7.6/10
108,393
255 user 85 critic

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 1 December 1989 (USA)
Trailer
2:20 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director:

(as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
54 ( 67)

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
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
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
Bad Santa (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham
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
Caddyshack (1980)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.

Director: Seth Gordon
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Mary Steenburgen
Love Actually (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Director: Richard Curtis
Stars: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Art
...
...
Cousin Eddie Johnson
Miriam Flynn ...
Cousin Catherine Johnson
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:

Yule crack up! 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

Randy Quaid and Natalija Nogulich have the same exact date of birth-October 01, 1950. See more »

Goofs

While the family is standing in the doorway after Clark gets the Christmas lights working, you can clearly see that this house is different from the house used for the inside shots. The inside shots show that the wooden stairs are directly in front of the doorway, however when shown in this scene the stairs are gone. See more »

Quotes

Eddie: If only I had that money Catherine and I gave to that TV preacher who was screwin' that hockey player.
Clark: What about the kids?
Eddie: His kids can fend for themselves.
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 »


Soundtracks

12 Days of Christmas
Traditional
Performed by Perry Como
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Best Vaction/Christmas Movie
14 November 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

Poor Clark Griswold, no matter how optimistic he is, his family vacations always seem to go severely wrong. First time around he went across America in a metallic pea Station Wagon and it ended in disaster. Then they went across Europe and met similar, albeit much less funny, results.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Griswolds, Clark is food additives expert who works for a company that doesn't appreciate him. He sets high standards for holiday events that no one can live up to and is notorious for dragging his grudging family along on every painstaking detail of every scheme. His wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) is the voice of reason, who keeps the family rooted in reality and responds with frequent deadpan bewilderment to his constant disasters. The long-suffering kids, Russ and Audrey (Johnny Galecki and a very young Juliette Lewis) have turned into the living embodiment of pure cynicism, but there's no talking any sense into Clark Griswold. Ever!

But now Clark just wants to stay at home in the snowy Chicago suburbs for a 'fun, old-fashioned, family Christmas' and he's going to let nothing stop him. His enthusiasm for the holidays manages to infect the audience and you'll be rooting for him the whole way. He's an anti-Scrooge and if you're having a Christmas crisis then you need to watch this movie. Any disasters can be overcome.

But that's easier said than done. He didn't bargain on bickering family members (including the voice of Betty Boop, Mae Questel, as a senile old aunt), a house covered in non-working Christmas lights, a seriously over-cooked turkey, snotty Yuppie neighbors making fun of him or Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his hickabilly family turning up unannounced to sponge some Christmas cheer off him.

What stops it from being just another generic Christmas movie is a brilliant script by John Hughes packed full of hilarious set-pieces and perfect comic timing from Chevy Chase. He's a great actor but his appeal sadly declined in the 90s when he refused to evolve into more serious roles like Bill Murray did. Clark Griswold and Fletch are probably his most famous roles and this Vacation is definitely one you need to take.

It's hard to pick the best moments but Randy Quaid's sudden appearance will make you grin a mile wide, a cat wrapped up in a box (with Happy Birthday paper!) that meets an unfortunate end and 'an asshole in his bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into the sewer' are just plain brilliant. But what gives Christmas Vacation something more that makes it so much more special that all the other Christmas movies is that wonderful theme song! It's absolutely brilliant! But that ain't the only great tune the film as to offer. There are also some classic songs by Ray Charles, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry.

Although not the best of the bunch (Harold Ramis' direction had an evil edge to the first film that made it just that little bit better), this film has become a Yuletide classic and must be watched every year. Since Christmas is full of annual traditions this film is definitely one you should add to the list. It would criminal to give it anything less that the highly coveted 10/10.


80 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What is Clark's deal? thephoenixxx
Am I the only one that doesn't like the message about feeling entitled jasonvoigt
How poor is Clark? homerj208
They were afraid of squirrel? Metroid_Primer
Rusty is Leonard from Big Bang Theory! plantladydeb
Who was the other kid in the family? jmckee1984

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?