John Landis Ian Hamilton - Essay

Ian Hamilton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[There are many laughs] in the National Lampoon's Animal House: the decor, the uniforms, and many of the attitudes come to us straight from early Presley campus idylls, or even from Rebel Without a Cause, and at least some of the chirpy delinquencies derive from Sergeant Bilko, but the film's animating spirit is blisteringly up to date. More than just a comic fantasy about going back to school to punch some loathed teacher in the mouth, it's essentially a mean-eyed dream of vengeance against what Teacher, in that bygone epoch, used to get away with teaching.

The setting is an Ivy-Leagueish American college in the early days of the Vietnam conscription, and the characters are sliced into...

(The entire section is 413 words.)