National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

R | 109 mins | Comedy | 28 July 1978

Director:

John Landis

Cinematographer:

Charles Correll

Production Designer:

John J. Lloyd

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

Superimposed title cards contain the following statements: “Robert Hoover ’63, Public Defender, Baltimore, Maryland”; “Lawrence Kroger ’66, Editor, National Lampoon Magazine”; “Gregory Marmaland ’63, Nixon White House aid, raped in prison, 1974”; Eric Stratton ’63, Gynecologist, Beverly Hills, California"; "Douglas C. Neidermeyer ’63, killed in Vietnam by his own troops”; "Kent Dorfman ’66, Sensitivity Trainer, Encounter Groups of Cleveland, Inc.”; “Daniel Simpson Day ’63, whereabouts unknown”; “Boon and Katy, Married 1964, Divorced 1969”; “Barbara Sue Jansen ’63, Tour Guide, Universal Studios, Hollywood”; “Senator & Mrs. John Blutarsky, Washington, D.C.”
       The credits close with the following acknowledgments: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of the people of Eugene and Cottage Grove, Oregon”; “Produced at Universal Studios, California U.S.A.”; and, “When in Hollywood, visit Universal Studios (Ask for Babs)”.
       Animal House was the first feature film from the humor magazine The National Lampoon. The screenplay was written by Lampoon staff writers Chris Miller, Doug Kenney, and Harold Ramis, according to an 8 Nov 1976 HR news item.
       The film began production on 24 Oct 1977, as stated in a 28 Nov 1977 Box news item. Principal photography wrapped in Eugene, OR, in mid-Dec 197,7 according to a 15 Dec 1977 HR news item. A 2 Aug 1978 Var article reported that the budget was roughly $3.5 million, with $2.7 million spent on actual production expenses.
       21st Century Communications, the parent company of The National Lampoon magazine, signed a three year development and production deal with Universal Pictures in May 1978. Their first joint venture was National Lampoon’s Animal House, according ... More Less

