7.4/10
97,343
213 user 65 critic

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

Trailer
1:19 | Trailer
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
814 ( 696)

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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

Having it all planned down to the last detail, the American, well-meaning paterfamilias, Clark Griswold, and his supportive wife, Ellen, take their two teenage children, Rusty and Audrey, on a cross-country trip from the suburbs of Chicago, all the way to sunny California's Walley World amusement park. However, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and before long, Ellen's cousin, Catherine, and her husband, Eddie, enter the picture, and Clark is on the verge of blowing a gasket. Now, Roy Walley's wonderful park seems so far away, and even though the prospect of a clandestine meeting with the alluring blonde in a fast, 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi sounds tempting, Clark must do the right thing, and find the promised land. How hard can it be to have the perfect vacation? Written by Nick Riganas

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Diehl and Michael Talbott, who play Switek and Zito respectively on Miami Vice (1984), appear in this movie. They do not share any scenes. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt driver for Clark 'asleep' at the wheel before they arrive at the first motel. See more »

Quotes

Ellen Griswold: Lord, we loved this woman with all our heart.
Audrey Griswold: Let's not overdo it, mom.
Ellen Griswold: Shut up.
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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 the 2003 DVD, "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters has been taken out from the scenes where The Girl In The Ferrari is driving alongside Clark. Instead, "Little Boy Sweet" (which was originally in one scene of the film) replaces "I'm So Excited". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Holiday Road
Written and Performed by Lindsey Buckingham
Produced by Richard Dashut
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
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User Reviews

 
'Excuse me, I'm looking for directions back to the expressway'
19 February 2011 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

Clark Griswold ignores his family's pleas to go to Hawaii for their summer vacation and opts for the Walley World resort in California instead. His long-suffering wife Ellen wants to fly, but Clark would rather drive and spend time with the kids he hardly ever sees.

Sounds like a simple journey from A to B right? Wrong! The Griswolds are a gene pool of absolute disaster and nothing...NOTHING goes right...ever. The fun begins with Clark being forced to accept a disgusting metallic pea-green family truckster instead of a cool-blue sports model with CB and optional fun pack. It's literally the most hideous car in the history of automobiles (and that includes the car that Homer Simpson made for his brother Herb).

As the lengthy days on the road pass, Clark is ripped-off by street hustlers, guilt-tripped out of $500 from his hick cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid in what is, begrudgingly, his most popular role), ripped-off by a hick sheriff/mechanic, and tempted by gorgeous blonde in a Ferrari. Though Ellen doesn't take kindly to anyone with an eye on her Sparky (actually D'Angelo's pet name for Chevy Chase and not something that was scripted).

Based on John Hughes' ill-fated trip to Disneyworld when he was five-years-old, Vacation brought us Chevy Chase's most famous character (sorry Fletch) and most successful series. He has absolutely perfect chemistry with Beverly D'Angelo, who, with her large eyeballs and perfect timing, is an under-rated comic actress in her own right.

While I absolutely love the first and third movies in the Vacation series, and both definitely score 10/10, I have to say the original is the best as it has a really dark edge that none of the others have. There's virtually nothing in Vacation that isn't funny. Harold Ramis, fresh off the absolute anarchy of Caddyshack, keeps a tight, sadistic reign on the disastrous road trip. If you have a dark sense of humor and enjoy evil comedy then you'll love Vacation. It was one of the first movies I ever saw and it helped turn me into the misanthropic, dysfunctional, ghoulish misfit that I am today.

Thank you, Vacation! Thank you!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vacation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,333,358, 31 July 1983

Gross USA:

$61,399,552

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$61,399,552
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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