“Toga!” Can you remember this immortal one word rallying cry made famous in National Lampoon’s Animal House, an American comedy film directed by John Landis? It was on this day, July 27, 1978, this classic was released.
Filmed for $2.7 million, it is one of the most profitable movies of all time garnering more than $141 million in the form of videos and DVDs, not including merchandising.
This film, along with 1977′s Kentucky Fried Movie, also directed by Landis, was largely responsible for defining and launching the gross-out genre of films, which became one of Hollywood’s staples.
The plot is about a misfit group of fraternity members who challenge the administrators of their university.
In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed Animal House “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. This film was No. 1 on Bravo’s 100 Funniest Movies. It was No. 36 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs list of the 100 best American comedies. In 2008, Empire magazine selected Animal House as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.
1916 – Keenan (Francis Xavier Aloysius) Wynn (actor: Dr. Strangelove, Nashville, Finian’s Rainbow, Kiss Me Kate, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Absent-Minded Professor; died Oct 14, 1986)
1931 – Jerry Van Dyke (actor: Coach, My Mother the Car, The Judy Garland Show, The Headmaster, Accidental Family; brother of actor Dick Van Dyke)
1937 – Don Galloway (actor: Two Moon Junction, Demon Rage, Snowblind, Tom, Dick and Mary, Ironside, Arrest and Trial; TV host: The Guinness Game; died Jan 8, 2009)
1939 – James Victor (actor: Stand and Deliver, Fuzz, Zorro, Viva Valdez, Condo)
1942 – Barbara Ferris (actress: The Strauss Family, A Chorus of Disapproval, Nice Girl like Me, Children of the Damned)
1942 – John Pleshette (actor: Knots Landing, Doctors’ Hospital, Eye of the Stranger, Lies of the Twins, Burning Rage, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald; brother of actress Suzanne Pleshette)
1949 – Maury Chaykin (actor: Cold Comfort, Dances with Wolves, WarGames, Mrs. Soffel, Def-Con 4, Meatballs III, Iron Eagle II, My Cousin Vinny, Cutthroat Island, The Mask of Zorro, Entrapment, A Nero Wolfe Mystery; died Jul 27, 2010)
1963 – Donnie Yen (martial artist, actor: Once Upon a Time in China II, The Iron Monkey, Iron Monkey 2, Asian Cops – High Voltage, City of Darkness, Highlander: Endgame, Fist of Fury: The Sequel)
1968 – Maria Grazia Cucinotta (actor: The World Is Not Enough, Maria Maddalena, Picking Up the Pieces, Just One Night)
1972 – Maya Rudolph (actress: Saturday Night Live, City of Angels, Chuck & Buck, Duets; daughter of singer Minnie Riperton)