National Lampoon's Vacation
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|National Lampoon's Vacation|
Theatrical poster, illustrated by Boris Vallejo
|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Produced by||Matty Simmons|
|Written by||John Hughes|
Anthony Michael Hall
|Cinematography||Victor J. Kemper, ASC|
|Editing by||Pembroke J. Herring|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||99 minutes|
National Lampoon's Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is a 1983 comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall. The film features numerous others, such as comedians John Candy and Imogene Coca, model Christie Brinkley, and Jane Krakowski, in smaller roles.
The screenplay was written by John Hughes, based on his short story in National Lampoon Magazine, Vacation '58 (the screenplay changes the year to 1983). The original story is a (reportedly) fictionalized account of his own family's ill-fated trip to Disneyland (changed to Walley World for the film) when Hughes was a boy. The success of the film helped advance his screenwriting career.
National Lampoon's Vacation was a significant box-office hit, earning more than $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, and continues to be a popular film and a staple on cable television channels. It also currently garners a 94% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Clark Griswold (Chase), wanting to spend more time with his wife Ellen (D'Angelo) and children Rusty and Audrey (Hall and Barron), decides to lead the family on a cross-country expedition from Chicago to the Los Angeles amusement park "Walley World", billed as "America's Favorite Family Fun Park". Although Ellen wants to fly, Clark insists on driving, so he can bond with his family. In preparation, he has ordered a new "sports wagon" for the trip, but the dealer (Eugene Levy) pulls a bait-and-switch, claiming the sports wagon won't be ready for six weeks. Clark is forced to accept a Wagon Queen Family Truckster, a hideously unstylish, poorly made, outsized station wagon.
As the family travels, they run into numerous mishaps, such as being tagged by vandals in a rundown area of St. Louis, while Clark is tempted numerous times by an attractive young woman (Brinkley) driving a flashy red Ferrari 308 GTS. They stop in Coolidge, Kansas to visit Ellen's cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her husband Eddie (Quaid), but this creates more tension for the Griswolds. Catherine and Eddie foist crotchety old Aunt Edna (Coca) and her dog Dinky on the Griswolds, asking them to drop her off at her son Normy's home in Phoenix. After stopping at a campground in South Fork, Colorado for the night, Clark forgets to untie Dinky from the car's bumper before leaving, accidentally killing the dog.
While Ellen and Clark argue, they become stranded in the desert, and Clark eventually finds a mechanic that scams him out of the rest of his cash to fix the car. Frustrated, they stop at the Grand Canyon; when Clark cannot convince a hotel clerk to take a check, he takes cash from the hotel's cash register but leaves behind the check. Leaving the Canyon, they find that Aunt Edna died in her sleep. When they reach Normy's home, they discover he is out of town, and leave Edna's rigor mortised body in the backyard.
Despite all the events and the begging of Ellen and the kids, Clark is more determined to get to Walley World. They finally arrive the next day to find the park closed for repairs. Clark, slipping into madness realizing that all his efforts have been for nothing, buys a realistic-looking BB gun pistol and demands a park security guard named Russ Lasky (John Candy) to take them through the park at gunpoint; Ellen and kids follow him, attempting to placate their husband and father. Eventually the SWAT team arrives along with park owner Roy Walley (Eddie Bracken). Roy understands Clark's impassioned epitome of the American Vacation, bringing back memories of his own childhood years ago. Roy does not file charges against the Griswolds and lets the family enjoy the park as his guests. The credits show numerous photographs of the Griswolds enjoying the rest of their vacation, including returning to Chicago via plane.
- Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
- Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold
- Imogene Coca as Aunt Edna
- Anthony Michael Hall as Russell "Rusty" Griswold
- Dana Barron as Audrey Griswold
- Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie
- Christie Brinkley as Girl in Red Ferrari
- John Candy as Security guard Russ Lasky
- Eddie Bracken as Roy Walley
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Kamp Komfort Clerk
- Miriam Flynn as Cousin Catherine
- James Keach as Motorcycle Cop
- Eugene Levy as Ed the Car Salesman
- Gerry Black as Davenport
- Frank McRae as Officer Grover
- Jane Krakowski as Cousin Vicki
- John P. Navin Jr. as Cousin Dale
- Nathan Cook as Man Giving Directions
- Mickey Jones as Mechanic
- John Diehl as Assistant Mechanic
- Michael Talbott as Cowboy
- Randy Lowell as Wyatt Earp (as Randolph Dreyfuss)
- James Staley as El Tovar Desk Clerk
In John Hughes' original short story, the theme park was Disneyland. Because of this, all of the names were altered to soundalikes. Walt Disney's Disneyland became Walley World, itself a good-natured parody of the Anaheim location. The name of the mascot, Marty Moose, is reminiscent of Disney's Mickey Mouse and the "Marty Moose theme song" that the family sings in the car is a parody of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. Roy Walley himself is a pastiche of both Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, right down to the thin mustache.
