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National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) Poster

Trivia

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All the cast members had terrible experiences when it came to filming the scenes inside Walley World, where they rode all of the roller coasters and other rides. In the commentary, Chevy Chase mentions that many of the rides made him and the other cast members vomit, especially since they all had to ride them several times for each take. Dana Barron mentioned in the commentary that the coasters made her so sick, she had to take motion sickness pills, and would pass out on nearby benches between takes. Finally, Anthony Michael Hall mentions that in the shots on the roller coaster, where he looks scared, he wasn't acting, his fear in those shots was genuine.
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In the scene where the Griswolds are in the parking lot staring at Walley World, they are actually looking at the Santa Anita Racetrack. Harold Ramis said they cut the racetrack out of the frame, and replaced it with a hand painted picture of Walley World.
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In the Walley World scenes, Anthony Michael Hall is taller than Beverly D'Angelo; in previous scenes with her, he was the same height as her. This was because Hall grew three inches after principal photography finished. The ending was re-shot four months afterward, because the original ending failed with test audiences.
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Many bits in the film were improvised, including Clark's dance with his sandwich, Clark's send-off to Aunt Edna, and Rusty's chugging of the beer.
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Imogene Coca originally turned down the part of Aunt Edna, because she did not think she could portray such a mean character. Even during filming, she was often concerned that she was being too mean to her fellow cast members.
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The theme park that served as Walley World was actually Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. The roller coaster, referred by Clark as the "Whipper Snapper", is actually called "The Revolution", and was the first roller coaster to have a 360-degree vertical loop.
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Daisy Mabel (Cousin Eddie's tongueless daughter) was played by director Harold Ramis' daughter, Violet.
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According to Dana Barron, originally Audrey was the older sibling, but in the re-shot ending, they had to change it to Rusty being older, because Anthony Michael Hall had a growth spurt, and was now taller than her and Beverly D'Angelo.
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The original ending, in which the Griswolds hold Roy Walley and his family hostage in their house, was re-created as part of the ending to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989).
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Chevy Chase appears in some scenes wearing a blue Chicago Bears ball cap. He wears the same Chicago Bears cap throughout all four Vacation movies.
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John Candy was paid $1 million for his brief appearance at the end of the movie.
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Imogene Coca suffered what is believed to have been a stroke during production. Harold Ramis said they filmed a scene that morning, and by that afternoon she couldn't remember anything they did. After getting out of the hospital, she and her husband worked together to re-learn her lines, and get her back on-set to finish the movie.
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In the DVD commentary, Chevy Chase mentions that the scene in which Rusty puts his feet up on top of the driver's seat was originally not in the script, but the producers liked it, so it was kept in the movie.
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Although the original ending has never been released to the public, Chevy Chase says in the DVD commentary that he has a tape of the movie with the original ending.
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According to Rena Fruchter's 2007 biography "I'm Chevy Chase...and You're Not", Harold Ramis and Chevy Chase did uncredited re-writes of the screenplay, shifting the focus from the teenagers to the parents. For instance, the Ferrari Girl (Christie Brinkley) was originally to be a thirteen-year-old love interest for Rusty instead of Clark.
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John Hughes' script was inspired by an equally ill-fated family trip to Disneyland when he was five years old, which was what his National Lampoon Magazine article "Vacation '58" was about.
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Originally, the producers wanted Christie Brinkley to appear naked in the film, but she refused. A compromise was reached, where she stripped down to her bra and panties before jumping in the pool with Clark.
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Jeffrey Katzenberg was working at Paramount when Matty Simmons brought him John Hughes' script. He rejected it on the grounds that it was too episodic, which Simmons countered by saying that it was a road movie, so it was, by definition, episodic. Simmons then took the property to Warner Brothers, where it was snapped up.
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Chevy Chase and James Keach stated in interviews that during the "Dog tied to the bumper" scene, both he and Chevy were legitimately tearing up, and that Chevy consistently biting his lips and his shortness of breath were genuine. All because they were trying so hard to contain themselves from laughing.
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In the DVD commentary, Harold Ramis mentions that for the scene in which the Family Truckster jumps into the air, several of the crew members had made bets against second unit director Dick Ziker, that he couldn't jump the car more than fifty feet (even drawing lines in the sand to measure the distance). Ziker ended up winning that bet, as he jumped the car more than fifty feet.
