National Lampoon's Vacation


1h 38m 1983

Brief Synopsis

The Griswold family treks cross country en route to the Wally World amusement park.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ett päron till farsa, Vacaciones, Vacation
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m

Synopsis

The Griswold family set out in high spirits, ready to spend their vacation driving from Chicago to Walley World on the West Coast. But the trip soon falls apart, with mishaps and bad luck at every turn. When they finally arrive at Walley World, and the park is closed for maintenance, Clark Griswold snaps. He takes a Walley World security guard hostage, in one last attempt to deliver on his promise to his family of a Walley World vacation.

Crew

Trevor Albert

Production Associate

Dick Alexander

Sound Effects Editor

Susan Arnold

Casting

Bub Asman

Sound Editor

Pamela Bebermeyer

Stunts

Bruce Belland

Song

Dewayne Blackwell

Song

Timothy Board

Assistant Editor

Chris Boardman

Production Designer

Martin Bolger

Sound

Bill Borden

Location Manager

Jophery Brown

Stunts

Ross Brown

Assistant Director

Chere Bryson

Stunts

Lindsey Buckingham

Song Performer

Lindsey Buckingham

Song

M Ralph Burns

Music

Bill Burton

Stunts

Robert P Cohen

Assistant Director

Jack T. Collis

Production Designer

Jim Connors

Stunts

Mike Deluna

Stunts

Karen Dew

Animal Trainer

Dez Dickerson

Song

David Ellis

Stunts

Tony Epper

Stunts

Wayne Fitzgerald

Titles

Les Fresholtz

Sound

Rocco Gioffre

Matte Painter

Franne Golde

Song

Robert Grand

Associate Producer

Robert Grand

Unit Production Manager

Alan Greedy

Script Supervisor

Frank Griffen

Makeup

Bradley Gross

Assistant Director

Robert Harris

Wardrobe

Bob Henderson

Sound Editor

Pam Herring

Editor

Pembroke J. Herring

Editor

Hugh Hooker

Stunts

Phyllis Huffman

Casting

John Hughes

Song

John Hughes

Screenplay

Dream Quest Images

Matte Painter

Peter Ivers

Song

Victor J Kemper

Director Of Photography

Victor J Kemper

Dp/Cinematographer

Trevor Lawrence

Song

John Margolies

Photography

Elliot Marks

Photography

Eugene Marks

Music Editor

Amy Mcelhenney

Other

Samuel L. Mercer

Location Manager

Alan Robert Murray

Sound Editor

Arthur Piantadosi

Sound

Anita Pointer

Song

June Pointer

Song

June Pointer

Song Performer

Ruth Pointer

Song

Don Pulford

Stunts

J. N. Roberts

Stunts

Roy M Rogosin

Song

Gaylin Schultz

Key Grip

Barbara Siebert

Costumes

Matty Simmons

Producer

Robert M Stevens

Camera Operator

Kenny Studer

Stunts

Jules Sylvester

Stunts

Jules Sylvester

Animal Trainer

Adele Taylor

Hair

Vanity

Song

Robert Visciglia

Props

Paul Vom Brack

Assistant Director

Glenn Wilder

Stunts

John M Woodward

Stunts

Dick Ziker

Stunt Coordinator

Film Details

Also Known As
Ett päron till farsa, Vacaciones, Vacation
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m

Articles

National Lampoon's Vacation


In 1983, American audiences were treated to the cinematic road trip from hell, also known as National Lampoon's Vacation. The film follows the Griswold family from their Chicago-area home to the Walley World amusement park in California, a trek fraught with one disaster after another. Written by the king of eighties films, John Hughes, Vacation starred tremendous comedic talent both in front of and behind the camera, most falling into two main camps: those associated with Saturday Night Live and Canada's SCTV (Second City Television). Multi-talented Harold Ramis was hired to direct, an SCTV alumnus who had cut his chops on Caddyshack (1980). Needless to say, he worked well with Vacation's (and Caddyshack's) star, Chevy Chase. Chase, an SNL alum, left the show (the first to do so) in 1976 to pursue a film career, finding moderate success with movies like Foul Play (1978) and Seems Like Old Times (1980). Vacation would be his break-out hit, and he and Ramis collaborated effectively while preparing for the production. Chase recalled, "We would perform for each other, reading and reworking scenes until we made each other laugh. If we could do that, we knew we were on the right track."

The film's origins trace back to a short story by Hughes originally published in National Lampoon Magazine. Titled Vacation 58, it is loosely based on a road tip from Hughes' childhood. Hughes produced a screenplay based on the tremendous amount of favorable reader mail to the tale. As the film's producer (and National Lampoon CEO) Matty Simmons put it, "It's a story that audiences can relate to. Filmgoers put themselves in that car and drive right across country with the Griswolds." Ramis concurred: "I identify with Clark. In 1977, I bought a brand-new nine passenger station wagon and set out on a cross-country trip." In a case of art imitating life, Clark Griswold does this same thing when he buys the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, quite possibly the ugliest car ever created. In a past life, the car used was actually a Ford Country Squire station wagon, but after the addition of another set of headlights, an additional grille, and green walled tires (just for starters!), the Truckster was born.

