National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

National Lampoon's Animal House1978

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)



Critic Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.

National Lampoon's Animal House Videos

National Lampoon's Animal House Photos

Movie Info

Director John Landis put himself on the map with this low-budget, fabulously successful comedy, which made a then-astounding 62 million dollars and started a slew of careers for its cast in the process. National Lampoon's Animal House is set in 1962 on the campus of Faber College in Faber, PA. The first glimpse we get of the campus is the statue of its founder Emil Faber, on the base of which is inscribed the motto, "Knowledge Is Good." Incoming freshmen Larry "Pinto" Kroger (Tom Hulce) and Kent "Flounder" Dorfman (Stephen Furst) find themselves rejected by the pretentious Omega fraternity, and instead pledge to Delta House. The Deltas are a motley fraternity of rejects and maladjusted undergraduates (some approaching their late twenties) whose main goal -- seemingly accomplished in part by their mere presence on campus -- is disrupting the staid, peaceful, rigidly orthodox, and totally hypocritical social order of the school, as represented by the Omegas and the college's dean, Vernon Wormer (John Vernon). Dean Wormer decides that this is the year he's going to get the Deltas expelled and their chapter decertified; he places the fraternity on "double secret probation" and, with help from Omega president Greg Marmalard (James Daughton) and hard-nosed member Doug Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf), starts looking for any pretext on which to bring the members of the Delta fraternity up on charges. The Deltas, oblivious to the danger they're in, are having a great time, steeped in irreverence, mild debauchery, and occasional drunkenness, led by seniors Otter (Tim Matheson), Hoover (James Widdoes), D-Day (Bruce McGill), Boon (Peter Riegert), and pledge master John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi). They're given enough rope to hang themselves, but even then manage to get into comical misadventures on a road trip (where they arrange an assignation with a group of young ladies from Emily Dickinson University). Finally, they are thrown out of school, and, as a result, stripped of their student deferments (and, thus, eligible for the draft). They decide to commit one last, utterly senseless (and screamingly funny) slapstick act of rebellion, making a shambles of the university's annual homecoming parade, and, in the process, getting revenge on the dean, the Omegas, and everyone else who has ever gone against them. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Watch it now


Tom Hulce
as Pinto
Stephen Furst
as Flounder
John Vernon
as Dean Wormer
Kevin Bacon
as Chip Diller
Mary Louise Weller
as Mandy Pepperidge
James Daughton
as Greg Marmalard
Donald Sutherland
as Prof. Dave Jennings
Mark Metcalf
as Douglas C. Neidermeyer
Verna Bloom
as Marion Wormer
Sarah Holcomb
as Clorette De Pasto
Cesare Danova
as Mayor Carmine De Pasto
James Widdoes
as Robert Hoover
Pricilla Lauris
as Dean's Secretary
Lisa Baur
as Shelly
Joshua Daniel
as Mothball
Sunny Johnson
as Otter's Co-ed
Stephen Bishop
as Charming Guy with Guitar
Robert Cray
as (uncredited) Bandmember, Otis Day and the Knights
Eliza Roberts
as Brunella
Robert Elliott
as Meaner Dude
Reginald H. Farmer
as Meanest Dude
Priscilla Lauris
as Dean's Secretary
Rick Eby
as Omega
John Freeman
as Man on Street
Sean McCartin
as Lucky Boy
Helen Vick
as Sorority Girl
View All

Critic Reviews for National Lampoon's Animal House

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (11)

The film has swept through the American box office like a whirlwind, precipitating a rash of incipient college romps. One waits with trepidation: but at least the trailblazer has vitality and charm.

February 6, 2020 | Full Review…

You may not care to take up permanent spiritual residence at Animal House, but it's funny place to visit.

July 31, 2015 | Full Review…

Animal House is a self-congratulatory mess; but it's also spattered with terrific one-liners and sight gags, and it's the best showcase extant for John Belushi's subversive, attention-grabbing screen presence.

October 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Arguably the most influential comedy of our time.

May 6, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

While the low comedy is undeniably effective, the film leaves behind a bad taste of snobbery and petty meanness.

July 25, 2007

The Lampoon people understand the darkest secret of an American college education: one of the noblest reasons to go is to spend four years studying sex.

July 25, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for National Lampoon's Animal House


Some of the gags are silly and dated (especially towards the end of the movie), but most of them are hilarious even without need of a well-defined structure to wrap around them, since this is a comedy that works quite well as a loose series of raunchy chronicles of college.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


When you look past its obviously thin script, you can't help but admire the anarchy and absurdity of this film. National Lampoon's Animal House's senseless hysteria and laughs to go along with the enigmatic charm of John Belushi make for a timeless party-themed film that would launch a genre of wild, chaotic party films to come. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


National Lampoon's Animal House presents a subversive and funny screenplay and the talents by John Landis in direction and John Belushi in the cast. Animal House, for sure is a great inspiration for the 80's comedy movies, and to a unforgetable generation of comedians and to everyone that lived these time. Crude humor and good entertaining. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

National Lampoon's Animal House Quotes

News & Features