The Great Debates: “Animal House” or “The Blues Brothers”


It was in March, a little over 30 years ago now, that John Belushi passed away.

He was a legendary comedian, but his filmography basically boils down to two great films. Animal House and The Blues Brothers. Today, I ask you to choose between them.

Which one are you going to pick?

Click through to read the tale of the tape!

Animal House

BlutoDirected By: John Landis

Released: July 28, 1978

Budget: $3 Million

Total Gross: $141,600,000

Also Stars: Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert, Karen Allen, Thomas Hulce, Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill, Kevin Bacon, John Vernon, Donald Sutherland

Sequels: None, thankfully, though there was a short-lived TV Series on ABC entitled “Delta House”.

The Blues Brothers

Jake BluesDirected By: John Landis

Released: June 20, 1980

Budget: $30 Million

Total Gross: $115,229,890

Also Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, John Candy, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Murphy Dunne, Willie Hall, Tom Malone, Lou Marini, Matt Murphy, Alan Rubin

Sequels: Yes, unfortunately. “The Blues Brothers 2000”


Well! There you have it folks! Two awesome, hysterical movies, but you’re only allowed to pick one!

Which is it going to be? The frat house revelry of “Animal House”, or the R&B road movie “The Blues Brothers”?

Let us hear it!

Daniel Fogarty


104 thoughts on “The Great Debates: “Animal House” or “The Blues Brothers”

  1. For me it’s no contest…”The Blues Brothers” all the way! I love “Animal House” too, but I crew up in the Chicagoland area and “The Blues Brothers” is the quintessential Chicago movie. This film captures the city like no other has!

    I actually have vivid memories of my Dad, and the Dad’s of my various school friends, coming home from working in the city in 1979 with reports of “I saw them filming The Blues Brothers today.” We took a great interest because John Belushi was a local boy for us. I grew up in his neighborhood (our homes were about 6 blocks away). Went to the same elementary school, middle school, and high school.

  2. Hardest poll question ever!!!! I love both of these movies so much.
    I had to go with The Blues Brothers though. Jake is a much more developed character than Bluto. I like my Belushi both zany and well-rounded. I also love it when he sings and dances!

    Pretending to be the Good Ol’ Boys and having to sing the Rawhide theme to a bar full of honky-tonkers… classic!

    • Truly. 😀

      Always try to make these questions brutal. Thats the fun of it! Well, for me at least.

      Thing is, even with “Tough Questions”, you can still wind up with a lopsided result… “The Blues Brothers” is off to an early lead!

      I have a feeling the musical numbers are going to get them a LOT of votes today!

  3. This is a picture of me and my best friend in HS, 1981.

    and again, when I was in college:

    Any other questions?

    “Its 106 mile to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

    “Hit it.”

    [Peter Gunn theme]


  4. Blues Brothers by far. Animal House is okay but on the whole vastly overrated. Blues Brothers on the other hand is genuinely funny, creative, exciting, and has one of the best car chases ever. Plus if we’re judging this by Belushi’s contributions, Blues Brothers still takes it. I mean, Belushi is the best part about Animal House, but take him out the movie could still exist. Take him out of Blues Brothers and you don’t have a movie.

    • vastly overrated? 😯

      What the hell is wrong with you kids nowadays?

      And I used Belushi as a jumping off point, but people can use whatever criteria they like. Obviously if it were about “Belushi’s contributions” there wouldnt be any contest, and thus no need for a poll.

      • “And I used Belushi as a jumping off point,”

        I see. Disregard that part then.

        “What the hell is wrong with you kids nowadays?”

        Maybe the trouble is with you old men 😛

  5. Totally Blues Brothers. Animal House is more interesting to watch when you know the back stories of the actors and watching some people getting thier ‘big break’ or just a break. But over all, it isn’t all that great. Then end feels unsatisfactory. Blues brother is more entertaining, more amusing, better music and you can’t go wrong with the music in it.

    • Wow.

