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National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Comedy | 26 July 1985 (USA)
Trailer
1:23 | Trailer

On TV

Airs Sun. Mar. 31, 5:00 PM on BBCA

ON DISC
The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

Director:

Amy Heckerling

Writers:

John Hughes (screenplay), John Hughes (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo ... Ellen Griswold
Dana Hill ... Audrey Griswold
Jason Lively ... Rusty Griswold
John Astin ... Pig in a Poke Host - Kent
Sheila Kennedy ... Game Show Hostess #1
Paul Bartel ... Mr. Froeger
Cynthia Szigeti Cynthia Szigeti ... Mrs. Froeger
Malcolm Danare ... The Froeger's Son
Kevi Kendall ... The Froeger's Daughter
Tricia Lange Tricia Lange ... Game Show Hostess #2
William Zabka ... Jack
Wendy Goldman ... Stewardess
Angus MacKay Angus MacKay ... Announcer at Court
Julie Wooldridge Julie Wooldridge ... Princess Di
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Storyline

The Griswolds win a vacation to Europe on a game show, and thus pack their bags for the continent. They do their best to catch the flavor of Europe, but they just don't know how to be be good tourists. Besides, they have trouble taking holidays in countries where they CAN speak the language... Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For over two thousand years, Europe has survived many great disasters. Now for the real test... The Griswold's. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German | French

Release Date:

26 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's European Vacation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,329,627, 28 July 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$49,400,000
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

In an interview, Chevy Chase said that after this film was released, he got dozens of letters from people who had visited London and ended up trapped in a roundabout. See more »

Goofs

During take-off, the PAN AM plane shown is a cargo plane, with no windows. In the next scene, Clark sits in a window seat. See more »

Quotes

Jack: [Audrey is reading Jack's letter] Dear Audrey, I miss the shit out of you. Luckily, Debbie is been coming by to cheer me up.
Audrey Griswold: That bitch!
Ellen Griswold: Something that matter, Audrey?
Audrey Griswold: No.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits play over a montage of shots of American pop culture. See more »

Alternate Versions

When aired on TV, the scene where the Griswalds leave the house of people they thought were Helga and Fritz, Helga's reply (to Fritz's question of who the hell they were) of 'Beats the shit out of me' was changed to 'Damned if I know.' In the more recent TV airings, the original phrase was there with the word 'shit' blured on the subtitle. See more »

Connections

References Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby It's You, Yes I Am
Performed by Danger Zone
Written and Produced by Lloyd Chiate and John Nelson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not a vacation to remember
14 February 2011 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

The Griswold's (mis-spelled here as Griswald) European Tour is far inferior to their cross-country trek to Walley World. First time around Clark had a goal, a destination, and pay-off for the audience when he finally got there. Second time around he's just wandering aimlessly from country to country, and it doesn't make for great entertainment I'm afraid.

The Griswold's win the grand prize in a humiliating TV show called 'Pig in a Poke' and are sent to England, France, Germany, and Italy on an all expenses paid trip. The bulk of the humor is a scatter-shot approach to comedy that abuses tired clichés and cultural stereotypes for quick, easy, cheap laughs.

Director Amy Heckerling may have used the first Vacation as a reference, but she doesn't have the control over the film that Harold Ramis did, and frequently allows the actors to ad-lib with the assumption that whatever they do might be funny. Even comedy actors need direction, and Heckerling's poor effort ruins many scenes that had potential. Even her camera placing and angles seem awkward and unbalanced. The grainy, low-key photography is also completely inappropriate for a film featuring such a wide range of scenery. Her use of stock footage is bad too (a shot of the Statue of Liberty shows no Twin Towers of the WTC, which were built in 1972!), and heightens the slapdash nature of the production. A few scenes seem to be edited out of order too, which leads me to believe that the script flowed a little differently before being rewritten (Clark leaves the London hotel, moves literally five feet down the street, then asks for directions back to the hotel).

John Hughes' influence on the script was obviously minimum. Vacation and Christmas Vacation were ficionalised accounts of his own family's experiences. But European Vacation feels like a quick cash-in on the original's success, and co-writer Robert Klane doesn't know how to inject the pathos and satire that was so easy for Hughes.

The European trip is definitely lagging far behind Walley World, Christmas and Las Vegas. A better director and a tighter script would have saved it. But Chase is as watchable as ever, and the only reason to sit through this poorly-made drivel.


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