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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 1 December 1989 (USA)
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The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

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(as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writer:

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Clark
... Ellen
... Audrey
... Rusty
... Clark, Sr.
... Nora
... Art
... Francis
... Cousin Eddie Johnson
... Cousin Catherine Johnson
Cody Burger ... Rocky
... Ruby Sue (as Ellen Hamilton Latzen)
... Lewis
... Bethany
... Bill
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Storyline

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Yule crack up! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Vacation  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,700,000, 3 December 1989

Gross USA:

$71,320,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the Griswolds are putting up the tree, It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is showing on the television. That film was directed by Frank Capra. Capra's grandson, Frank Capra III, was Assistant Director on this film. See more »

Goofs

The scene in which Mrs. Shirley calls the authorities does is not shown until after Mr. Shirley arrives at the Griswolds' house, but it would have taken place immediately after Eddie's RV leaves the Shirley residence, particularly when considering how quickly the police were able to arrive at the Griswolds' house after Mr. Shirley did. These scenes are shown in logical, rather than chronological order. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Frank Shirley: Sometimes things look good on paper, but lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn't mean much if to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It's people that make the difference. Little people like you. So, Carl... whatever you got last year, add... 20%.
[Clark faints]
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Crazy Credits

"THE END" is lit up in Christmas lights. One of the bulbs pops, making the lit up "THE END" go dark. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Animal House (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

O Come, All Ye Faithful
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Frederick Oakeley (uncredited) and music by John Reading (uncredited)
[Incorrectly credited as Traditional]
Performed by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Holidays are only complete with this movie
31 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

My Christmas is filled with ritual, as I guess most people's are. Part of that ritual is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, about which I have nothing but good things to say. This should be part of your Holiday season too, because despite it not seeming like it all the way through, the film as a whole is just so thoroughly festive, cheery and good-hearted.

It opens with a great set-piece, Clark taking his family out in the "front-wheel drive sleigh" to dig their Christmas tree out of the snow-covered ground. He's a desperate loser, but you have to love the guy, working his butt off to give his extended family the perfect Christmas. (That's the difference in this Vacation movie, by the way - the Griswolds don't go anywhere, their folks come to them).

So the shenanigans finding a tree set the pattern for a season of chaos, fighting in-laws, squirrels, stupid relatives, huge dogs, snooty neighbours and collapsing turkeys. And as if that wasn't stress enough for poor Clark, he's waiting for his Christmas bonus to come through to cover a cheque he's already written.

The script brims with festive jollity, enthusing the audience with Clark's excitement for the holidays. Stand out moments include the welcome (and hilarious) return of Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, the uber-hick sponger with a trailer-full of weirdo kids and rubber sheets, and Mae Questel's appearance as Aunt Bethany. She used to voice Betty Boo, and plays the crazy old woman to perfection.

See this movie. Get it on video. I normally watch it the first time on a miserable October Sunday, when I start to think properly about Christmas. Nothing can replace this movie as the one thing guaranteed to get me looking forward to late December. Fabulous stuff, and as festive for me as tinsel and carols. Cuddle up with this one.


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