Thirty years ago, the movie Animal House was released.
I was a high school senior, getting ready to go to college. My boss, the manager of the Walgreen's I worked at, and I were talking about the movie. He loved it. He quoted a review of the movie, a postive one, that stated: "This movie has no socially redeeming value."
A couple of weekends later, my high school best friend Cindy and I grabbed a bunch of our friends and went out to see it. I was hooked for life.
Quick, come up with three great quotes from the movie. I bet you did it in ten seconds. There is not one unfunny line in the movie.
Otter: "Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman-- damned glad to meet you"
Boone: "That was Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman, and he was damned glad to meet you!"
Bluto: "They took the bar! The whole f*ckin' bar!"
Bluto: "Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the f*ckin' Peace Corps."
Boone: "Why did they beat you up?"
Otter: "They're just animals, I guess."
Neidermeyer: "What kind of man picks on a defenseless animal?"
Bluto: "Holy shit!"
D-Day: "There were supposed to be blanks in that gun!"
Bluto: "Holy shit!"
D-Day: "There were blanks in that gun!"
Bluto: "Holy shit:
D-Day: "It must have had a heart attack!"
Bluto and D-Day: "HOLY SHIT!"
Mayor Carmine Depasto (to Dean Wormer): "If you mention extortion again, I'll have your legs broken."
Dean Wormer (to Flounder):"Son, fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life"
Dean Wormer: "From now on, they're on Double Secret Probation!"
Greg Marmalard: "Double Secret Probation, sir?"
All of the Deltas: "Toga! Toga! Toga! Toga!"
Delta President Hoover: "We can't do that-- we're on Double Secret Probation-- whatever the hell that is."
Otter: "Tell those assholes to shut up."
Boone: "Hey, you assholes-- SHUT UP!"
Boy in bedroom after "bunny" drops in: "Thank you, God!"
Otter: "Hey-- he can't do that to our pledges!"
Boone: "Yeah, only WE can do that to our pledges!"
Man in "Deck 'o the Lake Club: "Do you mind if we dance wif yo' dates?"
Flounder to tough at bar: "What's your major?"
Flounder: "The negroes stole our dates!"
Bluto: "Food fight!"
Animal House was Kevin Bacon's first movie. Belushi was not, believe it or not, considered the big name actor in the movie (though his popularity from the Saturday Night Live show helped Jon Landis get the movie produced). Bruce McGill, the guy who played "D-Day" was considered the big star.
But it was absolutely John Belushi who stole the show. He had most of the great scenes. Here are a couple. The first is at the toga party, where a "sensitive guy," played by singer-songwriter Thom Bishop (his big hit was "On and On.") is trying to impress the girls with his ultrasensitivity, playing an old folk song.
This scene was homaged in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Worf smashed a lute, with the sheepish "sorry" at the end.
This clip is also a classic. Wormer has expelled the Deltas from the school and contacted each student's local draft board, informing them that they are not enrolled in college, making them eligible for the draft. The rest of the Deltas are morose. "Bluto," played by Belushi, sees this not as a defeat, but as the ultimate opportunity; they no longer have anything to lose.
Apparently seven years of college have not helped Bluto's knowledge of history.
Belushi isn't the only one who has great scene. Tim Matheson (who was the voice of the cartoon "Johnny Quest as a kid), as the cad "Otter" has a great scene during the hearing to address the goings-on at the Toga Party.
Thirty years later, there have been many imitators, but Animal House stands out as one of the best, funniest movies ever made. I must have seen it 25 times over the years, and it's still as funny every time I see it. It may not have any "socially redeeming qualties," but it sure is a lot of fun.