Superimposed title cards contain the following statements: “Robert Hoover ’63, Public Defender, Baltimore, Maryland”; “Lawrence Kroger ’66, Editor, National Lampoon Magazine”; “Gregory Marmaland ’63, Nixon White House aid, raped in prison, 1974”; Eric Stratton ’63, Gynecologist, Beverly Hills, California"; "Douglas C. Neidermeyer ’63, killed in Vietnam by his own troops”; "Kent Dorfman ’66, Sensitivity Trainer, Encounter Groups of Cleveland, Inc.”; “Daniel Simpson Day ’63, whereabouts unknown”; “Boon and Katy, Married 1964, Divorced 1969”; “Barbara Sue Jansen ’63, Tour Guide, Universal Studios, Hollywood”; “Senator & Mrs. John Blutarsky, Washington, D.C.”
       The credits close with the following acknowledgments: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of the people of Eugene and Cottage Grove, Oregon”; “Produced at Universal Studios, California U.S.A.”; and, “When in Hollywood, visit Universal Studios (Ask for Babs)”.
       Animal House was the first feature film from the humor magazine The National Lampoon. The screenplay was written by Lampoon staff writers Chris Miller, Doug Kenney, and Harold Ramis, according to an 8 Nov 1976 HR news item.
       The film began production on 24 Oct 1977, as stated in a 28 Nov 1977 Box news item. Principal photography wrapped in Eugene, OR, in mid-Dec 197,7 according to a 15 Dec 1977 HR news item. A 2 Aug 1978 Var article reported that the budget was roughly $3.5 million, with $2.7 million spent on actual production expenses.
       21st Century Communications, the parent company of The National Lampoon magazine, signed a three year development and production deal with Universal Pictures in May 1978. Their first joint venture was National Lampoon’s Animal House, according to a 10 May 1978 Var news item. As a part of the deal, Animal House had its first screening at the American Booksellers Association’s annual conference on 27 May 1978. The film was scheduled for wide release on 28 Jul 1978 in 600 theaters. A novelization of the film was written by Chris Miller and published as a trade paperback by The National Lampoon according to a 10 Apr 1978 Publishers Weekly article.
       By Nov 1978, the film was a huge success, accounting for twenty-three percent of the entire U.S. box office along with Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke (1978, see entry), as stated in a 19 Nov 1978 NYT article.
       A television spin-off titled Delta House (ABC, 18 Jan--28 Apr 1979) was developed for ABC Television. The film’s producers Matty Simons and Ivan Reitman were on board as executive producers for the series. Starring in the television adaption were several of the film’s original cast members, including: Josh Mostel, Bruce McGill, Peter Fox, James Widdoes, Stephen Furst, and John Vernon, according to a 27 Dec 1978 DV news item.
       In 1979, Meta-Film Associates filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Studios and MCA Inc. for $55 million. Meta-Film claimed Animal was based on their copyrighted screenplay Frat Rats, which was submitted to Universal in 1975, according to a 25 Apr 1979 Var article. In Oct 1975, James P. Tierney, the attorney for Meta-Films filed a “related action” to the suit. Defendants included "21st Century Communications, National Lampoon, National Lampoon Players, Ivan Reitman Enterprises, Yearbook Movie Co., ABC, Inc., and other individuals." According to a 3 Oct 1979 LAHExam article, the suit charged “copyright infringement, unfair competition, breach of contract and breach of confidential relationship.” The case concluded in 1984 when U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaeizer ruled in favor of the defendants. On 29 May 1984, Pfaeizer wrote that the “defendants have established, without substantial controversy, that the creators of the ('Animal House') Treatment had no access to the ‘Frat Rats’ screenplay prior to submitting the Treatment to Universal,” as state in 23 May 1984 DV article.
       According to a 25 Aug 2003 NYT article, Animal House represented actor Kevin Bacon’s first theatrically released screen role. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Nov 1976.
---
Box Office
28 Nov 1977.
---
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1978.
---
Daily Variety
23 May 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1978
p. 3, 8.
Los Angeles Herald Express
3 Oct 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1978
p. 1.
New York Times
28 Jul 1978
p. 7.
New York Times
19 Nov 1978
p. 17.
New York Times
23 Aug 2003
p. 1, 5.
Publishers Weekly
10 Apr 1978.
---
Variety
10 May 1978.
---
Variety
28 Jun 1978
p. 20.
Variety
2 Aug 1978
p. 6.
Variety
25 Apr 1979.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Matty Simmons/Ivan Reitman Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir trainee
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Cam asst
2d cam op
2d cam asst
Key grip
Best boy
Stills
2d unit cam
2d unit cam asst
2d grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Company grip
3rd cam op
3rd cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Asst prop man
Asst prop man
Prop foreman
Prop maker
Set const
Painter
Painter
Scenic artist
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Boom man
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Addl casting
Addl casting
Prod assoc
Auditor
40 man
Prod secy
Driver co-capt
Driver co-capt local
Driver
First aid
First aid
Caterer
Chef
Chef
Craft service-local
Casting secy
Extra casting
Extra casting
STAND INS
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"Animal House," composed and performed by Stephen Bishop, supervised by Kenny Vance
"Dream Girl," composed and performed by Stephen Bishop, supervised by Kenny Vance
"Shout," written by O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley and Rudolph Isley, supervised by Mark Davis
+
SONGS
"Animal House," composed and performed by Stephen Bishop, supervised by Kenny Vance
"Dream Girl," composed and performed by Stephen Bishop, supervised by Kenny Vance
"Shout," written by O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley and Rudolph Isley, supervised by Mark Davis
"Shama Lama Ding Dong," written and supervised by Mark Davis
"Louie Louie," written by Richard Berry, performed by The Kingsmen, courtesy of Springboard International Records, Inc.
"Hey Paula," written by Ray Hildebrand, performed by Paul and Paula, courtesy of Phonogram, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Animal House
Release Date:
28 July 1978
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 28 July 1978
Los Angeles opening: 4 August 1978
Production Date:
24 October--mid December 1977
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 February 1979
Copyright Number:
PA22433
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25259
SYNOPSIS

At Faber College in 1962, freshmen Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman attend pledge week, hoping to join a fraternity. Wanting to pledge Omega House, the most prestigious fraternity on campus, the boys attend the invitational party but quickly realize that the Omegas won’t accept them. Although Kent suggests Delta House instead, because his brother is a former fraternity member or “legacy”, Larry laments that Delta has a terrible reputation. At Delta House, the wild and crazy members are more welcoming to Larry and Kent. There, they meet John “Bluto” Blutarsky, who is the sergeant at arms, Robert Hoover, the chapter president, Eric “Otter” Stratton, the rush chairman, as well as Donald “Boon” Shoenstein and his frustrated girlfriend, Katy. The next day, Greg Marmalard, president of Omega House, meets with the school’s dean, Vernon Wormer, who wants Delta House expelled from Faber College for breaking campus rules and retaining a low collective grade point average. Dean Wormer orders Marmalard and his fellow Omega, Doug Neidermeyer, to expedite the expulsion. Meanwhile, Delta House review fraternity brother pledge candidates and accept Larry and Kent, mainly because they are in need of annual dues. At the Delta initiation, Bluto dubs Larry “Pinto,” and Kent “Flounder.” The fraternity celebrates with a wild party. Meanwhile, at Omega House new pledges are spanked in the dark while senior members look on. Sometime later, Boon, Katy and Pinto go to the home of English professor, Dave Jennings, where they all smoke a marijuana cigarette. During Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) practice, Otter and Boon see Neidermeyer bully Flounder and decide to exact revenge. As ... +


