An American Werewolf in London (1981)

USA, UK,
97m, 8,754 feet
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, English
Reviewed at The

An American/British horror film directed by John Landis.

Plot Summary

American tourists in Yorkshire David Kessler and Jack Goodman are attacked on the by a wolf that turns into a man when shot. Jack is killed but returns from the dead to visit a traumatised David with warnings that they were attacked by a werewolf and that David is now cursed. Sure enough, at the first full moon, David transforms into a wolf and goes on the rampage through the streets of .

Credits

Crew
Directed by: John Landis
© MCMLXXXI [1981] American Werewolf Inc.
PolyGram Pictures presents a Lycanthrope Films Limited production
Executive Producer: Peter Guber & Jon Peters
Produced by: George Folsey Jr
Written by: John Landis
Director of Photography: Robert Paynter
Edited by: Malcolm Campbell
Original Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Sound Mixer: Ivan Sharrock
Costumes Designed by: Deborah Nadoolman
Make-Up: Robin Grantham, Beryl Lerman
Special Make-Up Effects Designed and Created by: Rick Baker
Hairdresser: Barry Richardson
Special Effects: Effects Associates Ltd.
Art Director: Leslie Dilley

Cast
David Naughton (David Kessler)
Jenny Agutter (Alex Price)
Griffin Dunne (Jack Goodman)
John Woodvine (Doctor [J.S.] Hirsch)
Brian Glover ( player)
Lila Kaye (barmaid)
David Schofield (dart player)
Paul Kember (Sergeant McManus)
Frank Oz (Mr Collins)
Don Mckillop (Inspector Villiers)
Joe Belcher (truck driver)
Rik Mayall (2nd chess player)
Sean Baker (2nd dart player)
Paddy Ryan (first werewolf)
Anne-Marie Davies (Nurse [Susan] Gallagher)
Colin Fernandes (Benjamin)
Albert Moses (hospital porter)
Kermit the Frog (himself)
Miss Piggy (herself)
Michele Brisigotti (Rachel Kessler)

Alternative Titles

American Werewolf – West German title
Een Amerikaanse Weerwolf in Londen – Dutch title
En Amerikansk varulv i London – Swedish title
Amerykanski wilkolak w Londynie – Polish title
Hombre-lobo americano en Londres – Spanish title
Ihmissusi Lontoossa – Finnish title
Um Lobisomem Americano em Londres – Portugese title
Le Loup-garou de Londres – French title
Un lupo mannaro americano a Londra – Italian title

Sequel
An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

Extracts included in
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)
Beware : Remembering An American Werewolf in London (2008)
Coming Soon (1982)
Don't Scream It's Only a Movie (1989)
Heartstoppers: Horror at the Movies (1992)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Includes extracts from
The Muppet Show (1976-1981)

References

Periodicals

  • Cine Cubano no.112 (1985) pp.88-90 – review
  • The Dark Side no.206 (2019) p.39 – illustrated DVD review (Dark Side DVD library by AvB [Anton van Beek])
  • Empire no.154 April 2002 p.89-93 – illustrated article, interview with John Landis (Bad moon rising by Adam Smith)
  • Empire no.189 (March 2005) pp.119-128 – illustrated article (Let's Revise: by Kim Newman)
  • Empire no.203 (May 2006) pp.84-85 – illustrated article (The Top 10 dream sequences by Nick de Semlyen)
  • Empire no.218 (August 2007) pp.102-103 – illustrated article (Summer horror-day by Simon Crook)
  • Fangoria no.234 July 2004 p.22 – illustrated article (Fango's top 25: 1981 by Philip Nutman)
  • Film Review December 1996 pp.44-47 – illustrated article (Call sheet – An American Werewolf in London by Howard Maxford)
  • Flesh and Blood no.6 (April 1996) pp.14-16 – review (British Horror Filmography Part Five)
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.16 – note
  • Hotdog no.77 (July 2006) pp.44-45 – illustrated article (What about Jenny Agutter as Nurse Price in An American Werewolf in London by Ian Winterton)
  • Neon June 1998 pp.108-113 – illustrated article (Supernatural Born Killer by Gareth Grundy)
  • New Musical Express 6 September 1990 p.35 – review
  • Premiere vol.18 no.2 (October 2004) p.36 – illustrated article (What Is the Perfect Werewolf Movie? by Cristy Lytal)
  • Radio Times 27 August – 2 September 1988 p.57 – credits
  • Radio Times vol.266 no.3475 (21-27 July 1990) pp.16; 19; 29; 31 – illustrated article; review; credits
  • Screen International no.224 (19-26 January 1912) p.12 – note (1980 UK production preview)
  • Sight & Sound vol.12 no.3 (March 2002) p.58 – DVD Review (Home movies by Lucy Neville)
  • Starburst no.40 p.33 – review
  • Starburst no.291 (November 2002) pp.44-50 – illustrated article (Beware the moon, lads by Howard Maxford)
  • Starburst Special no.15: Monster (1993) pp.30-32, 38-40 – illustrated interview with John Landis (Innocent vampires and American by Pat Jankiewicz)
  • Starburst Special no.66 Dead Special pp.82-86, 88 – illustrated article (Screams of laughter by Simon J. Gerard)
  • Total Movie February/March 2001 pp.62-71 – illustrated article (Timeless sci-fi: Ten visual effects classics that look as good today as they did back then by Ron Magid)
  • Video the Magazine September 1984 p.49 – review

Books

  • British Horror Film Locations by Derek Pykett p.12-14 – locations
  • Dead or Alive: British Horror Films 1980-1989 (Festival Edition) by Darrell Buxton (ed.) pp.31-32 – review (by Craig Williams)
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.24 – credits, review
  • Film Review 1982-1983 by F. Maurice Speed (ed.) p.141 – credits, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.22 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.8 – credits, review
  • Virgin Film Yearbook 1983 p.9 – credits, review

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank June-July 2024 p.4 – illustrated listing
  • Darkfest III Official Programme p.6 – illustrated listing