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National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

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1:19 | Trailer

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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

Writers:

John Hughes (screenplay), John Hughes (short story "Vacation '58")
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Popularity
1,348 ( 231)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo ... Ellen Griswold
Imogene Coca ... Aunt Edna
Randy Quaid ... Cousin Eddie
Anthony Michael Hall ... Rusty Griswold
Dana Barron ... Audrey Griswold
Eddie Bracken ... Roy Walley
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Kamp Komfort Clerk
Miriam Flynn ... Cousin Catherine
James Keach ... Motorcycle Cop
Eugene Levy ... Car Salesman
Frank McRae ... Grover
John Candy ... Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld
Christie Brinkley ... The Girl in the Ferrari
Jane Krakowski ... Cousin Vicki
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Storyline

The Griswold family are on a quest. A quest to a Walley World theme park for a family vacation, but things aren't going to go exactly as planned, especially when Clark Griswold is losing all thought towards a mysterious blonde in a red Ferrari. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far.

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vacaciones See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,333,358, 29 July 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$61,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Star Ford car dealership in Glendale, California, the location scene where Clark purchases the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, is located two blocks north of Chevy Chase Drive. See more »

Goofs

Just after Clark nearly collides head on with the truck, a red truck can be seen following the Griswald's car. The red truck's distance behind the Griswald's car changes inconsistently between shots. See more »

Quotes

Clark: Why aren't we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, you see snapshots of group photos of where and who the Griswalds met on the vacation. The last photo shows you how they got home, on a plane. See more »

Alternate Versions

In recent years in AMC and Sundance Channel airings the scene when Audrey and Rusty argue the word "retard" is omitted or muted out. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Sopranos: Soprano Home Movies (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm So Excited
Written by Anita Pointer, June Pointer, Ruth Pointer, and Trevor Lawrence
Performed by The Pointer Sisters
Produced by Richard Perry
Courtesy of Planet Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"I'm On A Pilgrimage To See A Moose"
6 February 2011 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

"Getting there is half the fun", says bland family man Clark, head of the bland suburban family, the Griswolds. He's rationalizing why the family will drive from Illinois, instead of fly, to Wally World, a moose-centered family amusement park in California. What makes this film enjoyable is that the Griswolds are so typical of banal American suburban family values.

Clark (Chevy Chase) is a good-natured sap, gullibly idealistic, and conforming. His meek wife (well played by Beverly D'Angelo) looks up to Clark. Their two teenage kids are dull blockheads, patterned after their dull parents. The boy wears ugly dental braces.

Their mode of travel is a prehistoric, humorously ugly, putrid green station wagon with cheesy brown panels. The Griswolds blast off with unlimited optimism and good-natured anticipation of the fun they will have at Wally World. But the optimism gradually fades and is replaced by grim determination after a series of on-the-road disasters that make a mockery of idealism.

The film's humor lies in its absurd plot situations, and in the dialogue. At a cookout, a down-on-his-luck Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) treats the Griswolds to backyard burgers, then remarks to Clark: "I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself".

Casting is appropriate. Overall acting trends humorously exaggerated, consistent with the satire. Performances by Imogene Coca and John Candy add to the comedy. The bouncy song "Holiday Road" opens the film with a series of vintage American postcards in tandem with the opening credits.

My only reservation is that some of the plot contrivances are a bit over-the-top. The writers seem to be trying a little too hard.

"Vacation" is a satire on the banality of the traditional American summer ritual, and therefore thematically rich. Production values are fine. Though not perfect, this film is worth watching.


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