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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director:

John Landis

Writer:

John Landis
Reviews
Popularity
1,002 ( 131)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Belcher ... Truck Driver
David Naughton ... David Kessler
Griffin Dunne ... Jack Goodman
David Schofield ... Dart Player
Brian Glover ... Chess Player
Lila Kaye ... Barmaid
Rik Mayall ... 2nd Chess Player
Sean Baker Sean Baker ... 2nd Dart Player
Paddy Ryan Paddy Ryan ... First Werewolf
Jenny Agutter ... Nurse Alex Price
Anne-Marie Davies Anne-Marie Davies ... Nurse Susan Gallagher
John Woodvine ... Dr. J. S. Hirsch
Frank Oz ... Mr. Collins / Miss Piggy
Don McKillop Don McKillop ... Inspector Villiers
Paul Kember Paul Kember ... Sergeant McManus
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Storyline

Two American college students are on a walking tour of Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The werewolf is killed but reverts to its human form, and the local townspeople are unwilling to acknowledge its existence. The surviving student begins to have nightmares of hunting on four feet at first but then finds that his friend and other recent victims appear to him, demanding that he commit suicide to release them from their curse, being trapped between worlds because of their unnatural deaths. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of Animal House -- a different kind of animal See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Werewolf in London See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,786,512, 23 August 1981

Gross USA:

$30,565,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,565,292
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Landis's idea of the transformation was a visceral one, he wanted to portray the pain that is a direct consequence of such a significant bodily mutation over a short period of time. "I always thought if your body is gonna go through such a huge change, it's gonna hurt," Landis said. "I wanted it to be painful." When it came to the audience, he wanted to evoke in the spectators different emotions; the transformation had to be "horrifying, but also morbidly funny, funny peculiar and funny ha-ha; tragic, raw, terrible, tortuous, grotesque all of these things, yet fascinating rather than repulsive." See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes, David and Jack reveal they are in northern England, and all the locals speak with Yorkshire accents. Yet the terrain is far too mountainous for Yorkshire (the scenes were filmed in Wales). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Truck Driver: That way is Proctor, and over here is the moors. I go this way.
Jack: Thanks for the ride, sir. You have lovely sheep.
Truck Driver: Boys, keep off the moors, stick to the roads. The best to ya...
David: Thanks again.
[then to the sheep]
David: We'll miss you.
David: Bye girls...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy star as themselves. See more »

Alternate Versions

Universal Studios re-mixed the film's monaural soundtrack to Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS for the 20th anniversary "Collector's Edition" DVD, replacing the older sound effects and adding some new ones (see also Jaws).
  • Extra thunderclap sound effects were added in the scene when David and Jack are walking in the moors and it starts to rain.
  • The first werewolf can now be heard growling in the rear channels as it circles David and Jack. A louder growl has been added to the rear-left channel after Jack says "It's circling us" to make the audience jump.
  • All the gunshots and car crash sound effects have been replaced.
  • The train in the "London tube" scene can now be heard moving from one channel to another
  • Despite already being bad enough, the entire mix is inexplicably pitched down a half-pitch and sounds very different from the original mix.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Monster Movies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Rebel
(uncredited)
Music by Francis Monkman
Bruton Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
My favorite best werewolf film of all time a true horror icon classic!
15 October 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

An American Werewolf in London (1981) is a cult classic horror werewolf slasher flick. It is my third favorite werewolf film of all time!

An American Werewolf in London is not only the best werewolf movie ever made it is also one of the best genre films of all time. I grew up watching this film and it is a childhood favorite of mine. I first saw this movie when I was 13 years young of age, it is a childhood movie for me and it is the first werewolf film I ever saw. I love this film to death and I think it is a great horror film of all time! It is one of my personal favorite horror werewolf movies of all time.

It is very scary, especially the ending you can see a human's head falling down the street. I don't know much about the cast I don't know almost anyone except actress Jenny Agutter I know her from Logan's Run (1976) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). This film is directed by John Landis who directed a lot of comedy films. The movie was entirely shot in London, Surrey, and Wales, which you can see a beautiful country side in the UK. This film: The Howling (1981) and Dog Soldiers (2002) are my top 3 favorite werewolf films this will be my number 2 favorite film.

Plot: Two American college students are on a walking tour of Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The werewolf is killed but reverts to its human form, and the local townspeople are unwilling to acknowledge its existence. The surviving student begins to have nightmares of hunting on four feet at first but then finds that his friend and other recent victims appear to him, demanding that he commit suicide to release them from their curse, being trapped between worlds because of their unnatural deaths.

This is a classic horror film about two young American men, David Kessler (played by Naughton) and Jack Goodman (played by Dunne), attacked by a werewolf on a backpacking holiday in England. With Jack killed, David is taken to a London hospital, where his disturbing apparitions of his deceased friend informs him that he is a werewolf and will transform at the next full moon. What I love about this film is: I love the story, the special effects and the humor in here. In the opening scene you have a really beautiful view on an England country side when you see David Kessler and Jack Goodman walking down the road. This movie is really beautiful shot I love that two young men best friends are traveling together and seeing England in a country side. I love the werewolf story and everything in it.

I love the characters in this movie, the story is a full long horror film with awesome black comedy in it, practical effects by Rick Baker that still rival some god awful cartoon ps1 CGI now a days!!! I have seen this film more then any other movie and it still feels fresh. And while filmed in the early eighties, it feels timeless. The blend of horror and humor are perfect. The horror comes at you brutal and/or fast and the humor is never forced but comes naturally out of the absurdity of the events (waking up naked in the zoo, having your dead friend tell you that you are a werewolf.) Oh man, this is such a fun movie. It's a great werewolf story with enough gore for the splatter junkies, and enough story to make it better than just some run-of-the-mill horror flick. This was created in a time when horror was HORROR, as opposed to these kiddie flicks with predictable jump scares we get today.

The special effects, done by the great Rick Baker, are absolutely astounding, even more believable than a lot of what we get today. The first transformation scene is one of the best to ever be featured in a werewolf film, especially with the convincing screams of pain from David Naughton. The actual look of the werewolf is also just as great, giving one of the most menacing and evil appearance I've ever seen on a wolf. The howl sounds like a mixture between a man's scream and an actual beast giving a call, a sound that sends a chill down your spine every time you hear it. These sort of details remind you that even though there's comedy in it, Landis did put great focus on the horror aspect of the film.

An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 British-American horror comedy film written and directed by John Landis, and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne.

Overall: An American Werewolf in London is a timeless excellent cult classic movie my favorite number 2 werewolf film of all time! Score: 10/10 I love this film, the acting is really solid the characters in this film a well written. The special effects in this movie are well made. This movie on it self's stays a true classic in a horror genre and it is way better movie, than these days horror movies that are in PG-13 ratings awful!


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