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“National Lampoon’s Animal House”
The first film to be described as a “gross-out,” this ribald, hysterically funny 1978 comedy scored a hit with the critics and audiences alike. John Landis directed this classic about a group of misfit fraternity boys that was adapted by Douglas Kenney, Christopher Miller and Harold Ramis from stories penned by Miller about his years at a fraternity at Dartmouth. Set in 1962 at Faber College, the film revolves around two nerdy freshmen, Larry (Tom Hulce, who went on to get an Oscar nomination for “Amadeus”) and Kent (Stephen Furst), who try to pledge the No. 1 fraternity, Omega House, but end up being rejected. The two then go next door to the wild and crazy Delta House, where they are warmly embraced. Among its inhabitants are John “Bluto” Blutarsky (John Belushi), who ends up peeing on their pants when they meet; D-Day (Bruce McGill); the ladies’ man Otter (Tim Matheson); and his best bud Boon (Peter Riegert). Among the classic scenes involve a dead horse delivered to Dean Wormer’s office, Belushi imitating a zit, and the infamous food fight. And look for Kevin Bacon in his first film role.
In 2001, “Animal House” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally significant.”
Blush-ometer: 3 out of 5 shades of red