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 awaits surrounded by passed out students. The movie takes place in the mid 60's and judging by what I've heard from friends and what I've heard on TV, things haven't changed much in 50 years.
Two College students are looking to get into a fraternity at Faber College. The high strung preps don't want them and even the juvenlle and self destructive Deltas have to consider them. After being allowed in, we see campus life of the cruel ROTC program, the snotty elite students of Omega House, lunch lines, dating and how to properly disrupt a parade, with or without 10,000 marbles from the drug store. Delta House needs a miracle if it's going to stay open too, cause everyone in the house is in danger of failing and they're on thin ice as it is for among other things, allegedally dumping a truckload of fizzies in the swimming pool and causing all the toilets on campus to explode. Of course I'm talking about Delta. You twirp.
Animal House is largely a ensemble piece with Peter Riegert, Tom Hulce, Steven Furst, Donald Sutherland, John Vernon, Karen Allen and others. This IS however John Belushi's movie and with his little screen time and lines steals every scene he's in and that includes when he breaks the fourth wall while spying on a topless sorority sister.
I don't hold Animal House in the HIGHEST regard since, yes a lot of it is funny with it's sight gags, gross out gags and spoken gags but I feel I am missing half of the experience having not grown up at the time and only attending community college and tech schools which aren't quite the same. Sure there are some similar experiences but it's not all the same and much like I said above, it's a lot of what I've heard and not really experienced.
Animal House is a classic yes and while there are to me funnier comedies not as many of them did have the lasting memories that this movie had. I may have laughed more at Dumb and Dumber but this movie and it's set pieces are far more vibrant when I look back on them largely because they were based upon stories the creators had in College. The horse in the Dean's office, the parade, the wrecked car, the nightclub, the toga party and a personal one for me, listening to a teacher blather on and on while I sit and draw in my notebook. Ahh, those were the days. My doodles of the Starship Enterprise were far more important then what Conceptual Physics was trying to teach me unless Hewitt Drew it.
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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