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National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story "Vacation '58")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Clark Griswold
... Ellen Griswold
... Aunt Edna
... Cousin Eddie
... Rusty Griswold
... Audrey Griswold
... Roy Walley
... Kamp Komfort Clerk
... Cousin Catherine
... Motorcycle Cop
... Car Salesman
... Grover
... Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld
... The Girl in the Ferrari
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Vacation  »

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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:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Exterior filming of the Griswolds "on the road" took the greater part of three months during production, crossing numerous states including California, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Illinois, which was filmed by a second unit. While most of the principle filming took place in California, the cast did travel on-location for scenes set in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. See more »

Goofs

Ellen's hairstyle changes quite dramatically towards the end of the film (at around the time that Aunt Edna is dropped off at Flagstaff), from wavy to a poodle perm. Result of last minute reshoots. See more »

Quotes

Cousin Eddie: I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself, huh? I like it better than tuna helper myself, don't you, Clark?
Clark: You're the gourmet around here, Eddie.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Great American Road Trip: Pilot (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Walley World National Anthem
Music by Bruce Belland and Roy M. Rogosin
Lyrics by John Hughes, Bruce Belland, and Roy M. Rogosin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'Excuse me, I'm looking for directions back to the expressway'
19 February 2011 | by See 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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