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John Candy's cameo at the end of the film was only made possible due to the poor reception the original ending produced from test audiences. Harold Ramis turned to Candy, because he found his character Wally Wypyzypychwk, a Canadian security guard, which Candy had created for his stand-up and television appearances, to be just right for the part. Candy basically modeled his performance as Lasky after the nervy security guard character he had been portraying for years.
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According to Anthony Michael Hall, originally it was supposed to be Chevy Chase in the front seat of the roller coaster with John Candy. With the combined size of both men, they couldn't fit, so the change was made with Rusty being in the front seat, instead of Clark.
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Despite playing their mother, Beverly D'Angelo is only 15 years older than Dana Barron and 17 years older than Anthony Michael Hall.
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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).
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According to Anthony Michael Hall, the beer can from which he drank was empty.
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Based on the article "Vacation 58" by John Hughes, which appeared in the September 1979 issue of National Lampoon Magazine.
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On February 7, 2010, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprised their characters from Vacation in a Super Bowl ad for the vacation rental website HomeAway.com, with the Wagon Queen Family Truckster making an appearance in the ad. Following the Super Bowl, the website also featured a two-part Vacation mini-movie called "Hotel Hell Vacation".
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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.
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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.
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When Clark and Rusty are racing to get to Wally World's entrance in slow motion to the theme music in Chariots of Fire, a Vacation commentary mentioned that the pavement on which they were running was at least 130 degrees. There were several retakes of that scene, and Anthony Michael Hall had to go to the hospital to be treated for heat stroke. Several cast and crew members faced ill-effects from the extreme heat and the long-term effects of traveling from state to state with no ways to stay cool.
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When the Griswolds first enter the saloon in Dodge City, one can see clearly see Christie Brinkley featured in a Coppertone sunscreen advertisement on the front desk.
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There was a Walley World Water Park in London, Ontario, Canada, which opened several years after the movie was released. John Candy was invited to the opening of the park, but the park owners couldn't afford his appearance fee.
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The St. Louis inner city and the Dodge City main street were created and filmed on the Warner Brothers' studio backlot.
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In the opening credits of Married... With Children, when the camera pans back from the on-ramp, you can see the Family Truckster on the ramp. It's the same footage from the movie when The Ramones begin to play. Both Married... With Children and Vacation are set, at least partially, in Chicago and is the family's hometown in both shows.
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Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
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The "W" in Clark W. Griswold stands for Wilhelm.
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In the scene where the car vaults off the closed road, Rusty says to Clark "Gee, Dad, you must've jumped this thing about fifty yards!" The crew had made a bet off camera as to whether the car would travel more than fifty feet, which it did.
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Imogene Coca was very afraid of car travel.
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Film debut of Jane Krakowski.
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According to Harold Ramis, he was inspired to shoot wide-angle shots of Clark alone in the desert by Quest for Fire (1981).
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When Clark arrives at the gas station after walking through the desert, the sign on the door says: "Sorry, We Are Open".
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The poster art was by fantasy illustrator Boris Vallejo, and is a parody of the poster art for Conan the Barbarian (1982).
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The character of Roy Walley was based on a combination of the brothers Roy O. Disney and Walt Disney, as well as Roy's son Roy Edward Disney, right down to the thin mustache.
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For the scene in Dodge City, where Clark taunts the ornery bartender, who ends up shooting him with a blank-loaded shotgun, one of the prop guys ended up playing a practical joke on the cast members during one of the takes. During that particular take, after the bartender shoots at Clark, the prop guy tossed down a dummy from the second level of the set, and the entire cast jumped in surprise afterward.
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When Clark drives to the sporting goods store after leaving Walley World, the Truckster makes a hard left through a red light and nearly hits an oncoming Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon, the same vehicle from which the Wagon Queen Family Truckster was modified.
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The Wagon Queen Family Truckster is actually a modified 1980 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon.
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The scene where the station wagon goes airborne in the Arizona desert actually caused some production changes, due to the hard nose-landing that wasn't expected. Among those were matching the exact front-end damage on other station wagons used in other scenes.
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During the scene where Clark is showing the family the vacation route on the computer, and Rusty is chasing the Family Truckster with his game character, some of the sounds are from Mattel Intellivision games. Some are: Football and Basketball (referee whistle), Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack (gong sound), and Donkey Kong (Jump sound).
