7.6/10
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272 user 97 critic

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

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

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(as Jeremiah Chechik)

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Cast

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

Yule crack up! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Vacation  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,700,000, 3 December 1989

Gross USA:

$71,320,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lewis and Bethany were based on George Burns and Gracie Allen, it was hoped George Burns would play Lewis. See more »

Goofs

When Clark begins to put lights on his house, the house to his left has an obvious man-made snow pattern on the roof - one part has snow, the other part does not. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Lewis: Hey Grizz, Bethany and I figured out the perfect gift for you.
Clark: Aw, you didn't have to get me anything.
Uncle Lewis: Dammit, Bethany, he guessed 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 Saturday Morning RPG (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional tune, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant
Performed by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Holidays are only complete with this movie
31 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

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.


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