National Lampoon's Vacation
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National Lampoon's Vacation movie poster
|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Produced by||Matty Simmons
|Written by||John Hughes|
Anthony Michael Hall
|Music by||Ralph Burns (score)
Lindsey Buckingham (songs)
|Cinematography||Victor J. Kemper|
|Editing by||Pembroke J. Herring|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||May 27, 1983|
|Running time||99 min.|
|Budget||est. $15 M (USD)|
|Followed by||European Vacation|
|All Movie Guide profile|
The screenplay, written by John Hughes, is reportedly about his own family's ill-fated trip to the fictional Wally-World (originally planned to be Disneyland) when he was a boy, written in short-story form for National Lampoon magazine. The story was originally titled, "Vacation '58", and was set in 1958 rather than 1983, the year of the film. The success of the movie helped launch his screenwriting career.
The film was a significant box office hit, earning over $61 million in the United States with an estimated budget of $15 million. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted National Lampoon's Vacation the 46th greatest comedy film of all time. It is widely considered to be the best film in National Lampoon's series of Vacation films. It continues to be a popular film and is shown on many cable television channels. It also has a fresh rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. 
This film is number 51 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
In the film, suburban Chicago residents Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) plan a cross country road trip with their kids Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron) to the fictional Wally World theme park in Los Angeles. The trip is filled with various mishaps (such as the Family Truckster being vandalized in East St. Louis, Illinois, losing credit cards in Colorado, and driving off a small cliff in Arizona). While stopping for the night with Cousin Eddie's (Randy Quaid) large family in Coolidge, Kansas, they pick up Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca), a crochety old woman. She dies while on the trip, and the family leave her body on her son's back porch in Phoenix with only a note pinned to her sleeve. By the time they reach Wally World, they find out it's closed. Clark forces a park security guard (John Candy) to take them on rides and almost get arrested for kidnapping, but are saved by Roy Wally (Eddie Bracken) himself.
|Chevy Chase||Clark W. Griswold, Jr.|
|Beverly D'Angelo||Ellen Griswold|
|Imogene Coca||Aunt Edna|
|Randy Quaid||Cousin Eddie|
|Anthony Michael Hall||Rusty Griswold|
|Dana Barron||Audrey Griswold|
|Eddie Bracken||Roy Wally|
|Brian Doyle-Murray||Kamp Komfort Clerk|
|Miriam Flynn||Cousin Catherine|
|James Keach||Motorcycle Cop|
|Eugene Levy||Car Salesman|
|John Candy||Guard Lasky|
|Christie Brinkley||The Girl in the Ferrari|
|Jane Krakowski||Cousin Vicki|
National Lampoon's Vacation spawned a number of sequels:
- National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
- Vegas Vacation (1997)
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003)
With the exception of the last film, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprised their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold in each sequel. The "Rusty" and "Audrey" characters are not played by the same set of actors, except the last sequel. (Anthony Michael Hall played "Rusty" & Dana Barron played "Audrey" in 'Vacation'; Jason Lively played "Rusty" & Dana Hill played "Audrey" in 'European'; Johnny Galecki played "Rusty" & Juliette Lewis played "Audrey" in 'Christmas'; Ethan Embry played "Rusty" & Marisol Nichols played "Audrey" in 'Vegas'; & Dana Barron played "Audrey" in 'Christmas 2'.) The last sequel was an NBC TV movie in which Dana Barron reprised her role as Audrey. Miriam Flynn and Randy Quaid reprise their roles as cousins Catherine and Eddie in each film aside from European Vacation. Each sequel also manages to reference "Wally World" in some way. Also in every sequel the Griswald's reside in suburban Chicago.
 TV pilot
 Errors and Goofs
--In the opening scene, Clark and Rusty purchase their family truckster from a dealership in Chicago, however, palm trees can be seen in several shots in the background of the dealership. Palm trees are not typically found in Chicago.
--Daisy Mable shows her tongue several times before Randy Quaid says "she was born without a tongue Clark", though common sense might dictate that that just means she's mute.