National Lampoon's European Vacation
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for European Vacation can be found here.

When the Griswolds accidentally win the grand prize—a trip to Europe—while competing on a game show called "Pig in a Poke," father Clark (Chevy Chase), mother Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Jason Lively) and daughter Audrey (Dana Hill) pack their bags and head for London, Paris, Germany, and Rome, hoping to see all the sights. Even with their itinerary laid out for them, things don't always (in fact, never) go as planned in the Griswold world.

European Vacation is the second movie in the Griswold series, preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and followed by National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) and Vegas Vacation (1997). The series is based on a short story, "Vacation '58", by American screenwriter John Hughes that appeared in National Lampoon Magazine.

The "Germany" scenes were actually filmed in Brixen, Italy, in the Tyrol region (northern Italy) near the Dolomites. This region was once part of the Hapsburg empire and culturally the people are more Germanic and speak German as their primary language in addition to Italian. Many of the towns share the same architecture and layout of other German-speaking Alpine countries such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

The title in Italian is "La Donna nella Doccia." Closed captioning translates it as "The Wet Hot Wife". The actual translation from Italian to English, however, is simply "Woman in the Shower".

Clark and Audrey chase after Ellen, who has been kidnapped by the Travelers check thief. Along the way, they run into (literally) Rusty having gelato with a California girl (Moon Unit Zappa) he just met, and Clark takes them along. When his car gets a flat tire, Clark steals a bicycle and continues to follow Ellen, leaving the kids behind to tend to the man in the trunk. When Clark catches up to the car, a red Volkwagon convertible, Ellen pulls him off the bike and into the car. In the chaos that ensues, the thief drives the car into a Roman fountain. The police arrive and capture the thief, Ellen embraces Clark for being her hero, Rusty admits to his new friend that his parents are pretty cool, and Audrey just asks if they can go home now. The next day, as their Pan Am jet approaches New York, Clark and Ellen profess their delight at being home again. In the final scene, Clark mistakes the door into the cockpit as the lavatory door and stumbles on top of the pilots, causing the plane to go into a nosedive that knocks the torch out of the hand of the Statue of Liberty. Yup, the Griswolds are back.

There are five. European Vacation was preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and followed by National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997), and the 14-minute video short Hotel Hell Vacation (2010). All of them feature Chevy Chase as Clark "Sparky" Griswold and Beverly D'Angelo as his wife, Ellen. A sixth Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003) aired on NBC but only features Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie.


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