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Christmas Vacation (1989)

 -  Comedy  -  1 December 1989 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 89,880 users  
Reviews: 241 user | 81 critic

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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Title: Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Cast

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Miriam Flynn ...
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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:

National Lampoon's 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:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beverly d'Angelo had starred with Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette, in Every Which Way But Loose. See more »

Goofs

When Clark goes outside to cut down a new Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, the lights on the tree that has just burned down (and can be seen lying on the curb, with the lights still on it) are visible through the living room window. See more »

Quotes

[Todd and Margo Chester, the Griswold's yuppie neighbors, appear]
Todd: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd: You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark: I wasn't talking to you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"THE END" is lit up in Christmas lights. One of the bulbs pops, making the lit up "THE END" go dark. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.3 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
(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.


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Name a part you DIDN'T like motter25420-153-699254
Best Christmas movies since this one. michaelward15
How poor is Clark? homerj208
Has this movie cult following in the US? DarkKnight93
This and home alone 1 are my 2 must watch christmas movies ever year geobomber
They were afraid of squirrel? Metroid_Primer
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