Christmas Vacation
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FAQ Contents

A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Christmas Vacation can be found here.

Food additive designer and avid family man Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to give his family -- wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Johnny Galecki), and daughter Audrey (Juliette Lewis) -- an old-fashioned family Christmas by cutting their own tree, decorating their house with over 25,000 lights, hosting a big family dinner for his and Ellen's parents, and using his Christmas bonus to buy a new swimming pool for the family. What he doesn't count on is Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), Uncle Lewis (William Hickey), and senile Aunt Bethany (Mae Questel) showing up.

Christmas Vacation is the third movie in the Griswold series, preceded by Vacation (1983) and European Vacation (1985) and followed by Vegas Vacation (1997). The series is based on a short story, 'Vacation '58', by American screenwriter John Hughes that appeared in National Lampoon Magazine.

That's Mele Kalikimaka, which means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian. It's sung by Bing Crosby.

When Clark tells his family what he wants for Christmas, he specifically says that he wants his boss Frank Shirley "taken from his happy home on Melody Lane". This provided Eddie with a full name and street name so it's logical to assume that Eddie did not have any trouble finding the home.

It is a desk organizer. When this movie came out, pen sets came in an L-shaped arrangement. The writing instruments were on the flat part and the raised section held post-it notes. Paper clips and other holders were also a possibility.

How does the movie end?

It's Christmas eve, and Clark's bonus finally arrives...a one year membership in the Jelly-of-the-Month Club. Clark goes berserk. Since Uncle Lewis burned down the Christmas tree while lighting his cigar, Clark grabs a chainsaw and cuts down a tree from the yard. As he finishes decorating it, a squirrel leaps out at him, causing his mother (Diane Ladd) to faint. The squirrel hides in the living room, and Clark decides to catch it by tossing his Santa jacket over it and hitting it in the head with a hammer. Ellen's mother (Doris Roberts) faints. Cousin Eddie's dog takes off after the squirrel, chasing it around the house, over the dining room table and knocking over the china cabinet until Clark opens the front door, and squirrel and dog go running out...right into Margo Chester (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who goes home and smacks her husband. Meanwhile, Eddie has kidnapped Clark's boss, Mr Shirley (Brian Doyle-Murray), tied him up and put a big red bow on his chest. Mr Shirley is hopping mad, fires Clark, and vows to call the police and have Eddie arrested. Clark says that it was all his fault and apologizes for losing his temper. He explains how getting no bonus this year has been a big letdown. Mr Shirley apologizes for not telling him and offers him the same bonus he got last year plus 20%. Clark faints. Outside, police cars and a SWAT team have surrounded Clark's house, thanks to a phone call from Mrs Shirley (Natalija Nogulich). The SWAT team invades Clark's house until Mr Shirley says that it was all a mistake. Suddenly, Rocky (Cody Burger) and Ruby Sue (Ellen Hamilton Latzen) notice a light in the sky. As everyone stands out in the snow looking at the light, Uncle Lewis says that it's not a Christmas light but a fire at the sewage station. At that moment, Uncle Lewis tosses down his match, and the entire sewage system blows up. Aunt Bethany starts singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner'. The light in the sky becomes visible again. It's Santa's sleigh, and it's on fire. In the final scene, Clark and Ellen kiss, Clark sighs, and says, 'I did it.'

Including Christmas Vacation, there are five Griswold movies: Vacation (1983), European Vacation (1985), Vegas Vacation (1997), and the video short Hotel Hell Vacation (2010). All of them feature Chevy Chase as Clark 'Sparky' Griswold and Beverly D'Angelo as his wife Ellen. Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003) features Cousin Eddie and Audrey Griswold (Dana Barron).

The third adventure of family Grisworld was censored in all media in GB in terms of one single word which has been replaced by a "nicer" one: "f*cking" was replaced by "dancing". A detailed comparison between both versions can be found here

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 8 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: bigrodrand, TaylorTC, dolfanatic314, hankeegle, bj_kuehl


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