Animal House – yes, it is a car movie!
Released: 1978. Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen. Directed by John Landis, produced by Ivan Reitman.
Yes, it’s actually a film for car enthusiasts: the Lincoln Continental (complete with suicide doors) and the old ‘vette are classics. And just look at all those other classics in the front yard of the Delta frat house below. Plus, this film is the definition of the term “road trip”.
We remember seeing this film on opening day - and the theater was packed. Every single seat 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 “Do you mind if we dance with your dates”. See more quotes here. 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!
Our site CarMovieEnthusiast.com lists over 200 car movies, where cars are the theme or major supporting element, with reviews and (if we’ve seen it or own it) details.
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!
The same person who made the infamous College sweatshirt for John Belushi is still making them after all these years. We have one ourselves… and it’s always interesting to see who in restaurants and bars recognizes it. You can buy the real thing here (not affiliated with this site, but my experience with them and the quality of the sweatshirt has been excellent). Don’t settle for imitations!
There is also a website page dedicated the cars of Animal House. See the Acme Animal House Cars page.
One of the best books ever written about Animal House is “A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever“. Doug Kenney played The Stork in the film, and died tragically a few years later. We finished this book in a single seating, and very much enjoyed remembering the glory days of National Lampoon and Animal House. Available in print or Kindle.