Director: John Landis
Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tim Matheson, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst, Tom Hulce
Lesson Learned: It's not an official frat party until the fat, always drunk brother shows up.

Need a reminder of Animal House's ubiquitous influence on real-life colleges? Just walk into any frat guy's bedroom and check out the iconic, black-and-white John Belushi “College” poster. As for director John Landis' classic comedy's sway over damn near every subsequent university-set movie, watch any one of them and take a shot for every idea, sight gag, and snobs-versus-slobs plot device jacked directly from the National Lampoon team's greatest flick. You'll be hammered before the end of the first act.

Beaming with an anarchist spirit, Animal House has provided a blueprint for all male Greek organizations since its game-changing debut in 1978. At the time, Belushi was a favorite on Saturday Night Live, but his hard-partying, Neanderthal-like character, Bluto, isn't the film's only worthwhile attribute; its cast of then-unknowns, including Kevin Bacon and Karen Allen, is uniformly hilarious.

Of course, reenacting any of the Delta House's actions seen in Landis' pic would result in any frat member's expulsion, but that's the joy behind Animal House: It's an exaggeration of Greek mayhem, punctuated by gleefully lowbrow humor and a reckless abandon that wasn't exactly in vogue throughout Hollywood, circa '78. For its lasting impact alone, Animal House deserves its own plaque on any Greek-minded university's campus.

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