6.6/10
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91 user 21 critic

The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 17 June 1988 (USA)
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1:08 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

Director:

Howard Deutch

Writer:

John Hughes

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Roman Craig
John Candy ... Chet Ripley
Stephanie Faracy ... Connie Ripley
Annette Bening ... Kate Craig
Chris Young ... Buck Ripley
Ian Michael Giatti ... Ben Ripley (as Ian Giatti)
Hilary Gordon Hilary Gordon ... Cara Craig
Rebecca Gordon Rebecca Gordon ... Mara Craig
Robert Prosky ... Wally
Zoaunne LeRoy Zoaunne LeRoy ... Juanita
Lucy Deakins ... Cammie
Nancy Lenehan ... Waitress
John Bloom ... Jimbo
Lewis Arquette ... Herm
Britt Leach ... Reg
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Storyline

Nostalgic about the good old days in the honeymoon cabin, the patriarch Chet and the Ripley family set off to the idyllic woods of Wisconsin for the summer vacation. However, their plans for a peaceful family bonding in the heart of the untamed nature will be thwarted, when the high-rolling brother-in-law Roman and the snotty Craig family decide to crash the party. Eventually, as the two families try to have a good time together, a seemingly endless series of misfortunes and mini-disasters with thirsty leeches, cunning racoons and a mythical wild bear, threaten to ruin the vacation. What will it take to salvage the weekend? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This holiday's no picnic. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Country See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,455,230
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The setting, with the odd long name of Lake Potowotominimac, is a fictional place in Wisconsin. The real-life Bass Lake, California "portrayed" Lake Potowotominimac in this movie. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, the characters make reference to being in Wisconsin, but when Chet and the kids go to visit the old man for his 109th birthday, Chet refers to the man as the oldest living person in Canada. See more »

Quotes

Kate Craig: Ahh!
[Kate and Roman run out of their bedroom]
Roman: What?
Kate Craig: It touched me!
Roman: It's been touching you for 12 years, you never freak!
Kate Craig: Not you!
[Kate hits Roman on the arm]
Kate Craig: A thing.
Roman: What thing?
Chet: [Comes out of his bedroom, along with the rest of the family, and turns on the lights] What's going on?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the end credits play over a montage of the cast dancing in Wally's bar. See more »

Alternate Versions

On one television version, there is a scene where Chet is trying to maneuver his vehicle with the drag boat trailer onto the road. Roman's suggestions are not helping, as Chet almost hits different obstacles blocking his path. An officer (played by Troy Evans) notices this and approaches informing Chet that he is watching Chet's navigation. Finally Chet successfully makes it on the road. As they are driving away laughing at the officer, the boat slides off the trailer and into the street. There is also a scene within this one where Connie and Kate are talking by the lake while the twins are on the dock. Kate suggests the twins go swimming. A big fish jumps from the water scaring the two girls. After hearing the screams and unnoticing the fish, Kate remarks it's fine if they don't swim. See more »


Soundtracks

Land of a Thousand Dances
Written by Chris Kenner and Fats Domino (as Antoine Domino)
Performed by The Elwood Blues Revue featuring Wilson Pickett
Produced by Steve Cropper
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remember these classics!!
12 September 2004 | by Robert_duderSee all my reviews

The eighties was a decade of film brilliance. Not Academy Awards maybe, or deeply intriguing movies but instead R-Rated, ridiculous, fun, pompous, films that were just not thought provoking but instead FUN!! What was R-Rated back then would be barely a PG today which also reflects the kind of society we have turned into. Enter "The Great OutDoors" with fellow Canadian comedians who knew comedy unlike no one has since.

Dan Akroyd and John Candy are just great. They aren't brilliant actors (although Dan has shown some promise in great movies such as The Arrow and My Girl) but instead they can get together to deliver laughs and they do. The Great Outdoors is the quintessential eighties film about a family on vacation. It's about the desire to succeed and BUY STUFF (an eighties must.) It's about who is the better man, and man vs nature and all that kind of stuff. More importantly it delivers the perfect blend of physical comedy AND one liners that actually made me laugh out loud. Akroyd and Candy play like a stand up comedy act and it works so well that you forget everyone else. They really don't add or take away from the story, you just forget anyone else is there...it doesn't really matter much. You're in this to see Chet and Roman battle it out mostly behind each other's backs. The cinematography is great in this movie as well. They used an actual lake although it was in California, not Wisconsin and it really helps the setting. You feel as though you're roughing it out right beside them. The best part is the climax with the bear, what a great scene. As predictable as you might think it is...it's just awesome. Candy is hilarious and sadly missed in future endeavours. Akroyd pulls off the pompous, greedy and loud mouthed lawyer type to a T and manages to not take himself too seriously. As with all eighties films they manage to toss in the someone is in trouble, everyone has to pull together and save them story ending but it works and this movie is without a doubt a classic, whether comedy or just film in general, it will always be remembered fondly. 8/10


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