Along for the ride is Clark's long-suffering wife Ellen, played by Beverly D'Angelo. The actress first gained notice portraying Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), a role in which she did all her own singing. Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron play the Griswold children. Hall would become a John Hughes protégé, playing geeky characters in Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club, and Weird Science (both 1985).

Vacation's supporting cast is as impressive as it is varied, with classic comedic talent from Imogene Coca and Eddie Bracken, more SNL and SCTV performers, and a supermodel for good measure. Vaudevillian performer Coca, who had her greatest success with Sid Caesar in Your Show of Shows (1950-4), plays the dreadful Aunt Edna with aplomb. Bracken, as amusement park owner Walley, began his career in Hal Roach's Our Gang shorts, and graduated on to such hits as Too Many Girls (1940), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). Randy Quaid, brother of Dennis, plays creepy country Cousin Eddie almost too well. Discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich, Quaid appeared in The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up, Doc? (1972), and Paper Moon before earning an Oscar® nomination for The Last Detail (both 1973). He and Hall would go on to appear in SNL during the 85/86 season. Eugene Levy, known for his roles in Splash (1984) and American Pie (1999)--as well as an ex-SCTV member--turns in a memorable cameo as a sleazy car salesman. Christie Brinkley, a.k.a. the ex-Mrs. Billy Joel, took time off from Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue covers to play Clark's dream woman. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice a young Jane Krakowski as Cousin Vicki¿fourteen years later, she would star in TV's Ally McBeal (1997-2002).

Walley World was originally based on Disneyworld; due to the unfavorable image in the film, Disney execs objected to its likeness being used, so a fictional park was created. Six Flags Magic Mountain was the actual facility used. The original ending to the film involved Clark, upon finding the park closed, taking his family to Walley's house and forcing him to entertain them at gunpoint. Not funny. As Ramis describes it, the ending ". . . bombed so badly that the audience was laughing for eighty minutes and then just stopped cold." Rewrite! The revised ending also provided for a great cameo by John Candy, who¿you guessed it¿was also an SCTV alumnus. His nervy security guard character was actually based on an old creation of Candy's named Wally Wypyzypychwk from the Canadian TV series Coming Up Rosie (1975). Since the reshoot took place six months after the production ended, a pubescent Hall was now three inches taller than his height at principal photography.

Vacation received mixed reviews from the critics but was a hit with audiences. Typical of the more positive notices is this comment from Newsday critic Alex Keneas: "a send-up of the kind of good, clean, coyly sincere Disney fluff that general audiences outgrew by the late '60s - a Fred MacMurray family outing run amok in the permissive '80s." Reviewer David Ansen of Newsweek also noted that "The most striking thing about...National Lampoon's Vacation, is that the gross-out factor, usually the 'Poonies' calling card, is surprisingly low...Vacation is more like a sardonic update of the old Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz The Long, Long Trailer [1954] than Animal House [1978]." The film proved to be so popular at the box office that it spawned a series of sequels, European Vacation (1985), Christmas Vacation (1989), and Vegas Vacation (1997). While all have their moments, the original Vacation remains the most beloved Griswold saga.

Producer: Robert Grand, Matty Simmons
Director: Harold Ramis
Screenplay: John Hughes
Cinematography: Victor J. Kemper
Film Editing: Pembroke J. Herring
Art Direction: Jack T. Collis
Music: Lindsey Buckingham, Ralph Burns, Franne Golde
Cast: Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold), Beverly D¿Angelo (Ellen Griswold), Imogene Coca (Aunt Edna), Randy Quaid (Cousin Eddie), Anthony Michael Hall (Rusty Griswold), Dana Barron (Audrey Griswold).
C-98m. Letterboxed.

