National Lampoon's Vacation
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Product Description

Vacation paved the way for the John Hughes movie dynasty of the 1980s. Written by Hughes (who would go on to write, direct, and/or produce The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and so on) and directed by Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stuart Saves His Family), the first Vacation movie introduces us to the all-American Griswold family: father Clark (Chevy Chase), mother Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (future Hughes staple Anthony Michael Hall), and daughter Audrey (Dana Barron). They all pile into the car for a cross-country road trip to Walley World, stopping along the way to view the world's biggest ball of twine. John Candy, Imogene Coca, and Randy Quaid (as yokel Cousin Eddie) pop up along the way. The movie was a big hit, and was followed by several sequels--National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation--but this one is still probably the freshest and funniest of the bunch. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews:

  • Early John Hughes hasn't aged well.
    "Vacation" was a film that needed to be made for all of us Americans. That having been said, it's essentially a belabored one-joke movie. And suffering through Chevy Chase only gets more annoying with each subsequent episode. What may have seemed hilarious in 1983 (his yelling out the F word repeatedly), doesn't quite have the same impact 25 years later. Hughes would use the same joke in a similar, much funnier movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles."

    The real star of the film is Anthony Michael Hall. He outshines Chevy Chase in each of their shared scenes and his delivery is perfect. It is interesting to watch him before his career exploded in the next 2-3 years....more info
  • 5-star movie, 2-star DVD!
    Probably my favorite comedy movie of all time. I've waited years for this to come out in widescreen DVD, and while Warners did an admirable job in the picture transfer, they failed again, as usual, in the extras and packaging departments. I mean, how many complaints do they have to get about their cheap cardboard snapcases before they get the point?! Their perennial classics, like this masterpiece, deserve better. Judging from the amount of time this movie spends on cable, they've obviously made enough cash on this flick to afford a nice, simple plastic DVD package. As for the extras - spare me! Where's the "making-of" feature? The out-takes? The behind-the-scenes featurette? A few piddling cast interviews and commentary are simply not enough for a 20th anniversary edition of such a fan favorite as this!!...more info
  • Chevy Chase At His Best
    Vacation is about a family's cross-country adventures to Wally World. Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold is hilarious along with Beverly D'Angelo as his wife. This simple family encounters detour after detour to finally reach the amusement park in California only to find disappointment. Some nudity along with some language, film is still tame by today's standards. Would recommend along with Caddyshack as my two favorite Chevy Chase fims....more info
  • Not Nearly What It Should Be...
    After all these years of waiting, I was very happy to see that Warner was finally going to give "National Lampoon's Vacation" the Special Edition DVD treatment I always felt it deserved. Now that it's finally here, I'm sorry to say that it isn't as "special" as I'd always hoped it would be.

    Although this time the film IS presented in widescreen, it is the type of 1.85:1 ratio that actually crops off some of the picture from top and bottom that the old standard VHS version had. That is always annoying to be sure, but since the DVD shows the movie the way it truly appeared in theaters we can't really complain about that. You have to look at it this way: VHS was just showing MORE than was seen in the theater.

    The special features leave much to be desired. The group commentary track with Director Harold Ramis, Producer Matty Simmons, Chevy Chase, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron and Randy Quaid was ok, but I've heard much better commentary on other films. With few exceptions, they really didn't say much that was very interesting or insightful, and there were several gaps during the film where no one seemed to say anything! And where was Beverly D'Angelo? I can't believe that she wouldn't have wanted to take part, especially since she appeared a few years ago on the TBS "Dinner & A Movie" with Paul and Annabelle to talk about the movie during commercial breaks with them!

    The "Interactive Truckster Gallery" was pretty much a bore, with the exception of the section where stunt co-ordinator Dick Ziker talked about his jump in the desert for the crash scene. Dana Barron also offered an explanation why she only appeared in the first film in the gallery as well. The rest of it was not anything really noteworthy.

