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National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
"Vacation" (original title)

R  |   |  Adventure, Comedy  |  29 July 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 65,440 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 176 user | 55 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (short story "Vacation '58")
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Cast overview, first billed only:


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


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


Adventure | Comedy


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 July 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Vacation  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$61,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Wagon Queen Family Truckster is actually a modified Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon. See more »


Clark comments on "real tomato ketchup," not "homemade," so seeing a bottle of commercial ketchup in Eddie's kitchen is OK. See more »


Lasky: Has your father ever killed anyone?
Rusty: Just a dog. Oh and my Aunt Edna.
Clark: Hey you can't prove that Russ.
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 »


Referenced in Psych: Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller? (2008) See more »


Blitzkrieg Bop
Written by Tommy Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone
Performed by The Ramones (as the Ramones)
Produced by Craig Leon
Courtesy of Sire Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

How To Make A Timeless, Original, Hysterical, Satirical Comedy.
17 January 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

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

Chevy Chase stars as Clark Griswold, the typical American businessman. Well, almost a basic businessman. He works in food preservatives. Beverly D'Angelo plays his wife, Anthony Michael Hall plays Rusty, his teenage son, and Dana Barron plays his daughter Audrey . This summer, Clark has decided to go all out and take a vacation with his family to "Walley World," a theme park spoof on Disney World, owned by "Roy Walley".

Basically, this film starts out strong and ends strong. There are many gut grabbing scenes, and the film never resorts to gross out humor. The biggest gross out is when Clark bites into a sandwich a dog leaked on, but that's a different story.

Along the way to Walley World, everything and everything that can go wrong does, and Clark ends up with Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca), who adds more fun to this wallop of a comedy.

The laughter just escalates more and more as we see Clark's dreams flush down the toilet farther and farther, and I can't tell you how much I laughed at some of the scenes.

"Vacation" isn't typical National Lampoon fare.

Chevy Chase gives by far his best performance (akthough he acts just as well in "Christmas Vacation") as Clark, a real optimist, go get'm kind of guy, who completely snaps toward the end of the film. The rest of the cast does well, and Beverly D'Angelo does surprisingly well as a house wife. The two children, Audrey and Rusy, squawk at each other, but not to the point of obnoxious, which is another good thing about this film.

Is it no surprise that John Hughes, the king writer/director of the 80's comedy films wrote this, or that Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Striped, Analyze This) directed the film?

With cameos by the likes of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Brian Doyle Murray (who played Clark's boss in "Christmas Vacation"), and more, "Vacation" is a comedic triumph of the eighties that is now an icon of how to make a good comedy.

4.5/5 stars --

John Ulmer

41 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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