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There was a deleted scene that took place after the redneck mechanics clean Clark out of all his money for the car repairs, and Clark mentions that they're going to run out of gas. In the deleted scene, they do run out of gas, and Clark, Ellen, and the kids are forced to push the car (with Edna still inside of it) to the nearest gas station. The attendant fills the car up with gas, and then Clark drives away very fast without paying for it, because he has no money. The attendant then runs after them on foot, but of course doesn't catch them. That gas station is also where Clark got those sandwiches, because later after leaving the Grand Canyon motel, he tells Russ to get out the sandwiches he got at the gas station.
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Although Audrey is the younger sister of Rusty in the movie. Dana Barron is actually older than Anthony Michael Hall in real life.
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Chevy Chase couldn't see the woman at the gas station standing behind him. When he rips the back license plate off, it come very close to hitting her in the head. The look of shock and concern on Chase's face was genuine.
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All of the distant shots of Walley World, including the sign under which the Family Truckster drives, were matte paintings. The original matte painting of the entrance to Walley World (just as the Griswold family arrives to see the park is closed for two weeks) now hangs in the office of J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot Productions.
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In the scene where the Griswolds first stop for directions in downtown St. Louis, a bar called "Ron Frazier's Downtown Bar" can be seen in the background. Ron Frazier is an uncredited propmaker foreman on the film.
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There were two scenes which were in the original script and shot, but were cut from the final version of the film. One scene had the Kamp Komfort Manager (Brian Doyle-Murray) dress up in a moose costume and sneak into Clark and Ellen's tent to scare them (which explains the "wildlife fun" the Manager mentioned as they checked in). That scene was cut, because it made the sequence run too long, so it was re-written to have Dinky sneak into the tent instead. The second scene was one featuring the two Native Americans (the same ones who see Clark wandering aimlessly through the desert and say "What an asshole") as well as a camel rider, who finds Ellen and the rest of the family, and rescues them. That scene was cut, because, according to Harold Ramis, the camel had been raised in Burbank, and had only ever walked on pavement, and the camel did not take to walking on hot sand very well. All the shots of the camel were unusable. Remnants of both cut scenes appear as photos during the ending credits photo montage.
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The scenes at Cousin Eddie's house were shot at a farm house in Boone, Colorado, just east of Pueblo. A modified Family Truckster station wagon was used as the crew travelled, which had no engine compartment, and had camera tracks around all sides of the vehicle. The crew gathered shots as they traveled the United States.
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Elmer Bernstein was first approached by Harold Ramis to do the score for this film, but he turned it down as he was busy working on the score for Trading Places (1983). Ramis then hired Ralph Burns to do the score as he had been impressed with his work on Urban Cowboy (1980).
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The childhood pictures of Audrey on the living room wall were portfolio shots of Dana Barron when she was making commercials as a child.
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Despite only having a few scenes, Christie Brinkley stayed for the entire length of the film shoot. She spent her days off going horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
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According to Harold Ramis, he cast John Candy in the role of Laskey the security guard because he had enjoyed working with Candy on SCTV (1976) (Canada's version of Saturday Night Live (1975)) and that he also loved Candy's "Paul Fistinyourface" character from the show. Ramis had Candy play the character as a sort of relative to Paul Fistinyourface. Also worth mentioning is that Eugene Levy (the car salesman) also worked with Candy and Ramis on SCTV. Plus, Ramis had enjoyed working with Candy on Stripes (1981).
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The bed in the early hotel scene didn't actually vibrate. The effect was done with crewmen laying under the bed and shaking it by hand. Chevy Chase's shaky voice was pulled off by the actor himself.
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Harold Ramis notes that any time there is cussing in the film, they had also shot another take of the same moment minus the foul language to get footage to include for when the film aired on TV. Clark's speech when he's fed up with his family, was shot three different ways with Chevy Chase handling the cussing differently each time. According to Ramis, nothing worked quite as well as Chase going full-bore and letting the F-bombs fly.
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As the Griswolds are leaving Chicago, you can see the Buckingham fountain (a popular attraction in Chicago's Grant Park used in the intro to Married... with Children (1987)) in the background at one point.
