Today marks the 37th anniversary of the release of the greatest fraternity movie – nay, the greatest guy humor movie – of all time, National Lampoon’s Animal House. In celebration of the historic date, here’s a breakdown of best fraternity movies to grace the silver screen.
5. The Skulls (2000)
Synopsis: College senior Luke McNamara joins the prestigious rich kids club, The Skulls, for political leverage going into law school. However, he soon finds out the power the organization holds is more extensive than he could have imagined.
Why you should watch it: The ritual scenes will remind you of your fraternity rituals, though yours probably weren’t quite as extreme. Also, it’s based on the secret Skull and Bones society that the Bush family, among others, were members of at Yale.
4. PCU (1994)
Synopsis: A skittish high school senior visits Port Chester University where he tours the overly-sensitive, politically-correct side of campus life. Luckily, he’s quickly saved by a group of rowdy fraternity men who give him a taste of what college really has to offer.
Why you should watch it: This was the first time the world got to see the cunning, brutal, and rapid-fire wit of Jeremy Piven, who is backed by a strong, sarcastic cast including David Spade and Jon Favreau. The movie also shows us the early-’90s roots of the PC movement, then promptly shits all over it.
3. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Synopsis: A group of college nerds are kicked out of their dorms by the jock frat, Alpha Beta, who needed somewhere to stay after accidentally burning down their fraternity house. The nerds relocate to a beat-up house, but when the jocks continue to harass them, they plot their revenge.
Why you should watch it: Even though this one was made almost as an anti-fraternity movie, the look at the jock frat is hilariously accurate. Compare your chapter’s meathead to anyone in Alpha Beta.
2. Old School (2003)
Synopsis: When a nearing-middle-age man falls into disarray after discovering his wife likes to partake in the occasional orgy, his friends lift his spirits by throwing him a rager. The crew has such a good time, they decide to start their own unofficial fraternity.
Why you should watch it: If there’s a Frank in your fraternity, this movie is the origin of his nickname. It’s Will Ferrell at his best. Also, there’s a ton of iconic one-liners, like “You’re my boy, Blue!” and “We’re going streaking!” plus memorable moments like the cinderblock scene.
1. Animal House (1978)
Synopsis: After getting rejected from the snooty, top-tier Omega Theta Pi fraternity, rushees Kent and Larry instead settle for the notoriously out-of-control Delta Tau Chi house, which is on the edge of being shut down by the college’s uptight dean.
Why you should watch it: Animal House is the quintessential fraternity film. While most college party movies try to one up each other with insanely over-the-top gags, Animal House keeps it believable. There’s a reason we still celebrate it 37 years later and congress deems it “culturally significant” enough to be stored in its library – it set the standard for everything listed above and many, many more..
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