by Eleanor Quin
National Lampoon's Vacation

National Lampoon's Vacation

In 1983, American audiences were treated to the cinematic road trip from hell, also known as National Lampoon's Vacation. The film follows the Griswold family from their Chicago-area home to the Walley World amusement park in California, a trek fraught with one disaster after another. Written by the king of eighties films, John Hughes, Vacation starred tremendous comedic talent both in front of and behind the camera, most falling into two main camps: those associated with Saturday Night Live and Canada's SCTV (Second City Television). Multi-talented Harold Ramis was hired to direct, an SCTV alumnus who had cut his chops on Caddyshack (1980). Needless to say, he worked well with Vacation's (and Caddyshack's) star, Chevy Chase. Chase, an SNL alum, left the show (the first to do so) in 1976 to pursue a film career, finding moderate success with movies like Foul Play (1978) and Seems Like Old Times (1980). Vacation would be his break-out hit, and he and Ramis collaborated effectively while preparing for the production. Chase recalled, "We would perform for each other, reading and reworking scenes until we made each other laugh. If we could do that, we knew we were on the right track." The film's origins trace back to a short story by Hughes originally published in National Lampoon Magazine. Titled Vacation 58, it is loosely based on a road tip from Hughes' childhood. Hughes produced a screenplay based on the tremendous amount of favorable reader mail to the tale. As the film's producer (and National Lampoon CEO) Matty Simmons put it, "It's a story that audiences can relate to. Filmgoers put themselves in that car and drive right across country with the Griswolds." Ramis concurred: "I identify with Clark. In 1977, I bought a brand-new nine passenger station wagon and set out on a cross-country trip." In a case of art imitating life, Clark Griswold does this same thing when he buys the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, quite possibly the ugliest car ever created. In a past life, the car used was actually a Ford Country Squire station wagon, but after the addition of another set of headlights, an additional grille, and green walled tires (just for starters!), the Truckster was born. Along for the ride is Clark's long-suffering wife Ellen, played by Beverly D'Angelo. The actress first gained notice portraying Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), a role in which she did all her own singing. Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron play the Griswold children. Hall would become a John Hughes protégé, playing geeky characters in Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club, and Weird Science (both 1985). Vacation's supporting cast is as impressive as it is varied, with classic comedic talent from Imogene Coca and Eddie Bracken, more SNL and SCTV performers, and a supermodel for good measure. Vaudevillian performer Coca, who had her greatest success with Sid Caesar in Your Show of Shows (1950-4), plays the dreadful Aunt Edna with aplomb. Bracken, as amusement park owner Walley, began his career in Hal Roach's Our Gang shorts, and graduated on to such hits as Too Many Girls (1940), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). Randy Quaid, brother of Dennis, plays creepy country Cousin Eddie almost too well. Discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich, Quaid appeared in The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up, Doc? (1972), and Paper Moon before earning an Oscar® nomination for The Last Detail (both 1973). He and Hall would go on to appear in SNL during the 85/86 season. Eugene Levy, known for his roles in Splash (1984) and American Pie (1999)--as well as an ex-SCTV member--turns in a memorable cameo as a sleazy car salesman. Christie Brinkley, a.k.a. the ex-Mrs. Billy Joel, took time off from Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue covers to play Clark's dream woman. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice a young Jane Krakowski as Cousin Vicki¿fourteen years later, she would star in TV's Ally McBeal (1997-2002). Walley World was originally based on Disneyworld; due to the unfavorable image in the film, Disney execs objected to its likeness being used, so a fictional park was created. Six Flags Magic Mountain was the actual facility used. The original ending to the film involved Clark, upon finding the park closed, taking his family to Walley's house and forcing him to entertain them at gunpoint. Not funny. As Ramis describes it, the ending ". . . bombed so badly that the audience was laughing for eighty minutes and then just stopped cold." Rewrite! The revised ending also provided for a great cameo by John Candy, who¿you guessed it¿was also an SCTV alumnus. His nervy security guard character was actually based on an old creation of Candy's named Wally Wypyzypychwk from the Canadian TV series Coming Up Rosie (1975). Since the reshoot took place six months after the production ended, a pubescent Hall was now three inches taller than his height at principal photography. Vacation received mixed reviews from the critics but was a hit with audiences. Typical of the more positive notices is this comment from Newsday critic Alex Keneas: "a send-up of the kind of good, clean, coyly sincere Disney fluff that general audiences outgrew by the late '60s - a Fred MacMurray family outing run amok in the permissive '80s." Reviewer David Ansen of Newsweek also noted that "The most striking thing about...National Lampoon's Vacation, is that the gross-out factor, usually the 'Poonies' calling card, is surprisingly low...Vacation is more like a sardonic update of the old Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz The Long, Long Trailer [1954] than Animal House [1978]." The film proved to be so popular at the box office that it spawned a series of sequels, European Vacation (1985), Christmas Vacation (1989), and Vegas Vacation (1997). While all have their moments, the original Vacation remains the most beloved Griswold saga. Producer: Robert Grand, Matty Simmons Director: Harold Ramis Screenplay: John Hughes Cinematography: Victor J. Kemper Film Editing: Pembroke J. Herring Art Direction: Jack T. Collis Music: Lindsey Buckingham, Ralph Burns, Franne Golde Cast: Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold), Beverly D¿Angelo (Ellen Griswold), Imogene Coca (Aunt Edna), Randy Quaid (Cousin Eddie), Anthony Michael Hall (Rusty Griswold), Dana Barron (Audrey Griswold). C-98m. Letterboxed. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer August 1983

Released in United States Summer August 1983