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Kim Cattrall was the original choice for Ellen Griswold.
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Robin Williams and Kenneth Mars were considered to play Cousin Eddie.
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According to the commentary, the heat was unbearable traveling through several states. Huge trucks carrying cast, crew, food, equipment, and supplies were used. Anthony Michael Hall remembers it being well over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) in the shade. Cast and crew passed out from the heat. Imogene Coca suffered a mild stroke and amnesia. She couldn't remember her lines, or the scenes they had previously shot. She came back after recovery, and amazingly remembered her lines as if nothing had happened. Tempers flared once between Harold Ramis and Chevy Chase, and Chevy threw a suitcase at him.
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Clark and Ellen singing during the trip wasn't part of the original screenplay. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo ended up singing to pass the time, and they decided to add it into their characters.
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Matty Simmons remembers when Anthony Michael Hall was cast as Rusty. The only note the producer gave was the boy "had to keep his braces."
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At the end of production, Chevy Chase gave Anthony Michael Hall a signed photo that said, "Michael, no mas, no mas. If you're going blind, you're doing it right."
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There was a deleted scene, scripted, probably filmed, but cut, in which Rusty is seduced by a prostitute at the final motel. (From simplyscripts dot com National Lampoon's Vacation, FOURTH DRAFT APRIL 30, 1982.) It's Immediately after Clark and Christie Brinkley were in the motel pool together: -EXT. MOTEL BALCONY -...Rusty, alone now, glances to his left and sees the Hooker looking him over. -HOOKER: "Hey, Cowboy, Wanna have a party?" -RUSTY: "Where?" -HOOKER: "In my bed." -RUSTY: "Who's coming?" -HOOKER: "Just you." -Rusty disappears into her room just as Clark rounds the corner.

The below scene, occurring a little later, is all that is actually seen of the Hooker (played by Tessa Richarde): -EXT. MOTEL BALCONY -Audrey, Rusty and the Hooker watch in total amazement as Clark and Ellen splash around in the pool yelling expletives.
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The roller coasters featured are the Revolution and Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Revolution, the first modern coaster to feature a vertical loop, still operates, while Collossus closed in 2014, and was rebuilt with steel tracks and an altered layout, including two inversions, in 2015 as Twisted Colossus.
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The opening scene at the Chicago car dealership was filmed at Star Ford in Glendale, California. As of 2021, the location is still there with the same buildings that were in the movie. However, Star Ford moved down the street, and the former Star Ford is now Glendale Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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During the scene where Clark and Ellen are washing dishes, Chevy Chase points out that he never actually washes the dishes. Beverly D'Angelo wipes the food off the plate, hand the plate to Clark, Clark dries the plate, and puts the plate in the cabinet. Chase notes that no one ever notices that. Matty Simmons mentions people do notice that joke, to which Chase has a hard time believing him.
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Matty Simmons and Warner Brothers executive Mark Canton wanted John Landis to direct this movie. Simmons talked to him about it, but Landis turned it down because he was working on An American Werewolf in London (1981) at the same time.
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The campground clerk, played by Brian Doyle-Murray, later played the role of Clark's cheapskate boss, Mr. Shirley, in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989).
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With an inflation rate of near 3% per year, the $52,000 Eddie mentioned needing in 1983 would be worth roughly $137,316 in 2021.
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Apparently John Diehl, who plays the assistant mechanic, is a very method actor. Anthony Michael Hall and Chevy Chase remember the actor rolling around in oil before they filmed his scenes.
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Christie Brinkley is driving a Ferrari 308 GTS with California plates that say, "LUV ME".
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When Ellen notices that Aunt Edna has passed away, Clark suddenly veers off the paved highway before coming to a stop on a rocky dirt strip. This shot was filmed from the Schnebly Hill Vista along Schnebly Hill Road near Sedona, Arizona. The point where the car stops is actually several miles down a dirt road between highway 17 and the town of Sedona.
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The clicking sound Cousin Eddie makes with his tongue was something Randy Quaid came up with for the character. According to Harold Ramis, Quaid marked every spot in the script where he wanted Cousin Eddie to make the noise, something he had picked up from someone he knew growing up.
