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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
"Christmas Vacation" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  1 December 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 96,574 users  
Reviews: 245 user | 82 critic

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


(as Jeremiah Chechik)


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Fletch is a reporter for a Los Angeles newspaper, but he acts more like a detective. When an obscure relative leaves him a Louisiana mansion in his will, Fletch is naturally curious. ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cody Burger ...
Ellen Hamilton Latzen ...


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


Yule crack up! See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)


$71,320,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Several actors from "Christmas Vacation" have also appeared in movies with Jack Nicholson. Randy Quaid appeared in The Last Detail (1973) and The Missouri Breaks (1976). Diane Ladd appeared in The Rebel Rousers (1970) and Chinatown (1974). John Randolph and William Hickey appeared in Prizzi's Honor (1985). Beverly D'Angelo appeared in Man Trouble (1992). Natalija Nogulich was Jo Hoffa to Nicholson's Jimmy Hoffa in Hoffa (1992). Juliette Lewis appeared in The Evening Star (1996). Brian Doyle-Murray appeared in As Good as It Gets (1997). See more »


Ellen is looking at the house when the Christmas lights first go on with the light switch. When the switch is turned off she leaves and Clark returns. The extension cord is not plugged in when Clark picks it up. If that was the case the lights would not have turned on with the light switch. See more »


Margo: I hope he falls and breaks his neck.
Todd: Oh, I'm sure he'll fall. But I don't think we're lucky enough for him to break his neck.
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 »


Referenced in Barry Norman's Christmas Movie Quiz (2007) See more »


Christmas Vacation
Written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann
Performed by Mavis Staples
Courtesy of Paisley Park Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A wonderful comedy and Christmas movie
22 July 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is probably the best Vacation film to come from the National Lampoon series. There are so many laughs to go around (thanks to writer John Hughes) that it boggles the mind (and it might be the final time Checy Chase brings belly laughs). Here, the Griswalds don't go on a vacation, but instead the family stays in Chicago where there relatives come to town and hell will come too. Randy Quaid makes this film a treat by having just laugh out loud moments on the screen. Great fun for the whole family (I think). A+

43 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Name a part you DIDN'T like motter25420-153-699254
How poor is Clark? homerj208
Best Christmas movies since this one. michaelward15
Has this movie cult following in the US? AkiraDLuffy
They were afraid of squirrel? Metroid_Primer
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