Walley World is represented in the film by Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Santa Anita Park's large parking lot and blue-tinged fascia serve as the introduction scenes, while all park interior scenes were shot at Magic Mountain. The two roller coasters seen in the film are Revolution, which can be recognized by the vertical loop, and Colossus, the double-track wooden roller coaster.
The film's music was composed by Ralph Burns, featuring original songs by Lindsey Buckingham. A soundtrack album was released in 1983. While it did not chart, Buckingham's single "Holiday Road" reached number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Side one
- "Holiday Road" – Lindsey Buckingham
- "Mister Blue" – The Fleetwoods
- "Blitzkrieg Bop" – Ramones
- "Deep River Blues" – Ralph Burns
- "Summer Hearts" – Nicolette Larson
- Side two
- "Little Boy Sweet" – June Pointer
- "The Trip (Theme from Vacation)" – Ralph Burns
- "He's So Dull" – Vanity 6
- "Christie's Song" – Ralph Burns
- "Dancin' Across the USA" – Lindsey Buckingham
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)
- Hotel Hell Vacation (2010)
- New Vacation (TBA)
With the exception of Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, each sequel saw Chase and D'Angelo reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold, enduring their unique and unenviable brand of vacation misadventure in various locales. However, the children Rusty and Audrey are played by a different set of actors in each film (except for Audrey in the last sequel). In July 2013, Barron explained that because Hall was committed to shooting Weird Science, European Vacation Director Amy Heckerling requested both Griswold children be recast. This fact is joked about early in Vegas Vacation: when we first see the kids again, Clark tells them that he "hardly recognizes" them anymore. The various actors were Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron in Vacation, Jason Lively and Dana Hill in European Vacation, Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis in Christmas Vacation, and Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols in Vegas Vacation. Barron again plays Audrey in Christmas Vacation 2, but Rusty, like his parents, could not make it for Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, an NBC TV movie. However, Flynn and Quaid reprise their roles as cousins Catherine and Eddie, as they did in each film aside from European Vacation. Christie Brinkley reprised her role as The girl in the red Ferrari in Vegas Vacation and later spoofed it in a 2008 DirecTV commercial inter-spliced with footage from Vacation, recreating the famous swimming pool scene.
Each sequel also manages to reference Walley World in some way.
In July 2012, it was announced that Ed Helms would star as Rusty Griswold in the upcoming film, New Vacation. The new version of the vacation adventures will follow Rusty, who now has his own family misadventures on the road. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein will write and direct the film. It is currently unknown if Chevy Chase or Beverly D'Angelo will reprise their roles in the new film or if any of the other cast members from past films will appear. The remake was postponed indefinitely due to creative differences.
- HomeAway, Inc. hired Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo to reprise their roles once again in an advertisement campaign to be aired during Super Bowl XLIV.
- The teaser to Episode 2 of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, "The Creeping Creatures", consisted of an homage to the scene from the movie where the Griswold family is lost in a rundown area of St. Louis. In the teaser, a family consisting of a Dad, Mom (voiced by Beverly D'Angelo), daughter and dog are lost on their way to Manhattan. They stop to refuel what is clearly a Wagon Queen Family Truckster when they encounter the gator monster central to the episode's mystery.
- Wally [sic] World Water Park opened in Canada several years after the release of the film.
- In the Family Guy episode Blue Harvest, a parody of the first Star Wars film, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprised their roles from National Lampoon's Vacation, in a cameo as Clark and Ellen Griswold.
- In the November 27th, 2011 Family Guy episode Amish Guy, a spoof of National Lampoon's Vacation final rollercoaster shot, then it goes on to parody its end credit sequence with "Dancin' Across the USA" being played by Lindsey Buckingham.
- During the time Wally Joyner was playing for the California Angels, the club was sometimes jokingly referred to as "Wally World".
- The 1983 cassette "Children of Wallyworld go wild for kicks" by UK punk band The_Bleach_Boys was named as a salute to this film
- National Lampoon's Vacation at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hughes, John. "Vacation '58 / Foreword '08". American Zoetrope. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- "Why They Got A New Audrey For National Lampoon's "Vacation"". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- "Christie Brinkley filmography in The New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "Christie Brinkley Takes It Off For DirecTV". ET Online. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "Ed Helms to Play Rusty Griswold in New Vacation". ComingSoon.net. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- Trumbore, Dave (23 April 2013). "VACATION Remake Delayed Indefinitely Citing Creative Differences over Movie Rating". Collider. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- McCarthy, Caroline (26 January 2010). "HomeAway Super Bowl ad resurrects the Griswolds". CNET. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: National Lampoon's Vacation|
- National Lampoon's Vacation at the Internet Movie Database
- National Lampoon's Vacation at allmovie
- National Lampoon's Vacation at Rotten Tomatoes
- National Lampoon's Vacation at the 80s Movie Gateway
- "Vacation '58" by John Hughes (online text)