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No one in the film even knew how Cousin Eddie was related to the clan. "We never really did a family tree on Cousin Eddie," said Matty Simmons. They finally workef out that Ellen and Catherine, Eddie's wife (Miriam Flynn), were cousins. Simmons joked they wouldn't have Eddie and Ellen be directly related.
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The gas station and sporting goods store, where Clark purchases his BB gun, were located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. While it was previously noted here that both buildings were torn down and replaced by high-rise apartments, in reality they were restaurants that have since become other restaurants.
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"Another director said that shooting is the only time you're making the film worse," says Harold Ramis, who goes on to explain that, when you're writing, you're constantly fine tuning it and making it the best screenplay you can, and, when you're editing, you're putting all the footage you've shot together to make a coherent and entertaining film. He notes that actually shooting the film reveals the script to not be as funny as you though it was, things don't go as planned and it never, ever comes out the way you had hoped. "Every shooting day is a big challenge, but we were feeling like we were accomplishing something good every day."
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Five Family Trucksters were built to show the different stages of the car throughout the movie. Harold Ramis notes later in the commentary he believes one or two were still intact at the end of production. The vehicles used after huge jump at the halfway mark had to be beaten up to match the damage done to the car in the jump.
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Chevy Chase adopted Stinky (Aunt Edna's dog) after filming was completed.
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According to Matty Simmons, when they first went to hire Imogene Coca as Aunt Edna, the actress wasn't sure she could play that mean of a role. Simmons convinced her by telling her she was a great actress who could play it as mean as she wanted. There were times in the car where she would turn to Dana Barron or Anthony Michael Hall and ask if she was being too mean.
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In the Blu-ray commentary, Chevy Chase mentions that Randy Lowell, a.k.a. Randolph Lowell Dreyfuss (Wyatt Earp), is actually the brother of Richard Dreyfuss.
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Harold Ramis said in the DVD commentary that the scene where the Griswolds get off the wrong exit in St. Louis, and get lost in the hood, was one of the most politically incorrect sequences he ever shot, and that it practically demonized everyone involved. He also admitted that he wasn't proud of shooting it the way it appears in the film, and that he was not even sure if he would shoot that particular scene today, and if he did, he would shoot it, or write it out in a different and more politically correct way.
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The opening stills and vintage postcards shown over the opening credits were culled together by John Margolies, an architectural photographer who Harold Ramis calls "one of the principal documentarians of American, roadside architecture." So the guy really knows his stuff. Ramis knew Margolies, and decided his collection of postcards and photographs would make appropriate imagery for the opening of the film. Some of the "postcards" aren't even postcards but still photographs done up to look as such.
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Dana Barron mentions a practical joke she remembers staged by the the prop guy who she called Ziggy- Evidently he tossed a dummy body down from the second floor of the hotel when the barman pretends to shoot Clark with a shotgun. Chevy Chase is completely confounded by this, not remembering the joke at all. "I thought that was in Three Amigos," says Chase.
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The only movie John Candy and Eugene Levy were in where they have no screen time together.
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When Grover (Frank McRae) first appears near the end of the film, he asks "What's going on here?" before being held at gun point and being forced by Clark Griswold to "lie down, roll over, and stay." McRae played a teacher in Red Dawn (1984), where he would ask the same question before actually getting shot.
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The man giving bad directions in downtown St. Louis says the ironic line, "You don't wanna know from me man, this ain't even my neighborhood. I'm from the west side of Chicago, here on vacation." The Griswolds are also from the west side of Chicago, (here) on vacation. (Most likely the black dude had them pegged as West Chicago natives and was toying with them).
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Richard Belzer, Robert Klein, and Bill Murray were considered for the role of Clark Griswold.
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Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid and Chevy Chase all starred on Saturday Night Live for one season. Randy Quaid and Hall were on during the same season.
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The Griswold's station wagon was created especially for the film.
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Maureen McCormick was considered for the role of Ellen.
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Christie Brinkley refused to appear topless in this movie, but Beverly D'Angelo did not; it's the only movie she appears nude.
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Imogene Coca's last big part before she appeared in this, (and one of the main things she is associated with), was on another very popular family show. She was playing Jan's unattractive twin Aunt Jenny in an episode of the Brady Bunch.
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Christie Brinkley's film debut.
