7.6/10
114,125
264 user 90 critic

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 1 December 1989 (USA)
The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director:

(as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,213 ( 352)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the fourth outing for the vacation franchise, the Griswolds have to survive Vegas fever when they go to Las Vegas for a fun family vacation.

Director: Stephen Kessler
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
Caddyshack (1980)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray
Scrooged (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Three actors accept an invitation to a Mexican village to perform their onscreen bandit fighter roles, unaware that it is the real thing.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy
Fletch (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Irwin M. "Fletch" Fletcher is a newspaper reporter being offered a large sum to off a cancerous millionaire, but is on the run, risking his job, and finding clues when it's clear the man is healthy.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Uncle Buck (1989)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother's rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: John Candy, Macaulay Culkin, Jean Louisa Kelly
Stripes (1981)
Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis
Spies Like Us (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two bumbling government employees think they are U.S. spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Art
...
...
Miriam Flynn ...
Cody Burger ...
Ellen Latzen ...
Ruby Sue (as Ellen Hamilton Latzen)
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's No Place Like Home For A Holiday! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Vacation  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$71,320,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Clark shows his coworker Bill the brochure about the swimming pool he wants to put in his backyard, he is seen drinking coffee out of a Tasmanian Devil coffee mug. Miriam Flynn (Cousin Catherine) would later go on to play the voice of Taz's mother in the cartoon Taz-Mania (1991). Additionally, Taz' father on that cartoon was a parody of Bing Crosby, whose song 'Mele Kalikimaka' appears in this film and whom Griswold mentions along White Christmas (1954). Furthermore, John Astin, who played game show host Kent Winkdale in National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), was the voice of Bull Gator on that cartoon. See more »

Goofs

The attic door that 'traps' Clark in the attic always has a way to open from the inside. The chain on the outside is a simple pull-latch mechanism that can be grasped from the inside; thus, Clark was never really trapped in the attic. See more »

Quotes

Audrey: I hope nobody I know drives by and sees me standing in the yard staring at the house in my pajamas.
Art: If they know your dad, they won't think anything of it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits feature a cartoon of Santa delivering the Griswold family's Christmas presents while also getting electrocuted, hit by bricks, falling into the snow and being chased by a rolling snowman head See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 16 December 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

O Come, All Ye Faithful
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Holidays are only complete with this movie

My Christmas is filled with ritual, as I guess most people's are. Part of that ritual is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, about which I have nothing but good things to say. This should be part of your Holiday season too, because despite it not seeming like it all the way through, the film as a whole is just so thoroughly festive, cheery and good-hearted.

It opens with a great set-piece, Clark taking his family out in the "front-wheel drive sleigh" to dig their Christmas tree out of the snow-covered ground. He's a desperate loser, but you have to love the guy, working his butt off to give his extended family the perfect Christmas. (That's the difference in this Vacation movie, by the way - the Griswolds don't go anywhere, their folks come to them).

So the shenanigans finding a tree set the pattern for a season of chaos, fighting in-laws, squirrels, stupid relatives, huge dogs, snooty neighbours and collapsing turkeys. And as if that wasn't stress enough for poor Clark, he's waiting for his Christmas bonus to come through to cover a cheque he's already written.

The script brims with festive jollity, enthusing the audience with Clark's excitement for the holidays. Stand out moments include the welcome (and hilarious) return of Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, the uber-hick sponger with a trailer-full of weirdo kids and rubber sheets, and Mae Questel's appearance as Aunt Bethany. She used to voice Betty Boo, and plays the crazy old woman to perfection.

See this movie. Get it on video. I normally watch it the first time on a miserable October Sunday, when I start to think properly about Christmas. Nothing can replace this movie as the one thing guaranteed to get me looking forward to late December. Fabulous stuff, and as festive for me as tinsel and carols. Cuddle up with this one.


107 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page