Trivia / An American Werewolf in London

  • Academy Award: Was awarded the first Oscar for Best Makeup in the year the category was established. The Oscar was presented by Vincent Price.
  • Artistic License Geography: The film presents Yorkshire and London as being fairly close together, in spite of being on opposite ends of England.
  • The Cameo: Mr. Collins, the American ambassador sounds exactly like Bert, the Muppet. That is because he is Frank Oz, the then-puppeteer of Bert, Miss Piggy (who also appears in the film) and Yoda; and later director of Little Shop of Horrors and the remake of The Stepford Wives.
  • The Danza: David Naughton as David Kessler.
  • Defictionalization: The Slaughtered Lamb Pub. Except it's not anywhere in England, it's in Greenwich Village in New York City.
  • Dueling Movies: Both this and The Howling came out the same year and both feature a detailed, painful-looking Transformation Trauma sequence.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • A favorite ploy of John Landis. Extras in the zoo scene were told only that David Naughton was going to say a few words to them.
    • And that blade the dream Nazi zombie is holding up to David's neck was a real knife, held by an actor in a mask that seriously hampered his vision. Most of the fear was probably real there.
    • Rick Baker recalled with amusement doing this to Griffin Dunne. For the attack on Jack, Baker worked the werewolf head and had told Griffin about the fragility of the prop. During the first take, Griffin grabbed the prop's face and accidentally ripped the skin off.
      Rick Baker: So, I had to glue the foam back together, get it back on there. So, it's like "Okay, is that you wanna play it, Griffin, huh?" So, I just beat the crap out of him when we did the next shot. And he's, like, screamin' like a madman like he's supposed to, and we got some really good stuff.
  • Production Posse: The inhabitants of "The Slaughtered Lamb" were described by Griffin Dunne as "half the cast, practically, of Nicholas Nickleby" (the 1980 RSC play adaptation) — notably Lila Kaye (Gladys) played Mrs. Squeers and Mrs. Crummles and John Woodvine (Dr. Hirsch) played Ralph Nickleby.
  • Referenced by...: Bryan Singer has confirmed that the scene when Angel transforms into Archangel in X-Men: Apocalypse was inspired by An American Werewolf in London.
  • Throw It In: The little strip of skin flapping about on Griffin Dunne's face when the undead Jack visits David in the hospital was kept intact in the final cut when it was found to have made Dunne's appearance far more convincing.
  • What Could Have Been: Universal wanted Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi to play the leads, but John Landis refused.