National Lampoon's Vacation

"Extraordinary"

National Lampoon's Vacation Review


OK, when's the last time you saw National Lampoon's Vacation? No, I mean the real Vacation -- the one after with all the profanity and nudity in it? Thought so.

To re-experience Vacation properly (or experience it for the first time) run, don't walk, to get the DVD of the film, a comedy that's every bit as enjoyable today as it was 20 years ago. (Yes, it's been that long.)

As movie character archetype, Chevy Chase's Clark W. Griswold almost needs no introduction. Overworked but in love with his family (and the family lifestyle he's only read about in The Saturday Evening Post, probably), Clark takes his wife (Beverly D'Angelo) and kids (Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron) on a road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Their destination: Walley World, a moose-inspired theme park strangely reminiscent of another animal's magic kingdom.

In a formula that would inspire multiple sequels and countless imitations, everything that can go wrong does. It starts at the beginning, when Clark is sold a lemon of a stationwagon, then progresses to a totally wrecked car, a dead relative (and dog), and an eventual arrival at Walley World... only to discover it's closed for two weeks. And the fun continues from there, as Clark just about loses his mind.

Chase has made some real dogs in his time, but Vacation ain't one of them. Clark is alternately an idiot and an idiot savant. He gets the family into deep deep trouble, only to redeem himself through a miracle of logic or just dumb luck. It's obvious why Ellen (D'Angelo) stays with him: He's fun and has a knack for ending up on top, or at least no worse for the wear. And he obviously loves his family to death.

To say more would be to rob Vacation of its magic. On the new 20th anniversary DVD, the film is every bit as fun as you remember -- more fun, actually, because it's uncensored -- and adds a cool commentary track from director Harold Ramis and most of the Griswold clan. Give it a listen so next time the film comes on Comedy Central you can be the know-it-all in the group, outdoing even Clark himself.

Highly recommended.



National Lampoon's Vacation

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th July 1983

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Clark Griswold, as Ellen Griswold, as Aunt Edna, as Cousin Eddie, as Rusty Griswold, as Cousin Catherine, as Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld, as Audrey Griswold, as Roy Walley, as Kamp Komfort Clerk, as Motorcycle Cop, as Car Salesman, Frank McRae as Grover, as The Girl in the Ferrari, as Cousin Vicki, John P. Navin, Jr. as Cousin Dale

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.