      Uh… Couldnt possibly disagree with you more. The end feels unsatisfactory? You mean, the classic ending where they take over the town parade and basically cause a riot in the streets? THAT awesome ending?

      I have no problems with the Blues Brothers preference, obviously, but you’re off base on Animal House in a big way. 😯

  6. Tough one but I’m going with Animal House. Both films were great but the heart attack horse had me laughing so hard I almost blacked out.

  7. I haven’t seen Animal House so I had to go with The Blues Brothers. I saw that awhile ago and it was pretty awesome. I should watch it again sometime. I love the music in that movie.

  8. I’ve seen The Blues Brothers about 20 times and the first 20 minutes of it once. I always caught it on TBS or whatever after it started. I had no idea James Brown was in it.

  9. Hi, Fogs:

    I have to go with ‘Animal House’. Better story and period piece setting where Belushi proves he can carry a film all by his lonesome and still become a state Senator.
    Also a film that proffers a springboard of later recognized talent(s).

    While ‘The Blues Brothers’ is a great extension of a recurring original SNL skit. Backed up by wicked tunes, cameos and a wondrous chase scene.

    And yes, some buddies of mine and I did the white shirt, narrow black suit and tie,
    fedoras and Wayfarers for one of the last Blues Brothers concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion decades ago.

    • LOL. You dont have pics though, like Gelfman? 😀 Good. Good for you. Probably wiser to keep those cards close to the vest! 😀

      I think theyre both great, really. Thats why this is a “great” debate. That car chase scene IS something else though, isnt it? Its incredible…

      I think we need Senator Blutarsky today. He might be able to straighten out our disfunctional congress with one of his motivational speeches!

  10. A painful choice to make, but the incredible soundtrack pushes The Blues Brothers just over the edge for me. Although Animal House has some pretty good tunes too…”I gave my love a cherryyyy….”

    Still, I gotta go with Blues Brothers by a nose.

    By the way Fogs, take a look at your list of Belushi’s Blues Brothers co-stars. I think you’ve accidentally left out a key member of the cast…

    • Animal house has great tunes too, youre right. I love that soundtrack. Otis Day and the Knights are great!

      Dan Aykroyd? LOL Maybe I did. LOL 😀 Maybe he should rot in obscurity for being part of The Blues Brothers 2000! 😀

      • Ha, so maybe not so accidental after all. Well you’ll get no argument from me that Blues Brothers 2000 is a crime against cinema and humanity at large. Still, The Blues Brothers without Aykroyd is just the blues.

  11. These are both funny movies, but interestingly I don’t have nearly the regard for them as I do other contemporary comedies, like the Mel Brooks 70s movies, the early Steve Martin films, or Airplane!

    Of the two through, I much prefer The Blues Brothers. Drunken frat-boy humor isn’t really my thing, but I acknowledge that Animal House is the master of it.

  12. Dean Vernon Wormer: Cut the horseshit, son. I’ve got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.
    Greg Marmalard: You’re talking about Delta, sir.
    Dean Vernon Wormer: Of course I’m talking about Delta, you TWERP!

    It doesn’t get funnier than “Animal House”. 35 yrs. and I’m still laughing. This film inspired countless satires and wannabes, but non as good.

    It was the music of “Blues Brothers” that stood out. In an era of Rock+Roll, this was alot of peoples first exposure to the blues. I still have fond memories of Matt “Guitar” Murphy and the Allstars as the backup band at my favorite watering hole, the legendary Shaboo Inn. But for all time laughs…”Animal House”!

      • Remember the pic with Belushi’s nose accessory? Classic.

        If people say “Blues Brothers” is more iconic, I have two words for them…..”FOOD FIGHT”!

      • Animal House has the better one liners, on that I have to agree. “If I was you, I’d be… LEAVING What a good idea” is a line thats never far from my mind. But Blues Brothers is a better film overall, and the music trumps the one liners IMHO.

