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The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  17 June 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 26,350 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 17 critic

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


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


This holiday's no picnic. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Country  »

Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)


$41,455,230 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The John Candy character is named Chet Ripley, but on the packaging of its DVD release with Going Berserk (1983) and Uncle Buck (1989) his name is given as Chet Adley. See more »


Connie's dress falls on the floor when Chet is seducing her, but when Roman and his family show up, Chet takes the dress off the counter. See more »


Bartender: He's been struck by lightning... how many times has it been now, Reg?
Reg: S-s-s-s-s-s-s-six...
Chet: Six times?
Reg: S-s-s-six-six-six-six-six-six-sixty-sixty-six times. In-n-n-n-n-n-n-In-n-n-n-n-n-n-In-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n the head!
Chet: Sixty six times? God, that's gotta hurt.
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 »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Heartbeeps (2013) See more »


Big Country
Written by Bruce Gowdy, Billy Sherwood, and Peter Aykroyd
Performed & Produced by Joe Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

Aykroyd and Candy: a great combo
13 August 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

"The Great Outdoors" is what anyone would expect of a John Candy movie: completely goofy, but funny nonetheless. He plays Chet Ripley, taking his family on vacation in the wilderness. Unfortunately, Chet's unpleasant brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) is also there, and he just has to make everything miserable for Chet. In some ways, this movie seems to be rehashing "Summer Rental", but with a different tone. My favorite parts were the raccoons, the bear, and The Old '96er (I don't recommend that scene for squeamish people). All in all, it just goes to show what the world lost when John Candy died. He was really great.

P.S.: Annette Bening, in her debut, plays Roman's wife Kate.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Chet is an evil, evil man Isleden-1
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