    The new introduction to the film by Simmons, Chase and Quaid was just a short, silly little piece of nothing. The trailer is here, but I think the original DVD had it too so that isn't anything special. The other languages for audio are a nice touch. Try playing the scene where Clark had a temper tantrum in the car in French, Spanish or Portuguese for a laugh or two.

    My big complaint is about the special features that were NOT present, such as deleted scenes. In the shooting script, there are several scenes that could have been presented here, including an alternate ending. The fact that Aunt Edna didn't really die, the Kamp Komfort clerk dressing up as a moose for the "wildlife fun" (see the photo during the end credits of him in the moose outfit), Clark fearing the police are chasing him after he "robbed the hotel" and stopped for gas (where he got the sandwiches he mentioned shortly before discovering Aunt Edna's "death") and the alternate ending would have been good to see, but no dice. No true "special edition" should be without a deleted scenes gallery!

    My final complaint is the fact that the original soundtrack was not restored. Unlike the theater and original VHS versions, The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" was not present during the highway Ferrari scenes. Similar to the version now shown on cable and the first DVD, "Little Boy Sweet" replaces it. What makes that even more annoying is the fact that the end credits were NEVER changed. "I'm So Excited" is still listed as appearing in ALL cable and home video releases. That is almost like adding insult to injury. Why not restore the original soundtrack for the 20th anniversary?

    In summary, I give this DVD 3 stars, just middle ground. It's an improvement over the first one, but definitely not all that it could be. Die-hard fans of the movie might want to pick it up, since there might not be any better releases for the 25th or any other anniversary. If your opinion is that you can take it or leave it, I would advise you to just pay a couple of bucks to rent it and save the rest of your money for something better....more info

  • The Original & Still The Best
    I think this was one of Chevy Chase's best flick of them all and that this is surely the best and funniest Vacation saga of them all, because European Vacation, X-Mas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation weren't nearly as funny and European Vacation is where the Vacation installments started losing their touch, so this original Vacation, which was also the 1st installment of the Vacation series is clearly and evidently by far the best one and funniest of them all.

    I also thought it was kind of funny how one disaster after another kept happening non-stop throughout this whole movie once they left for their trip across country.

    I also thought it was kind of funny and bizarre when sexy blonde bombshell(Christy Brinkley) strips naked at the pool area enticing Clark(Chevy Chase) and Clark ends up getting caught swimming nude with Christy after waking up the entire hotel nearly showing us Christy Brinkley's tatas in the process, which reminds me of when Christy Brinkley was a sexy popular sex symbol celebrity model back then doing Maybelline make-up commercials and when she was married to singer Billy Joel. ...more info
  • hilarious
    although I'm 13 I don't know how to use a regular column. Having said that I just want to say that this movie is just flat out hilarious. If this isn't a Murphy's law comedy I don't know what is. If you havn't seen the orginal VACATION you havn't been to planet earth. If you didn't like it you just flat out don't have a sense of humor, plain and simple....more info
  • "Aunt Edna?..She's still Alive?"
    One of the funniest movies I have ever seen in my lifetime. I never get tired of watching it over and over, it's just timeless. Why? because we all can relate to it. Who hasn't had a vacation from hell, with relatives from hell? I'm sure everybody has. Every actor on this movie was awesome, even the dog!!!!...more info
  • Still a Blast.
    After all these years Vacation remains a joy and a comedic masterpiece. The cast is great but one thing I never knew was that Harold Ramis was the director which explains fully why it is such a masterpiece. It's not Animal House or the Blues Brothers but it is darn close. When I look back on it, how odd it is that so much brilliance was produced in such a short period of time during the late seventies and early eighties. I don't think we'll ever experience another era like that again. Chevy Chase is near perfect here, and having Eugene Levy and John Candy as sidekicks didn't hurt. ...more info
  • Great movie, terrible DVD
    This second-generation repackaging of the "Vacation" DVD is only a slight improvement over the original version. It's in widescreen. Is this good? No way. It's "MATTED" widescreen, which means it was shot in full screen format (as if it were made for television), and the top and bottom of the images were cut off to fit it properly on movie theater screens. Basically it's the OPPOSITE of what you think you're getting when you buy a movie in widescreen. You're not gaining more picture, you're actually LOSING some. Lesson learned: read the fine print on the back of your DVD's before purchase!

