96. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

AnimalhouseposterDirected by John Landis

Written by Hatrold Ramis, Douglas Kenney and Chris Miller

Produced by Ivan Reitman ans Matty Simmons

Starring: John Belushi, Tim  Matheson, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Thomas Hulce and Donald Sutherland

Country: USA

Release date: July 28, 1978

Why you should see it?

National Lampoon’s Animal House is a spin-off from the National Lampoon Magazine; the script was adapted from some short stories written by Chris Miller and published in the magazine. At the same time, this stories were inspired by his own experience at Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Darmouth.

This movie is one of the most vulgar and even scatological movies ever made, but at the same time it is one of the best comedies in the story of cinema because it is the perfect balance between insanity and accuracy. One of the most brilliant things of this movie is the character of Blut, which is by far the funniest character of the film and the one that barely speaks.


In 1962, college freshmen Lawrence “Larry” Kroger and Kent Dorfman seek to join a fraternity at Faber College. They visit the prestigious Omega Theta Pi House’s invitational party, but are not welcomed there. They then try next door at Delta Tau Chi House, where Kent’s brother was once a member, making Kent a “legacy.” There they find John “Bluto” Blutarsky urinating outside the fraternity house. The Deltas “need the dues” so they permit Larry and Kent to pledge, giving them the fraternity names “Pinto” and “Flounder”.

Dean Vernon Wormer wants to remove the Deltas from campus due to repeated conduct violations and low academic standing. Since they are already on probation, he puts the Deltas on something he calls “double secret probation” and orders the clean-cut, smug Omega president Greg Marmalard to find a way to get rid of the Deltas permanently.

Flounder is bullied by Omega member and ROTC cadet commander Doug Neidermeyer, so Bluto and Daniel Simpson “D-Day” Day persuade Flounder to sneak Neidermeyer’s horse into Dean Wormer’s office late at night. They give him a gun and tell him to shoot it. Unbeknownst to Flounder, the gun is loaded with blanks. Unable to bring himself to kill the horse, he fires into the ceiling. The noise frightens the horse so much that it dies of a heart attack.

In the cafeteria the next day, smooth-talking Eric “Otter” Stratton tries to convince the stuck-up Mandy Pepperidge to abandon her boyfriend, Marmalard, and date him instead. Bluto proceeds to provoke Marmalard with his impression of a popping zit by stuffing his mouth with a scoop of mashed potatoes and propelling it at Marmalard and table mates, Chip Diller and Barbara “Babs” Jansen. Bluto then starts a food fight that engulfs the cafeteria.

Bluto and D-Day steal the answers to an upcoming psychology test, but it turns out the Omegas planted the exam mimeograph and the Deltas get every answer wrong. Their grade-point averages drop so low that Wormer needs only one more incident to revoke the charter that allows them to remain on campus.

To cheer themselves up, the Deltas organize a toga party, during which Otis Day and the Knights perform “Shout”. The dean’s wife, Marion, attends the party at Otter’s invitation and has sex with him. Pinto hooks up with Clorette, a girl he met at the supermarket, and makes out with her only to learn she is the mayor’s 13-year-old daughter. He later takes her home in a shopping cart. Wormer organizes a kangaroo court with the Omegas and revokes Delta’s charter.

To take their minds off their troubles, Otter, Donald “Boon” Schoenstein, Flounder and Pinto go on a road trip. Otter picks up some girls from Emily Dickinson College by pretending to be the fiancé of Fawn Liebowitz, a girl who recently died on campus. They stop at a roadhouse because Otis Day and the Knights are performing there, not realizing that it caters to an exclusively black clientele. The hulking patrons intimidate the guys and they flee, damaging Flounder’s borrowed car and leaving their frightened dates behind.

Boon breaks up with his girlfriend Katy after discovering her sexual relationship with a professor. Marmalard is told that his girlfriend is having an affair with Otter, so he and other Omegas lure him to a motel and beat him up. The Deltas’ midterm grades are so poor that an ecstatic Wormer expels them all. He even notifies their draft boards of their eligibility. In the process, before Bluto attempts to speak to the dean, Wormer orders Flounder to speak, whereupon Flounder vomits on the dean.

It seems time for the Deltas to give up, but Bluto, supported by the injured Otter, rouses them with an impassioned, historically inaccurate speech  and they decide to take revenge on Wormer and the Omegas. The Deltas construct a rogue parade float with Flounder’s car as its base and wreak havoc on the annual homecoming parade. During the ensuing chaos, the futures of many of the main characters are revealed. At the end, Bluto is seen driving away in a white convertible with Mandy Pepperidge.


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