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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.