Happy 35th anniversary to the movie Animal House! Released: July 28, 1978. Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen. Directed by John Landis, produced by Ivan Reitman. And it’s as terrific and funny today as it ever was.
And, yes, it’s actually a film for car enthusiasts: the 1964 Lincoln Continental (complete with signature suicide doors), the 1961 Buick Electra 225 Convertible, the MGA “date” car, and the 2059 ‘vette are all classics. This film is the (infamous) definition of the term “road trip”. And just look at all those other classics in the front yard of the Delta frat house.
We remember seeing this film on opening day – and the theater was packed. Every single seat was taken. And we haven’t seen a film since where the audience was so totally involved in the film. It was an immediate smash hit and has been a cult classic ever since. There are any number of infamous quotes from the film, such as the immortal “If you lay one finger on that poor sweet helpless girl, you’ll despise yourself forever”. See more quotes on IMDB. Be sure to listen to the commentary on the DVD “making of” to hear about the night the actors went to a real frat house party – and got their butts kicked big time!
The 4th generation Lincoln Continental (’61-’69) is one of our favorite classic cars of all time, one of the must-haves for our own garage someday. It starts out immaculate… suffers greatly in the road trip sequence (“You f***** up, you trusted us. Hey, make the best of it!”), and is then reborn (“Ramming Speed!”) near the end of the film.
Whatever happened to the prop Lincoln? There were multiple versions made for the movie, and since then any number of fakes have popped up. You can see one of the fakes at Universal Studios in California. Fans of the movie (who, like us, can recite every line verbatim) will spot the differences from the original immediately!
Our site CarMovieEnthusiast.com lists over 250 car movies, where cars are the theme or major supporting element, with reviews and details.
We have a duplicate of the infamous College sweatshirt that was made by the same person who made it for John Belushi many years ago. It’s always interesting to see who in restaurants and bars recognizes it.
One of the best books ever written about the movie is “A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever“. Doug Kenney played The Stork in the film, and then died tragically a few years later. We finished this book in a weekend, and very much enjoyed remembering the glory days of National Lampoon and Animal House. Available in print or Kindle.