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John Candy (Lasky) and Eddie Bracken (Roy Walley) also appeared in the Home Alone movies. The Vacation and Home Alone films are the only two film franchises in which John Hughes was involved for at least two entries. Candy appeared in Home Alone (1990), while Bracken appeared in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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As Harold Ramis explains, this was only his second film, and he didn't have much experience with getting shots and capturing product placement, both directly and accidentally. In the scene where the family is eating lunch and Clark notices The Girl in the Ferrari (Christie Brinkley), Ramis points out the giant True Value truck sitting behind her, essentially a large billboard taking up a third of the screen.
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When Clark is "driving" the Truckster while asleep, it almost hits a man getting ready to come out of a restaurant. This is actor/stuntman Tony Epper, who also plays one of the bozos that harasses the Griswold family in the opening scene of Christmas Vacation.
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Eddie Bracken, who plays Walley World owner Roy Walley, also played Mr. Duncan, owner of Duncan's Toy Chest, in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), also written by John Hughes.
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When Clark brings the new car home, the house next door features a tower with a large "beam" (also known as a "Yagi") antenna. This type of antenna is widely used by amateur (ham) radio operators to communicate worldwide via shortwave.
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Brian Doyle-Murray and John Candy shared the same birthday: October 31 (although five years apart). They also appeared in JFK (1991). They had no screentime together in either film.
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"You were playing a lot of tennis at the time," says Randy Quaid on the commentary at the pool scene where Chevy Chase takes off his shirt. "Yeah," replies Chase, "and I was eating a lot."
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John Candy and Frank McRae also appeared in 1941 (1979).
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The $500 that Clark gives to cousin Eddie (and also to the mechanics for repairs) comes out to $1,360.72 in 2021.
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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.
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The actress who plays Audrey has the same first name as the actress who plays her in European Vacation: Dana.
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There is a scene when Clark first meets 'The Girl in the Ferrari' and is trying to keep up with her. As she drives away Ellen wakes up and says to Clark, "You're going 80mph. Slow down!". At the time that the movie was made the speed limit on an interstate was 55mph. As of 2020 a common speed limit on an interstate is 70mph in the Western United States. Therefore, 80mph would not be considered too fast.
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The license plate of the Griswolds' old car was RPL-434.
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Body count: 1.
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Cameo 

Lorenzo Salviati: Beverly D'Angelo's husband at the time is the musician playing the piano at the hotel bar during the scene where Clark meets up and chats with the Ferrari Girl (Christie Brinkley).
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Director Cameo 

Harold Ramis: Off-camera voice of one of the police officers at Walley World.
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Harold Ramis: The voice of the recorded message of Marty Moose saying that Walley World is closed for maintenance.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The original ending of the film consisted of the Griswold family, after seeing that Walley World is closed, going to the Hollywood house of Roy Walley. Clark points a BB gun at Walley, then forces him, a security guard, and Walley's business associates to sing and dance Walley World theme songs, before the police arrive to arrest Clark. The Girl in the Red Ferrari then arrives and turned out to be Walley's daughter, and she convinces him not to press charges against Clark. On the plane ride home, the Griswolds realize they are on the wrong flight. Clark snaps and hijacks the plane. This did not go over well with test audiences, and the scenes in the park with John Candy, were a last-minute alternate ending filmed over two weeks, four months after production ended. The original ending was deleted, and is believed to be lost. However, Chevy Chase has said that he has a videotape of the movie with the original ending. A photo of the Griswolds on the plane is shown during the end credits.
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It was originally scripted that, after Aunt Edna was tied to the roof of the car, there was a shot of her fingers moving, implying she was, in fact, still alive. This was considered "cruel" to have a live person on the roof of a car by the ratings board, so it was cut, and she remained dead.
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The script originally called for Disneyland as the Griswolds' destination, but Disney objected, pointing out that they are open 365 days a year (which remained true until the COVID-19 Pandemic).
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For the scene where Clark ties Dinky's leash to the rear bumper and forgets all about it before driving off, Producer Matty Simmons said that after the movie's release, he received numerous letters from people who had seen the movie, and admitted that they had made the same grievous error with their pets, as Clark did in the movie.
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Imogene Coca played Aunt Edna in this film, and her long-time comic partner, Sid Caesar, played Mr. Ellis in Vegas Vacation (1997). Both of their characters die of old age in each film.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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