An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 British-American horror comedy film written and directed by John Landis, and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne. The film's plot concerns two young American men, David Kessler (played by Naughton) and Jack Goodman (played by Dunne), attacked by a werewolf on a backpacking holiday in England. With Jack killed, David is taken to a London hospital, where his disturbing apparitions of his deceased friend informs him that he is a werewolf and will transform at the next full moon. Principal photography for the film was shot in London, Surrey, and Wales.
It was released in the United States on August 21, 1981, and grossed $30.56 million at the box office. The film received positive reviews from critics. who praised Rick Baker's make-up special effects. The film won the 1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and the first-ever awarded Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. The film was one of three high-profile wolf-themed horror films released in 1981, alongside The Howling and Wolfen. Over the years, the film has accumulated a cult following and has become a cult classic.
The film was followed by a 1997 sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, which featured a completely different cast and none of the original crew, and is distributed by Disney's Hollywood Pictures. A Hindi film, Junoon, was inspired by the film.
Two American college students, David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne), backpack across the North York Moors. As darkness falls, they stop for the night at a pub called "The Slaughtered Lamb". Jack notices a five-pointed star on the wall. When he asks about it, the pubgoers stop talking and become hostile, telling them to keep to the road and beware of the full moon. The pair decide to leave, but while talking they wander off the road onto the moors.