    It's got commentary from most of the cast. Do you care? Neither do I.

    Now for the purported extras which don't mean squat. It's a "new digital transfer" - could I tell the difference in a quick look at a selected old vs. new scene? No. The "Family Truckster" featurette gallery is mostly a waste of time. It primarily consists of several new trailers spliced together from clips of the movie, all of which seem to prominently feature the Griswold's new vehicle. Interspersed are short interviews with Christie Brinkley, Dana Barron (the original Audrey, who's actually grown up to be kind of a hottie), Matty Simmons, and the head stuntman on the movie.

    The "Introduction" is simply a minute-or-so-long shot of Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, and producer Matty Simmons on a couch saying how they hope you'll enjoy the new DVD.

    And the one aspect of this edition that is a downright insult to DVD fans everywhere - the soundtrack is in MONO once again. Dolby Digital 1.0, center channel only. Why would the studio go to the trouble to repackage a DVD with new stuff and put absolutely no effort into the soundtrack? It's a dialogue-driven movie, so it's not like 5.1 Surround would be a great benefit, but I'd at least like to hear some noise coming out of my left and right channels without having to have my receiver process it artificially.

    One of the funniest movies of the 80's, repackaged, rereleased, and re-RUINED....more info

  • Can you see Steve Martin in this role?
    The Vacation movies are those movies, that you can watch again and again and probably never get bored of them. That doesn't mean I want to watch them that many times thank you.

    This particular Vacation movie is about crossing America with your family to get to Wally World for a holiday, and getting into all sorts of mishaps along the way. Chevy Chase is really good as Clark Griswold, although I did have moments where I saw Steve Martin in the role.

    The usual mishaps are here, along with many more, so be prepared for some laughs. I suppose my favourite bit was the 'subplot' with Christie Brinkley as the hot girl in the red car. She reappears constantly throughout the movie, and has some fun with Mr Griswold. The French kissing bit was absolutely disgusting, as was the family death bit. Disgusting! Although better than the 'toilet humour' as it came to be known thanks to movies like American Pie.

    Look out for a short but sweet cameo by an extremely dark haired Eugene Levy! He looks hilarious. Could that hair get any bigger?

    The problem with the Vacation movies and some other movies of the same genre, is that I never find them that memorable. Whether it's just me, or it's the genre I don't know. It's a nice movie to watch on a sunny afternoon (I want to go on holiday again!), perfect for a lazy afternoon, but memorable? Not really....more info
  • First of Griswald Vacations...the BEST
    When I was first introduced to to National Lampoon's Vacations, I first saw Christmas Vacation and thought it was great. We then rented "National Lampoon's Vacation" and thought it was funny as hell! Chevy Chase is funny with his jokes and his looking at the hottie (Christie Brinklie) in the Red Corrvette! Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswald is just as funny. The appearence of the memorable John Candy is hysterical. Imogene Cocoa and Randy Quaid are terribly funny. Wally World, d--n I wish it was real!!!...more info
  • 20 years and still the best!
    I have been waiting for this Special Edition DVD to come out for a while now and it was worth the wait. It has a much cleaner and clearer picture than the original DVD and lots of neat special features. My favorite is the full-length commetary by the Griswold Family. Also the Menus and the and Option screens are a lot more entertaining and animated. This is a must for any Vacation fan, go out and get yourself a copy even if you have the original DVD....more info
  • 3.7 out of 5
    NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION - here we have a true comedy classic: one might even say it's a comedy landmark. It follows the misadventures of the wacky Griswolds (led by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo) as they travel across the country to reach Walley World (the equivalent of Disney World). I'm sure many can know exactly how the family feels; I know it's happened to me many a time. Chase gives us one of his best and most hilarious performances as the father who always sees the good side of things (usually, anyway); D'Angelo is also good; and, of course, who could forget Randy Quaid as the cooky cousin Eddie? Harold Ramis directs the film well enough to show us every angle of the Griswold family's failed vacation; meanwhile, there's an extremely funny and entertaining script by John Hughes. Along with NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE, I'm sure many and most will agree that this is one of National Lampoon's two best (or should I say two good?). A must-see comedy flick that will you have laughing time after time after time....more info
  • I'm whistling Zippity-Do Da out my...........
    It doesn't seem very fair that this movie was never available in letterbox until now, BUT I WILL buy this movie now and I'll have so much fun I WILL be whistling Zippity-Do-Da! Hail Marty Moose! Now what am I gonna do with my Full Screen DVD?...more info
  • Very Funny Movie!!
    This is such a great movie. Chevy Chase is really funny in it. Actually all of the people in it are great. If you like funny movies this is one for you. All of the Vacation movies are funny. The one I really like is Christmas Vacation. The price isn't bad either....more info
  • Best Movie ever made!
    In my opinion this is the funniest movie of all time. I am a huge fan. After you watch this one you will surely want the movies that followed. I encourage you to buy all of them you won't regret.

