National Lampoon's Animal House released
National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 comedy film directed by John Landis.
The screenplay was 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 take on the administration at their college.
Early casting ideas included Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi. Of these five comedians, only Belushi was cast and he received $35,000 for the film with a bonus after it became a hit. Much of the cast, including the likes of Karen Allen and Kevin Bacon, were struggling actors just starting out. The studio hated Landis's choices and wanted to cast dramatic actors as well as comedians. The actors who played the Deltas arrived five days before principal photography in order to bond with each other and get into character, including separating themselves from the actors playing the Omegas.
Upon its initial release, Animal House received positive review from critics and Time magazine proclaimed it one of the year's best. 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 number 36 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs list of the 100 best American comedies.