Vegas Vacation (1997)
Frequently Asked Questions
When Clark "Sparky" Griswold (Chevy Chase) gets a substantial bonus at work for the approval of his long-life food preservative, he decides to take his whole family—wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Ethan Embry), and daughter Audrey (Marisol Nichols)—to "Fantastic Las Vegas" where Clark intends to renew his wedding vows with Ellen. While in Vegas, they cross paths with Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family, who are now living on an old bomb-testing site in the desert just north of Vegas. While Clark tries his luck in the casinos, Ellen catches the eye of Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton, Audrey takes up cage dancing with Cousin Vicki (Shae D'lyn), and Rusty fakes an ID and becomes a high roller. After losing all of the family savings at the blackjack tables, Clark finally learns the meaning of "family".
Vegas Vacation is the fourth movie in the Griswold series, preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) (1983), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) (1985), and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) (1989). The series is based on a short story, "Vacation '58", by American screenwriter John Hughes that appeared in National Lampoon Magazine.
No, although it may seem that way when Clark talks about how he and Ellen used to wrap them in blankets and roll them back and forth on the bed. However, when Ellen chooses the numbers to play Keno, she chooses the kids' birthdays. Audrey was born on the 7th and Rusty on the 16th, so they can't be twins.
...the opening credits roll? "Good Vibrations" sung by The Beach Boys
...Ellen and Clark go to the bathroom in the airplane? "Garota De Ipanema" performed by Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim
...the Griswolds are driving down the strip? "Born To Be Alive" sung by Patrick Hernandez
...Roy and the tiger are spinning on the giant disco ball? 'Bless Us All] by Jerry Bilik
...Clark sees Christie Brinkley in the red Ferrari? "Holiday Road" sung by Lindsey Buckingham
...Wayne Newton and Ellen sing together? "Loving You" written by Minnie Riperton and Dick Rudolph
...Audrey is riding in the back of a truck with Vicki? "Hey Girl" performed by Frosted
...Audrey climbs on the sign to dance? "Ready to Go" performed by Republica
...Rusty wins his first car and again when he gets a massage? "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" sung by Dean Martin
...Clark gets money from the ATM? "All Along the Watchtower" performed by Marc Ferrari and Paul Taylor in Jimi Hendrix style
...Audrey is dancing in the cage? "My Love" sung by Kellee
Clark steals a Viva Vegas Tour bus and drives to Shenandoah to get Ellen away from Wayne Newton. They then pull Rusty from his high roller suite and retrieve Audrey from her cage. With the Griswold family back together again but out of money, they decide to use their last $2.00 to try and win some back by playing a game of Keno. While Ellen chooses the numbers, Clark talks with the man seated next to them. Lonely Mr Ellis (Sid Caesar) wants nothing more than a family, so Clark invites him to be a part of the Griswold family for the night, and Ellis gratefully accepts. The Keno caller begins to call out the winning numbers, but the Griswolds get only one of the 10 numbers. However, Ellis gets them all, winning the game. Suddenly, Ellis keels over, dropping his Keno card on the floor. Rusty goes for help, but Ellis revives long enough to whisper "Take the card" in Clark's ear before he passes out again. Just as the medics arrive to carry him away on a stretcher, Ellis winks at Clark. Clark retrieves the fallen Keno card and, with the windfall, decides the time is right for him and Ellen to repeat their vows. In the final scene, Clark gives Eddie $5,000, and Rusty points out the four cars a Dodge Viper, a Ford Aspire, a Ford Mustang, and a Hummer H1 that he won. Each of the Griswolds take a car, and they head back to Chicago.
There are five. Vegas Vacation was preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) (1983), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) (1985), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) (1989) and Vegas Vacation (1997) (1997), and followed by the 14-minute video short Hotel Hell Vacation (2010) (2010). A sixth Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003) (2003) aired on NBC but only features Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie. In 2015, a seventh installment, a sequel/reboot, Vacation (2015), was released, continuing the series' canon with an adult Rusty taking his family to Walley World before the park closes forever.
Screenwriter John Hughes used to write for National Lampoon magazine and penned Vacation, European Vacation, and Christmas Vacation, while working there. Thus, they have the "National Lampoon" moniker. The screenplay for Vegas Vacation wasn't written by Hughes (it was written by Elisa Bell), so the "National Lampoon" headline was dropped. So, in other words: while the "Vegas Vacation" may be the Griswold family's, it is not National Lampoon's.