Neighbors (1981)

Neighbors (1981) - Cathy Moriarty

Taglines: Lock the doors… here come the Neighbors.

One man’s quiet suburban life takes a sickening lurch for the worse when a young couple move into the deserted house next door. From the word go it is obvious these are not the quiet professional types who *should* be living in such a nice street. As more and more unbelievable events unfold, our hero starts to question his own sanity… and those of his family.

Neighbors is a 1981 American comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Berger. It was released through Columbia Pictures, was directed by John G. Avildsen, and starred John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cathy Moriarty, and Kathryn Walker. The film takes liberties with Berger’s story, and features a more upbeat ending. The screenplay of the film is officially credited to Larry Gelbart, although it was extensively rewritten, to Gelbart’s public disapproval. Released two and a half months before John Belushi’s death, the film marks the actor’s last film performance.

Neighbors (1981)

About the Story

Earl Keese is a low-key, ineffectual, middle-class suburbanite with a wife, Enid, and a teenage daughter, Elaine. Earl’s peaceful, dreary life changes when a younger couple, Vic and Ramona, move next door. The new neighbors impose themselves on the Keese household, leaving Earl infuriated with the loud, gung-ho Vic, and flustered by the sly and seductive Ramona.

Earl is frustrated by his inability to handle them, and the fact that he can never come up with any proof that the couple are doing anything wrong on purpose. Enid and Elaine are no help, and over the course of one night, the antagonism between Earl and his new neighbors escalates into suburban warfare.

Earl begins to question his sanity, and the sanity of his wife and daughter. He realizes that his new neighbors have provided him with the most excitement he’s had in years, and that they can give him a promising future apart from suburbia and away from his family. In the film’s closing scene, Earl joins Vic and Ramona, leaving his family behind and his house on fire.

Neighbors Movie Poster (1981)

Neighbors (1981)

Directed by: John G. Avildsen
Starring: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kathryn Walker, Cathy Moriarty, Igors Gavon, Tim Kazurinsky, Tino Insana, Henry Judd Baker
Screenplay by: Larry Gelbart
Production Design by: Peter S. Larkin
Cinematography by: Gerald Hirschfeld
Film Editing by: Jane Kurson
Costume Design by: John Boxer
Set Decoration by: Thomas C. Tonery
Music by: Bill Conti
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: December 18, 1981