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
According to Randy Quaid, many of cousin Eddie's characteristics (most notably the clicking of the tongue) were based off a guy that Quaid knew from when he grew up in Texas years ago who had similar traits. See more »
In the close-up shots of Clark stapling, fake snow can be seen. None is present on the wider shots. See more »
No, Eddie. It was my fault. I lost my temper when I got my bonus and I guess I said a few thing I shouldn't have.
Mr. Frank Shirley:
Bonus? How did you get a bonus? I cut out bonuses this year.
Yeah. Thanks for telling us. I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club. 17 years with the company. I've gotten a Christmas bonus every year but this one. You don't want to give bonuses, fine. But when people count on them as their salary, well what you did just plain...
Thank you, Russ. My ...
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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 »
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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