    1. National Lampoons Vacation
    2. National Lampoons European Vacation
    3. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
    4. Vegas Vacation

    This one is the best but the rest are not far behind. Every one of these movies are hilarious. Chevy Chase is the funniest man on the earth. If you only had these four DVD's you would be happy for the rest of my life. You will watch these over and over again and never get tired of them. You will become an instant fan. This is a good start but get yourself the whole collection!!...more info

  • Chevy's Best
    No matter how depressing Chevy Chase's later work was, i.e. everything he touched after 1989, this one is a staple and an American classic. ...more info
  • Chevy Chase Steals the Show
    This is your average American family a mom, a dad, and two kids. You really see a lot of great acting in this movie you have three very good performances you have Chevy Chase who is the parent, Anthony Michael Hall who is the teenage son, and you have Christie Brinkley the girl who drives the red Ferrari. You can't go wrong with this movie it will make you laugh and pee your pants simultaneously. It isn't a hard to find movie you can buy it on Amazon, movie stores, or you can be cheap like me I bought it on VHS at a yard sale for one dollar, brand new (thrift stores are good too)....more info
  • Special Edition? Not really.
    A funny movie and one of my favorites but the "special edition" seems to be lacking a lot of extras. I agree with the other reviews but still bought the DVD. The commentary describes all these scenes and alternate endings that they shot but -guess what- they are not on this DVD! No deleted scenes, no making of, just some lame-o snipets of interviews and a theatrical trailer. Another odd thing: the first scene with Christie Brinkley driving alongside Chevy Chase, the song is replaced with a different pointer sisters song BUT if you choose french or spanish audio, the song is the original which is "I'm So Excited"... that was kinda strange. Great movie, so-so special edition. If you buy this DVD, don't buy it for the extras that's for sure....more info
  • "E is for Everything you want to be"
    "National Lampoon's Vacation" is a substantial improvement over director Harold Ramis' previous effort, the pointless and inexplicably overrated "Caddyshack". Chevy Chase gives a hilarious performance in one of his most suitable roles: Clark W. Griswold, a father facing mounting obstacles in his quest to drive his family to the famed theme park Wally World. There are many more laugh-out-loud moments than in several other examples of 70s/80s "new comedy" that I could name.

    But some aspects of "Vacation" are quite disturbing. The fate of Imogene Coca's character, and the storyline involving Christie Brinkley's character, reveal a moral corruption at the heart of "Vacation" that the film never satisfactorily addresses or resolves. Ramis actually states in his DVD commentary that Clark Griswold is "not a good person," and indeed he seems to possess no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Ramis also points out that "Vacation" is a light comedy, and that he successfully worked more serious material into such later comedies as "Groundhog Day". But for many viewers "Vacation"'s failure to take seriously its main character's amorality must diminish its effectiveness at getting laughs....more info
  • Can you see Steve Martin in this role?
    The Vacation movies are those movies, that you can watch again and again and probably never get bored of them. That doesn't mean I want to watch them that many times thank you.

