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National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

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The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director:

Harold Ramis

Writers:

John Hughes (screenplay), John Hughes (short story "Vacation '58")
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Popularity
1,327 ( 439)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo ... Ellen Griswold
Imogene Coca ... Aunt Edna
Randy Quaid ... Cousin Eddie
Anthony Michael Hall ... Rusty Griswold
Dana Barron ... Audrey Griswold
Eddie Bracken ... Roy Walley
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Kamp Komfort Clerk
Miriam Flynn ... Cousin Catherine
James Keach ... Motorcycle Cop
Eugene Levy ... Car Salesman
Frank McRae ... Grover
John Candy ... Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld
Christie Brinkley ... The Girl in the Ferrari
Jane Krakowski ... Cousin Vicki
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Storyline

The Griswold family are on a quest. A quest to a Walley World theme park for a family vacation, but things aren't going to go exactly as planned, especially when Clark Griswold is losing all thought towards a mysterious blonde in a red Ferrari. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far.

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vacation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,333,358, 31 July 1983

Gross USA:

$61,399,552

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$61,399,552
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robin Williams and Kenneth Mars were considered to play Cousin Eddie. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Ellen says that Aunt Edna is dead, in the first cut you can see Edna blinking while her eyelids are shut. See more »

Quotes

[In Cousin Normy's backyard in the pouring rain]
Ellen Griswold: We can't leave her on the patio!
Clark Griswald: Would you rather I slipped her in the night deposit box at the funeral home?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, you see snapshots of group photos of where and who the Griswalds met on the vacation. The last photo shows you how they got home, on a plane. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released in theaters, the song "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters was present, but quickly withdrawn, having June Pointer's "Little Boy Sweet" replace it; hence why it does not appear on the soundtrack. Mistakenly, the song is credited (as should be) but not featured in the film on VHS or DVD, just when shown on TV. "Summer Hearts" by Nicolette Larson was apart of the original ending to the film, and only remains on the soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Alcohol Chugging Movie Scenes (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Holiday Road
Written and Performed by Lindsey Buckingham
Produced by Richard Dashut
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I'm On A Pilgrimage To See A Moose"
6 February 2011 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

"Getting there is half the fun", says bland family man Clark, head of the bland suburban family, the Griswolds. He's rationalizing why the family will drive from Illinois, instead of fly, to Wally World, a moose-centered family amusement park in California. What makes this film enjoyable is that the Griswolds are so typical of banal American suburban family values.

Clark (Chevy Chase) is a good-natured sap, gullibly idealistic, and conforming. His meek wife (well played by Beverly D'Angelo) looks up to Clark. Their two teenage kids are dull blockheads, patterned after their dull parents. The boy wears ugly dental braces.

Their mode of travel is a prehistoric, humorously ugly, putrid green station wagon with cheesy brown panels. The Griswolds blast off with unlimited optimism and good-natured anticipation of the fun they will have at Wally World. But the optimism gradually fades and is replaced by grim determination after a series of on-the-road disasters that make a mockery of idealism.

The film's humor lies in its absurd plot situations, and in the dialogue. At a cookout, a down-on-his-luck Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) treats the Griswolds to backyard burgers, then remarks to Clark: "I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself".

Casting is appropriate. Overall acting trends humorously exaggerated, consistent with the satire. Performances by Imogene Coca and John Candy add to the comedy. The bouncy song "Holiday Road" opens the film with a series of vintage American postcards in tandem with the opening credits.

My only reservation is that some of the plot contrivances are a bit over-the-top. The writers seem to be trying a little too hard.

"Vacation" is a satire on the banality of the traditional American summer ritual, and therefore thematically rich. Production values are fine. Though not perfect, this film is worth watching.


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