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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
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Popularity
2,040 ( 617)

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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
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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:

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The glass that Clark drinks eggnog out of towards the end after his breakdown, is shaped like a cartoon moose head, which is no doubt a reference to Wally, the fictional mascot from Wally's World, the theme park that was the Griswald's destination in the first movie. See more »

Goofs

When Clark slides down the roof while setting up Christmas lights, the shot shows the staple gun he was using sliding down in front of him. However in the next shot the staple gun is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

Eddie: Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.
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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 »

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 »


Soundtracks

Here Comes Santa Claus
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman
Performed by Gene Autry
Courtesy of Everest Record Group
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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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation See more »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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