    This particular Vacation movie is about crossing America with your family to get to Wally World for a holiday, and getting into all sorts of mishaps along the way. Chevy Chase is really good as Clark Griswold, although I did have moments where I saw Steve Martin in the role.

    The usual mishaps are here, along with many more, so be prepared for some laughs. I suppose my favourite bit was the 'subplot' with Christie Brinkley as the hot girl in the red car. She reappears constantly throughout the movie, and has some fun with Mr Griswold. The French kissing bit was absolutely disgusting, as was the family death bit. Disgusting! Although better than the 'toilet humour' as it came to be known thanks to movies like American Pie.

    Look out for a short but sweet cameo by an extremely dark haired Eugene Levy! He looks hilarious. Could that hair get any bigger?

    The problem with the Vacation movies and some other movies of the same genre, is that I never find them that memorable. Whether it's just me, or it's the genre I don't know. It's a nice movie to watch on a sunny afternoon (I want to go on holiday again!), perfect for a lazy afternoon, but memorable? Not really....more info
  • One of the greatest movies of the 80's!
    Got this movie for my Husband for his birthday. It's one of his all time favorite movies and couldn't believe I found it for him!! Amazon has all what you are looking for and you can't beat the free shipping!...more info
  • Wait for the 25th Anniversary Edition
    Okay...there is absolutely no debating the merits of this excellent early-80's comedy..."National Lampoon's Vacation" is without question one of the funniest comedies of the last 25 years, and definitely Chevy Chase's best film.

    The problem is Universal's typical shoddy handling of it. I mean, it's the 20th anniversary of this movie, and they release it with a MONO 2.0 soundtrack?! What the---?! IT'S 2003, WHERE THE HECK IS THE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND?!

    By now many people have home theaters and expect new DVD's to be remastered with surround sound (or geez, at least STEREO) but again Universal has failed us. I wanna hear Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" in surround sound, darnit! It's the exact opposite problem of Univeral's other long-awaited reissues ("Weird Science", "Sixteen Candles" and "Breakfast Club"). Those movies are mastered in surround but are completely no-frills as far as the extras go. "Vacation" has the extras (commentary, etc.) but [bad] sound.

    Expect a super-special 25th anniversary edition in 2008 that has good sound and doesn't come in the stupid cardboard snap case that everyone hates!...more info

    Chevy Chase was once a funny guy. Now on DVD in a widescreen format, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION: 20th Anniversary Edition (Warner Home Video), the best of the Vacation flicks crackles with insane humor. Chase is at his prime in this subversive, dark, cynical and very funny portrayal of a desperate dad hell-bent on taking his family on a crazed road trip to Wally World amusement park in the hopes of fulfilling some demented psychological need. Best extra is the inspired commentary by the actors who play the grizzled Griswold family (along with director Harold Ramis). Recommended....more info
  • Let's Go on a Family Road Trip!
    This is the movie that started it all.
    We loved this movie so much that my wife
    and I have taken our family on over 20 road
    trips, to 48 states!The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Family Road Trip...more info
  • Lame American "comedy". Not one funny moment.
    "Vacation" is nowhere near as senseless and moronic as Monty Python, but its humor is equally lame and unfunny. See a man drop something! harharhar See a man drive his car off the road! Yuckitie yuck yuck! See a cranky old lady and crude tweens! hahaha! See the wacky and zany Griswolds! ! I never stop being amazed by the rancid dumpster-leavings that Hollywood can convince the American public to swallow, especially in the comedy genre. If only the Griswolds picked up the nation's # 1 Proust scholar somewhere along the road- he might have been able to teach them a thing or two about comedy....more info
  • One wild and crazy vacation that is well worth taking...
    As one would gather from my review of `Caddy Shack', there is just some humor that, while achieving much praise and cult status, I just don't really get. You'd expect that since I was not a huge fan of `Caddy Shack' that I also would find `National Lampoons Vacation' to be a bit of an overpraised comedy, but what you fail to realize is that Chevy Chase was my favorite thing about `Caddy Shack' and when you strip away everything I didn't really like about the golfing spectacle you are left with `Vacation', a film that I can very much enjoy.