At Faber College in 1962, freshmen Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman attend pledge week, hoping to join a fraternity. Wanting to pledge Omega House, the most prestigious fraternity on campus, the boys attend the invitational party but quickly realize that the Omegas won’t accept them. Although Kent suggests Delta House instead, because his brother is a former fraternity member or “legacy”, Larry laments that Delta has a terrible reputation. At Delta House, the wild and crazy members are more welcoming to Larry and Kent. There, they meet John “Bluto” Blutarsky, who is the sergeant at arms, Robert Hoover, the chapter president, Eric “Otter” Stratton, the rush chairman, as well as Donald “Boon” Shoenstein and his frustrated girlfriend, Katy. The next day, Greg Marmalard, president of Omega House, meets with the school’s dean, Vernon Wormer, who wants Delta House expelled from Faber College for breaking campus rules and retaining a low collective grade point average. Dean Wormer orders Marmalard and his fellow Omega, Doug Neidermeyer, to expedite the expulsion. Meanwhile, Delta House review fraternity brother pledge candidates and accept Larry and Kent, mainly because they are in need of annual dues. At the Delta initiation, Bluto dubs Larry “Pinto,” and Kent “Flounder.” The fraternity celebrates with a wild party. Meanwhile, at Omega House new pledges are spanked in the dark while senior members look on. Sometime later, Boon, Katy and Pinto go to the home of English professor, Dave Jennings, where they all smoke a marijuana cigarette. During Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) practice, Otter and Boon see Neidermeyer bully Flounder and decide to exact revenge. As Neidermeyer forces Flounder to clean the stalls of Neidermeyer's beloved horse, he continues to abuse the Delta member. Later, Bluto and his fellow Delta brother, Daniel “D-Day” Simpson Day, convince Flounder to sneak Neidermeyer’s horse into Dean Wormer’s office late at night with a gun. Unbeknown to Flounder, the gun is filled with blanks so he fires at the ceiling. The prank backfires when the horse dies of a heart attack at the sound of the explosion. The next day at the cafeteria, Otter flirts with Marmalard’s girlfriend, Mandy Pepperidge, in front of Marmalard and other Omegas. Continuing his pranks, Bluto spits food in Marmalard’s face and a food fight ensues. Later, Bluto and D-Day steal the answers to an upcoming Psychology mid-term exam, unaware that members of the Omega House have planted a fake test with the wrong answers. When all of the Deltas fail the exam, Dean Wormer informs them that he will revoke the fraternity’s charter if they make one more mistake. Hoover wants to prevent the expulsion, but Otter and Boon think the fraternity is doomed and decide to throw one last toga party. The Deltas go to the grocery store for supplies. There, Boon and Pinto shoplift while Otter flirts with Dean Wormer’s wife, Marion. Pinto invites the young cashier, Clorette DePasto, to the party. Back at Delta House, the band Otis Day and the Knights play for raucous partygoers. Marion arrives, intoxicated, and has sex with Otter, but Clorette passes out before Pinto can seduce her. He returns an unconscious Clorette to her parents’ house, where her father, Mayor Carmine DePasto, finds his daughter in a shopping cart. Meanwhile, Marion, still intoxicated, returns home to Dean Wormer. Furious, Dean Wormer organizes a campus tribunal to try Delta House, but he does not let the fraternity members defend themselves. The Dean revokes Delta’s charter and threatens to expel the members. Sometime later, the Deltas go on a road trip to Emily Dickinson College to pick up girls. Upon meeting Shelly Dubinsky, who tells Otter that her roommate, Fawn Liebowitz, recently died, Otter pretends to be the deceased girl’s fiancé. Otter convinces Shelly and her sorority sisters to go out with the Deltas to “cheer him up.” At the Dexter Lake Club, they watch Otis Day and the Knights perform and find themselves the only white people in attendance. When some of the African-American men threaten the boys, they run out of the club, leaving the girls behind. Back at Faber College, Boon tries to make up with Katy, but he discovers that she is having an affair with Professor Jennings. Later, Mandy’s friend, Babs Jansen, sets up Otter for an ambush by the Omegas, telling him that Mandy wants to have a sexual rendezvous. When Otter arrives at a motel to meet her, the Omegas attack him. Dean Wormer expels the entire Delta House for failing their mid-term exams and notifies the local draft board. Although most of the Deltas feel defeated, Bluto encourages them with an impassioned speech and they decide to get revenge by invading the annual homecoming parade. Manning an undercover float, the Deltas create chaos and destruction at the event and wreak havoc on Dean Wormer and the Omegas. In the future, Delta members rise to success while Omegas meet tragic ends. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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