Theatrical Release: July 28, 1978.
Estimated budget: $3 million.
The film has grossed more than $140 million at the box office.
ANIMAL HOUSE is number 36 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies.
ANIMAL HOUSE, which was shot in only 35 days on location in Oregon, was allegedly based on the college experiences of National Lampoon writer Chris Miller.
This was comedian-actor John Belushi's first starring role in a feature film. He was already well known as one of the Not Ready for Prime-Time Players on TV's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Director John Landis and Belushi conceived of the part of Bluto--which was written specifically for Belushi--as a combination Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster.
The part of D-Day was written for Dan Aykroyd but he didn't do it, probably because of his commitment to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
The studio wanted Chevy Chase to be Otter, but Landis thought that Chase was too recognizable a face to pull the character off.
The part of the dean had been offered to Jack Webb.
The studio insisted that the movie include a movie star, so Landis brought in Donald Sutherland to do two days' shooting.
Landis played a cafeteria worker in a constant battle with Bluto, but all of his scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor.
The film helped launch the careers of director Landis, screenwriter Harold Ramis, and producer Ivan Reitman, as well as its cast of relative newcomers, including Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst, and Peter Riegert.
ABC aired a short-lived television series in the spring of 1979 based on ANIMAL HOUSE, entitled DELTA HOUSE. The series was produced by the team responsible for the movie. Reprising their film roles were John Vernon, Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill, and James Widdoes, with the other parts recast. A new female character, the Bombshell, was played by then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer. Also looking to capitalize on ANIMAL HOUSE mania, NBC and CBS each produced their own ripoffs, BROTHERS AND SISTERS and CO-ED FEVER.
The bass player in the fictional band, Otis Day and the Knights, is then unknown blues musician Robert Cray. Cray was instrumental in getting the musicians together for the filming.
"Seven years of college down the drain."--Bluto (John Belushi)
"Knowledge is good."--Faber College motto
"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."--Dean Wormer (John Vernon) to Flounder (Stephen Furst)