    The film tells the story of the Griswold family as they attempt to travel cross-country to visit the amusement park Wally World. Along the way they meet with many obstacles that strain their relationships and prevent them from attaining their end goal, of having fun. They meet up with oddball relatives who hit them up for money. They get stuck transporting a crotchety old woman to another relative's home. They break down, break up, fight, make up, get lost, endanger their lives and pretty much fall into every type of hazardous condition imaginable and yet nothing compares to what happens when they actually make it to their destination!

    All of this is propelled by the hilarious performances by the cast, Chevy Chase in particular. As the everyman Clark Griswold, Chase develops a comical version of ourselves and this is a joy to watch. As he races up alongside the babe in the convertible, giving her the eye while his wife is asleep we can see what is running through his mind. Does he want to cheat? No. Does he like the idea of having the opportunity? Of course he does. Beverly D'Angelo is also wonderful as Ellen. She is the right sort of counterbalance to Chase's breed of humor and she helps ground the film and makes it more relatable. Imogene Coca is hysterical as the crazy Aunt Edna and Randy Quaid as a memorable cameo as bumpkin Cousin Eddie.

    The antics that happen are outrageous and at times even ridiculous (Aunt Edna on the hood of the car = laugh riot), but it never feels that extreme because we are so wrapped up in that `this could really happen' phase. We see so much of our own family within the Griswold clan that everything they experience feels that much more believable.

    Well, some may find it baffling that I enjoy this film so thoroughly yet found much to dislike in `Caddy Shack'. What can I say; they are too very different movies that leave me feeling very differently. The acting here is much more consistent in my opinion, as are the jokes and gags. I found myself laughing out loud here as apposed to concealing a halfhearted chuckle. I have not seen the other `Vacation' films, and I hear that they are not as good, but I'm definitely going to check them out because this one is a real keeper....more info
  • The Commentary is worth buying
    The DVD is pretty good it has the Commentary that you can choose from with people like Chevy Chase Randy Quaid and the director Harold Ramis and some other people talking about the film thats intresting. I don't really care for some of the other extras like that family truckster gallery thing is just a waste of time but the trailer is also intresting to. With a Remastered picture,audio commentary,and a trailer for the movie is is worth a buy and not badly priced either....more info
  • He owes us! You're GD right he owes us!!!
    Review Note: This review is based on the VHS tape.

    Classic comedy, Chevy Chase style. This was and is to this day, a comedy classic. One of the funniest! My brother and I, and numerous friends still quote off lines from this movie, on a regular basis.

    Highly recommended!

    MC White said: Check it out!!!...more info
  • Hay Wire
    National Lampoon's Vacation is one wild incredible movie. It is an insane mixture of side-splitting humor and unnerving adventure. Chevy Chase plays the part of the con-man father. Other actors include Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, Micahel Hall, John Candy, Imogene Coca, and Christie Brinkley.

    There is one ridiculous scene after another as the family travels down the road to their vacation destination: the girl stirring the punch with her hand, the hamburgers with no meat, the biting dog, Aunt Edna in her hair rollers, the disaster in the desert, the dip in the pool. The fun goes on and on. Then there is the grande finale.

    This movie made millions. It's classic comedy -- a real hoot. Don't miss it.
    ...more info
  • Nothing Special about Special Edition
    (This is a review of the DVD itself, not the movie.)

    Not sure why they decided to release a "special edition." Really the only thing extra is the commentary, which is too busy because they have at least 4 or 5 people making comments. Not nearly as good as Chevy Chase by himself on the "European Vacation" DVD. Also, the video is a bit jumpy and seems low-quality, as if it were transferred from VHS. Sound is excellent however.

