heart and soul of "Animal House", the John Landis helmed comedy picture that single-handedly re-invented old genre conventions and in the process created new ones. Ask anyone about the film, and they will mention - or rather quote - what are considered some of the great SNL comic's finest on-screen moments. Indeed they are. Belushi, working with a film and a script that seem almost irredeemably simplistic at first sight, brings the material …
review by . September 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Delta's dirty dump doesn't discriminate the D- or dumber
College, the free market of ideas or all day long drinking and fornicating for semester's at a time.  If you look at the popular and "preferred" fraternities on campus, you'd swear it was an indoctrination center to be stripped of your individual tastes and politics and the courage of your convictions by the more normal looking of the bunch.  Looking at the more slovenly and decrept Delta House, you'd swear it was the latter where endless kegs of beer and debauchery …
review by . August 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I love the movie "Animal House"!!!  It brings me back to my college days.  I took my girlfriend (now my wife of over 30 yrs.) to see a new movie that had allot of hype, which now I can't even remember the name of.  As we were entering the theater we were told that we were going to see a second movie for free and be asked to comment on it, of course being poor college students we were thrilled to see a movie for free.  Well, when we came out of the theater our sides …
review by . September 13, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Since the version that I just watched DOES NOT have any excessive commercials or a Where Are They Now segment, I feel more focused to comment on the movie alone. Sometimes it pays to stick with the original format instead of an upgraded edition. Anyway, many other reviewers are drifting off the deep end by commenting on the commercials excessively. Stick to the meat and potatoes guys.Anyway, this is a cult classic. Pete Riegert, John Belushi, and Tim Matheson give grade A performances. Oh what great …
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Robert Morris ()
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National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 comedy film directed by John Landis and adapted by Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller and Harold Ramis from stories written by Miller and published in National Lampoon magazine based on his experiences in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College, as well as Ramis's experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis. The film is about a misfit group of fraternity boys that takes on the system at their college.

It is considered to be the movie that launched the gross-out genre, although it was predated by several films now also included in the genre. Produced on a small $2.7 million budget, the film has turned out to be one of the most profitable movies of all time. Since its initial release, Animal House has garnered an estimated return of more than $141 million in the form of video and DVDs, not including merchandising. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. This film is first on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies." It was #36 on AFI's "100 Years, 100 Laughs" list of the 100 best American comedies.

Promotional song from this movie was "Animal House", written and performed by Stephen Bishop (who also recorded song called "Dream Girl" to the film's soundtrack and who appeared in the movie

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