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The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 17 June 1988 (USA)
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A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hilary Gordon ...
Rebecca Gordon ...
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Zoaunne LeRoy ...
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John Bloom ...
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Britt Leach ...
Reg
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Storyline

Big-hearted Chicago family man Chet has brought his family to a lakeside resort area, and although his wife and kids aren't quite as excited as he is, Chet has high hopes for the vacation. However, his optimism is sabotaged when his obnoxious brother-in-law Roman drops in unexpectedly, along with his snooty, strange family. Chet and his family try to stay open-minded, but they find it difficult to relax and enjoy themselves because of the constant annoyance of Roman's presence. Written by William Agee <wa0521@broncho.ucok.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A week in the woods with Roman and Chet: This is no holiday...this is war! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Country  »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$41,455,230 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture was filmed during October and November 1987. See more »

Goofs

When Chet is skiing and jumps the bushes, a small ski ramp is visible. See more »

Quotes

[the family has just returned from a restaurant where Chet finished a 96oz steak. They find that raccoons have overturned the garbage cans]
Roman: Look at the size of the maggots on that meat!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Subtitled conversation between two raccoons -- Raccoon #1: "Why's Jody sitting in the lake?" Raccoon #2: "You didn't hear? She got shot in the ass!" Raccoon #1: "Oh no! Don't tell me..." Raccoon #2: "Yup... She's bald on both ends now!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Baby's Day Out Review (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Land of a Thousand Dances
Written by Chris Kenner and Fats Domino (as Antoine Domino)
Performed by Wilson Pickett
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gets by on goodwill from the actors alone
28 December 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this film and liking it as a kid. It was always the 'bald bear' film to me containing as it does a roguish grizzly who plays a central role in the proceedings. Otherwise the format of the film is very simplistic and features a couple of families who decide to go on a vacation together and end up warring.

The script was written by John Hughes and there's a slight sense that he's on autopilot here, with little meat to the storyline. For the most part THE GREAT OUTDOORS gets by on the goodwill generated from the central pairing of Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Candy is a warm, lovable presence as ever, and Aykroyd gets some nicely acerbic moments. The supporting cast, which includes Annette Bening, is a bit more of a disappointment.

A lot of the jokes are merely average but they do pass the time quickly enough. Some of the moments, like the steak eating contest, are hilarious, and the climax is very good too. But in other respects THE GREAT OUTDOORS feels a bit like a poor cousin of the popular 'Vacation' film series featuring Chevy Chase.


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