  13. Both are great. I give the edge to Animal House. It cost (far) less; it grossed more and it stands alone with no messy film sequel (yet). Plus perhaps more people can relate to college parties that get out of hand than being chased by the fuzz.

    Bluto: TOGA! TOGA!

    • Ha! I wondered if anyone would weigh the stats in the “tale of the tape”. 😀 Animal House actually WAS a bigger success finacially. 😉

      I can relate to both, but I vastly prefer the College Party thing. LOL!

  14. My knee jerk is Animal House, but now more Blues Brothers scenes are coming to mind. I better sleep on this one. And by “sleep” I mean watch them both three times tonight!

  15. The Blues Brothers, no contest. Animal House is a very good film… The Blues Brothers is a masterpiece. The script is better, the plot is better, the outrageousness is better (even the parade doesn’t come close to the car chase), the acting is better, and John Belushi is better.

    And if we’re just going on it as “John Belushi movies”, as Chris Rock has noted, Belushi isn’t even the star of Animal House, he’s just a breakout character. It’s sort of an ensemble cast, but really it’s the story of Larry. Does anybody actually remember that, though? No, we all remember Bluto running amok. Which means, yes, Belushi is doing great in it, but it also means the main film is overshadowed by a small part of it, which indicates the main film isn’t as strong.

    • I have no issues with your reasonings, but methinks your logic is flawed in that final sentence there. Just because a film has a great character doesnt mean the rest of the film is weak… in any rational way at all.

      And there are MANY subplots going in Animal House. Just because Larry is the first character, doesn’t mean he’s the main character. I’ve always viewed it as a story about the Deltas. All of them.

      I’d also say that the parade scene is just as outrageous as the car chase. That’s some funny shit right there.


      • A film having a great character doesn’t make the film weak, but that wasn’t my point. My point was people don’t even remember the rest of it… if it wasn’t just a bit weak, they would. And yes, Larry is the main character. He’s the first character, he’s the last character (the epilogue doesn’t count), he’s the character who has the most screen time in between, he’s the main character.

        And the parade scene, funny as it is, would be completely lost in the shuffle in the car chase scene. Nowhere near as over-the-top.

  16. I “state your name” firmly believe Animal House is the quintessential comedy of the 1970s. Look, “The Blues Brothers ” is great, entertaining as hell and it has the music that should make it essential viewing for everyone. Yet with all of that going for it, pound for pound, “Animal House” is the funnier film. Everybody is onto the quotable lines, but for Blues Brothers you have to do the character, for “Animal House” you just have to do the line, example “Mine’s bigger”. Almost everybody can relate to going to college and identify with the characters, we laugh at Jake and Elwood, but they are not us. Blutto, Founder, Pinto, Otter, D-Day, I know all of those guys and I have been each of them at some point or other.
    I know it may put me on double secret probation, but “Animal House” also has tasteful use of the human anatomy for the purpose of provoking a laugh. Get out your ladder and Kleenex and I will explain. Karen Allen in her panties trumps Carrie Fisher with an M16.
    I have a post on this if you want :

    But if you don’t have time to read it, just ask for Babs the next time you go to Universal Studios, she’ll explain.

    • Richard, man, I have to be consistent, I’m sorry. My new policy is not allowing people to link to their stuff in the comments. I hate to do it to you because if anyone, you always do it respectfully, and obviously youre a valued memebr here. But it gets abused, so I’m telling everyone, all the time. Ok? From here on out, email me if you’d like me to see something you’ve written, I no longer allow links to people’s posts in the comments.

      Meanwhile, you have great points. I think the college relatability factor is a big one. I imagine a lot of people would prefer it based on that.

      And on Karen Allen’s ass shot, of course. 😆

      • It’s cool. I know why you have to do this and I understand completely. I have the e-dress and I will do that in the future. Kick it out but if you get a chance I think you will enjoy the post.

      • No, no. I’ll actually probably be by. But I can’t… selectively enforce a policy if that’s going to be the policy. You know how it is.

        I get pretty hammered by links and such, and I finally reached the breaking point.

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