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
The Walley World parking lot was actually the parking lot at the Santa Anita Racetrack. According to Harold Ramis, when filming Clark and Rusty's footrace, the temperature outside was 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius), and the pavement was 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius). See more »
Towards the end of the film, when the Griswald's reach Wally World, Clark tells Laskey that they have an appointment. When the shot switches to Laskey it's clear that he's "reading" off a blank legal note pad. See more »
I got laid off when they closed that asbestos factory, and wouldn't you know it, the army cuts my disability pension because they said that the plate in my head wasn't big enough.
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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 »
Some prints play different music during Christie Brinkley's scenes. See more »
How To Make A Timeless, Original, Hysterical, Satirical Comedy.
Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far.
Chevy Chase stars as Clark Griswold, the typical American businessman. Well, almost a basic businessman. He works in food preservatives. Beverly D'Angelo plays his wife, Anthony Michael Hall plays Rusty, his teenage son, and Dana Barron plays his daughter Audrey . This summer, Clark has decided to go all out and take a vacation with his family to "Walley World," a theme park spoof on Disney World, owned by "Roy Walley".
Basically, this film starts out strong and ends strong. There are many gut grabbing scenes, and the film never resorts to gross out humor. The biggest gross out is when Clark bites into a sandwich a dog leaked on, but that's a different story.
Along the way to Walley World, everything and everything that can go wrong does, and Clark ends up with Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca), who adds more fun to this wallop of a comedy.
The laughter just escalates more and more as we see Clark's dreams flush down the toilet farther and farther, and I can't tell you how much I laughed at some of the scenes.
"Vacation" isn't typical National Lampoon fare.
Chevy Chase gives by far his best performance (akthough he acts just as well in "Christmas Vacation") as Clark, a real optimist, go get'm kind of guy, who completely snaps toward the end of the film. The rest of the cast does well, and Beverly D'Angelo does surprisingly well as a house wife. The two children, Audrey and Rusy, squawk at each other, but not to the point of obnoxious, which is another good thing about this film.
Is it no surprise that John Hughes, the king writer/director of the 80's comedy films wrote this, or that Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Striped, Analyze This) directed the film?
With cameos by the likes of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Brian Doyle Murray (who played Clark's boss in "Christmas Vacation"), and more, "Vacation" is a comedic triumph of the eighties that is now an icon of how to make a good comedy.
4.5/5 stars --
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