    Worth it just for the movie itself, but really there's not too much extra....more info
  • National Lampoon's Vacation (20th Anniversary Special Edition)
    When I found out that this DVD is not presently available in stores, I was relieved to find that I would be able to purchase it through Amazon. Thank you for carrying this product and for shipping it to me so promptly. It arrived in excellent condition, and I was very pleased with your service. William Byers...more info
  • Take a Trip Down the 'Holiday Road' with the Griswalds!
    Harold Ramis' second directorial effort, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, penned by 80s 'teen film master' John Hughes, lacks the 'over-the-top' madness of his first feature, CADDYSHACK, but offers Chevy Chase in what has become his signature role, and enough sight gags and one-liners to make it an enduring favorite, and start a franchise of VACATION films.

    As Clark Griswold, Chase is the embodiment of an 'average American dad', none too bright, but anxious to take his family on a bonding cross-country 'dream vacation' to 'Disneyland' caricature, Wally World. From the opening moments, when he is conned by a smooth-talking salesman (a wickedly deadpan Eugene Levy) into buying a truly hideous station wagon for the trek, you know that this family outing is in for serious trouble! Nevertheless, his devoted wife, Ellen (sweet and sexy Beverly D'Angelo), and less-than-devoted kids, Rusty and Audrey (the terrific Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron) are sucked into Clark's dream, and soon the family is bouncing across the U.S.A., to the tune of Lindsey Buckingham's 'Holiday Road'.

    The journey is a series of slapstick vignettes, ranging from hilarious (Chase's spectacular arrival at a motel, after falling asleep behind the wheel), to silly (the running appearances of supermodel Christie Brinkley, and Chase's attempts to look like a 'swinger' to impress her), to questionable (asking for directions in a Black ghetto of St. Louis, offering a variety of racial stereotypes that director Ramis himself says was in poor taste). A comic highpoint comes when the family visits unemployed cousin Eddie (the irrepressible Randy Quaid) and his 'trailer trash' family. While Eddie offers Clark 'used' beer and tries to hit him up for a 'small' loan to help put him 'back on his feet' ($52,000!), his wife serves up Hamburger Helper without hamburger, his son turns Rusty on to his pornographic magazine collection, and his oldest daughter shares with Audrey her expertise in 'French kissing' ("Daddy says I'm the best...") and stash of marijuana. As a final insult, acerbic Aunt Edna (the legendary Imogene Coca) and her psycho dog are dumped on the Griswalds...with ultimately calamitous results!

    Finally, the family reaches Wally World...only to find it closed for annual cleaning and maintenance! In the original climax of the film, Chase then tracked down the home address of Walt Disney-based 'Roy Wally' (screen legend Eddie Bracken), and got revenge by trashing his mansion. This ending played disastrously with preview audiences, however, and the cast was reassembled (Hall had grown several inches...check it out!) and a hasty rewrite was shot, with Clark buying a BB gun, and forcing his way into the closed park, getting a security guard (the wonderful John Candy, in a cameo) to turn on the rides, and show them the '(bleep)in good time' he'd promised his family. An army of police and S.W.A.T. converge on the park, and Roy Wally arrives to decide their fate. The new ending got very positive feedback from audiences, and is the version seen in the final cut of the film.

    VACATION was a major commercial hit when released, spawning three sequels (the second, CHRISTMAS VACATION, has become a holiday favorite, and is the best of the series). While the first film is certainly not a classic, it is a better film than some critics have implied, and has a loyal following.

    Next time you plan a family vacation, check it out...and remember, don't tie your dog's leash on the rear bumper of the car!...more info
  • Simply Chevy
    All you wanted from Vacation and more. It's great to see these guys back again for the commentary. The only person I wished to see/hear is Beverly DeAngilo. She would have made this a 6 out of 5. It is worth every penny....more info
  • Vacation?
    This is great Chevy Chase action and faces. The only thing they left out was someone getting car sick. Anything else was there. The first time to see it is the best. After that the movie is drownd out by the laughter as you anticipate whats coming. Don't eat popcorn with this, choking factor!...more info