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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

1:42 | Trailer
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.


John Landis


John Landis
1,837 ( 342)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Belcher ... Truck Driver
David Naughton ... David Kessler
Griffin Dunne ... Jack Goodman
David Schofield ... Dart Player
Brian Glover ... Chess Player
Lila Kaye ... Barmaid
Rik Mayall ... 2nd Chess Player
Sean Baker Sean Baker ... 2nd Dart Player
Paddy Ryan Paddy Ryan ... First Werewolf
Jenny Agutter ... Nurse Alex Price
Anne-Marie Davies Anne-Marie Davies ... Nurse Susan Gallagher
John Woodvine ... Dr. J. S. Hirsch
Frank Oz ... Mr. Collins / Miss Piggy
Don McKillop Don McKillop ... Inspector Villiers
Paul Kember Paul Kember ... Sergeant McManus


Two American college students are on a walking tour of Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The werewolf is killed but reverts to its human form, and the local townspeople are unwilling to acknowledge its existence. The surviving student begins to have nightmares of hunting on four feet at first but then finds that his friend and other recent victims appear to him, demanding that he commit suicide to release them from their curse, being trapped between worlds because of their unnatural deaths. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the director of Animal House -- a different kind of animal See more »


Comedy | Horror


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Bringing the Werewolf's four-legged form to life was another challenge. A full animatronic character was immediately discarded, and a suit version was supposedly attempted but deemed unfeasible. Baker eventually got the inspiration from his own childhood games. He explained: "late one night, I was sitting in my living room and it came to me. I thought of a wheelbarrow race. So I stretched out my legs over the edge of a chair and my arms out in front, testing the balance, seeing if I could shift around while still holding my weight. Then I thought, 'what if we had a flat surface to support the weight - like a diving board with wheels, where we could move it around and vary the height?" The concept became the base of the Werewolf rig, which combined a suit for the upper half of the Werewolf and a dolly for the lower half, with a slant board supporting the weight of the performer and the lower legs puppeteered with wires or rods. Devised by Doug Beswick, the system had a jointed waist that could bend naturally from side to side, and a counterweight in the rear section to decrease the weight the performer had to support. The suit included arm extensions and a cable-controlled head. Given the technique, it had to be shot with the appropriate camera angles. The two suit performers were Kevin Brennan (whose proportions served as reference for construction of the suit) and Brendan Hughes. Brennan "was a trained dancer who had this really strong torso so he could hold himself in there at this awkward angle," first assistant director David Tringham said, "and just be with his legs sticking out the end with nothing to support him really." See more »


Dr. Hirsch asks David "Do you remember anything about the man who attacked you?" David responds, "Dr. Hirsch, it wasn't a man, it was a wolf". Dr. Hirsch then says, "well maybe it will come back to you." David responds, "there's nothing wrong with my memory". Except, there is something wrong with his memory since he doesn't remember the man (werewolf in human form) on the ground next to him; naked and bleeding; where the werewolf used to be after it got shot. See more »


[first lines]
Truck Driver: That way is Proctor, and over here is the moors. I go this way.
Jack: Thanks for the ride, sir. You have lovely sheep.
Truck Driver: Boys, keep off the moors, stick to the roads. The best to ya...
David: Thanks again.
[then to the sheep]
David: We'll miss you.
David: Bye girls...
See more »

Crazy Credits

All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living, dead, or undead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was edited to receive an "R" rating in the U.S. The love scene with David and Jenny was toned down. Food coming through Jack's mouth as he was eating toast was also removed. See more »


Referenced in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) See more »


Santa Lucia
Transcribed and Arranged by Teodoro Cottrau
Performed by Griffin Dunne and David Naughton
See more »

User Reviews

Amazing Film
1 October 2018 | by connorjwSee all my reviews

An American Werewolf in London (1981) is a flat out great movie. There are good characters, good humor, a hilarious ending, and some scenes scared the hell out of me. The film's pretty inappropriate, with some nudity and awesome gore. This film is one of if not the best werewolf movie you can watch. Some of this makes you feel like you're in the protagonist/antagonist's mind, and the movie had some good suspense too! Overall, the film is definitely watchable, scary, humorous, and one of my favorite films.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Werewolf in London See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,786,512, 23 August 1981

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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