7.6/10
161,225
370 user 104 critic

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 1 December 1989 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director:

Jeremiah S. Chechik (as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writer:

John Hughes
Reviews
Popularity
1,446 ( 334)

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Clark
Beverly D'Angelo ... Ellen
Juliette Lewis ... Audrey
Johnny Galecki ... Rusty
John Randolph ... Clark, Sr.
Diane Ladd ... Nora
E.G. Marshall ... Art
Doris Roberts ... Francis
Randy Quaid ... Cousin Eddie Johnson
Miriam Flynn ... Cousin Catherine Johnson
Cody Burger Cody Burger ... Rocky
Ellen Latzen ... Ruby Sue (as Ellen Hamilton Latzen)
William Hickey ... Lewis
Mae Questel ... Bethany
Sam McMurray ... Bill
Edit

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:

There's No Place Like Home For A Holiday! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Clark and Cousin Eddie talked about Eddie's children, Eddie called the Tilt-a-Whirl ride the "Tilty-Whirl," a mistake quite in line with his rather simple-minded personality. A common slang name for the Tilt-a-Whirl is the "Whirl and Hurl". See more »

Goofs

After Clark gets his Christmas lights to work and they show the power meter going very fast, all the needles are going the wrong way. See more »

Quotes

Clark: [Just veered into the left lane and got stuck under a log truck] We're alright! Thank God we're alright!
Ellen: Clark, we're stuck under a truck!
Clark: Do you honestly think I don't know that?
Rusty Griswold: Come on you guys, don't fight!
Clark: Oh for Christ's sake, I didn't do this on purpose!
Ellen: [Praying] Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, and forgive my husband, he knows not what he does.
Clark: [Before swerving out] Amen!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits feature a cartoon of Santa delivering the Griswold family's Christmas presents while also getting electrocuted, hit by bricks, setting his pants on fire, falling into the snow and being chased by a rolling snowman head See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2001 Warner Bros. Pictures variant appeared in the 2003 DVD in addition to the Blu ray, digital platforms and current TV airings. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Know's Top 10s: Top 10 Christmas Movies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
See more »

User Reviews

Holidays are only complete with this movie
31 December 2002 | by cmqpSee 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.


190 of 220 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 370 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,750,203, 3 December 1989

Gross USA:

$73,576,146

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,594,646
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed