National Lampoon's Vacation

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National Lampoon's Vacation movie poster
Directed by Harold Ramis
Produced by Matty Simmons
Robert Grand
Written by John Hughes
Starring Chevy Chase
Beverly D'Angelo
Anthony Michael Hall
Dana Barron
Randy Quaid
Imogene Coca
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.
Country United States
Language English
Budget est. $15 M (USD)
Followed by European Vacation
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

National Lampoon's Vacation is a 1983 comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Randy Quaid and Imogene Coca.

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.[citation needed] 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. [1]

This film is number 51 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".


[edit] Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

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.

Spoilers end here.

[edit] Cast

Actor Role
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

[edit] Sequels

National Lampoon's Vacation spawned a number of sequels:

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.

[edit] TV pilot

A television pilot based on the Vacation films titled American Adventure starring Gary Cole and Helen Slater was produced in 2000, but the pilot was not picked up.

[edit] 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.

--On the open matte home video release, Beverly D'Angelo shows her skin color bikini bottom in the shower when Clark recreates the Psycho scene.

[edit] External links

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