6.6/10
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85 user 20 critic

The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 17 June 1988 (USA)
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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Ben Ripley (as Ian Giatti)
Hilary Gordon ...
Rebecca Gordon ...
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Zoaunne LeRoy ...
Juanita
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Waitress
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Jimbo
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Herm
Britt Leach ...
Reg
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Storyline

Nostalgic about the good old days in the honeymoon cabin, the patriarch Chet and the Ripley family set off to the idyllic woods of Wisconsin for the summer vacation. However, their plans for a peaceful family bonding in the heart of the untamed nature will be thwarted, when the high-rolling brother-in-law Roman and the snotty Craig family decide to crash the party. Eventually, as the two families try to have a good time together, a seemingly endless series of misfortunes and mini-disasters with thirsty leeches, cunning racoons and a mythical wild bear, threaten to ruin the vacation. What will it take to salvage the weekend? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The wildlife is wild, but his brother-in-law in unbearable. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,455,230
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was originally titled "Big Country". See more »

Goofs

In the pool hall scene when Buck and Cammie first meet. Cammie angrily turns around and sends Bucky's pool stick flying at the pinball machine, but it is in Bucky's hands again when she storms off. See more »

Quotes

Roman: [while barbequing lobsters] How about the gourmet here, you know what he wanted? Hotdogs! You know what they make those things out of, Chet? You know? Lips and assholes!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the end credits play over a montage of the cast dancing in Wally's bar. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Yakety Yak
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Performed by The Coasters
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Not so great
8 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

Having not seen this movie since I was about 8 I looked forward to a forgotten Candy/Aykroyd classic and a sharp script by John Hughes. As an adult though I was bitterly disappointed at how feeble and unimaginative this lame comedy is. It barely just manages to be a complete film and comes across as a haphazard collection of possible scenes from an abandoned Griswald Vacaction movie squished together in no real order.

John Candy is an earnest, bigger than life dad who takes his wife and two sons into the wilderness for a fun time in a log cabin. When they get there they are promptly interrupted by pompous brother-in-law Dan Aykroyd (in a reverse Cousin Eddie role) who imposes himself into every situation with his arrogant demeanor. There's no conflict. It's a set-up that barely develops and barely resolves.

Meanwhile a bunch of side gags occur and some extremely poor slapstick scenes make up the majority of the running time. A teen romance plot is shoehorned in there but has no real effect on anything (but I don't mind as it features jail-bait Lucy Deakins who is super cute). Absolutely none of this appears to be in any pre-planned order. Characters warp across the place, switch outfits, warp back, and switch to previous outfits. No scene relates to another and nothing properly interconnects.

Some shots appear to be sped up and a couple of smaller scenes are obviously shot in a soundstage (complete with interior echo and noticeable folds in the painted backdrop) instead of actually on location. It makes me think that they realized the movie was under- running when thrown together and re-shot some extra crap to make it longer. An eyeball-rolling "karaoke credits" (were these EVER popular with audiences?) fattens the length to an acceptable 85 minutes before the credits run over black.

Forget about this one. It's a misfire from all the talent involved. Your nostalgia for this flick will not hold up.


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