• R, 1 hr. 38 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Harold Ramis
    In Theaters:
    Jul 29, 1983 Wide
    On DVD:
    Aug 27, 1997
  • Warner Bros. Pictures

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National Lampoon's Vacation Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

June 5, 2014
National Lampoon's Vacation is a very good comedy film that is one of the finest comedies of the 80's. With a great cast lead by Chevy Chase. The film is engaging from start to finish, and there are several memorable scenes in the film. I really enjoyed the film, and I'm glad that I finally got to see it. What makes the film work well is the great chemistry between the cast, and the script is very well written, with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Vacation is great fun from start to finish, and is a must see for viewers that need to watch something humorous, well acted and memorable. This is a great comedy and is well worth your time. Chevy Chase is at his funniest here, along with the sequel that would follow a few years later after European Vacation, Christmas Vacation. The film is very good and delivers effective laughs throughout. The script like I said is well written, with a good story that is simple, yet is peppered with good gags, National Lampoon's Vacation is a memorable comedy that ranks among the finest films of the 80's. I think it's a shame however that only one sequel in this series matched this film because, there could have been a few memorable entries, and however European Vacation and Vegas Vacation would never match this movie. Stick with this film as well as Christmas Vacation and forget the other two films in the series ever happened. With good acting, effective jokes and plenty of memorable moments on-screen, National Lampoon's Vacation is a film well worth your time, and ranks among the comedy classics of the 80's.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

April 23, 2013
This is for sure one of the most remember and one of the comedy movies that is the characteristic of the 80's American humour.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

September 2, 2006
Directed by Harold Ramis, scripted by John Hughes, and starring Chevy Chase, this film is essentially one of the all-time greatest screwball comedies. That it's a road movie makes it even better in my eyes.

Clark Griswold is your typical all-American whose just trying to be a good husband and loving father. He and his family set out from Chicago to L.A. for what should be a great vacation, with their ultimate destination being a theme park called Wally World.

The trip ends up being anything but paradise as they family encounter a number of oddball problems and colorful events that just keeping piling on top of one another.

Chase is great, and so is Beverly D'Angelo as his wife Ellen. Their kids Rusty and Audrey are played by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron, and, they're decent, but nothing amazing. The real scene stealer though is Randy Quaid as Clark's redneck cousin-in-law Eddie, who is really obnoxious and a big leech, yet still lovable, and definitely memorable. Eugene Levy also appears in a fun cameo early on. And of course, who can forget Christie Brinkley as a mysterious woman who becomes the object of Clark's desire?

There's good location shooting, decent music, hilarious one-liners, and some truly outrageous moments here, all of which add up to an American comedy classic. Bottom line: don't miss it.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2007
MAJOR blast from the past here and it still holds up really well today despite being really seriously dated. The appearance is almost historical with all those 80's clothes, cars and electronic gear (the sequence with 'Clarke' using the old computer, check those graphics! may have even been an old Atari, not sure) but the laughs all round are still gold, silly but pure gold.
You have to remember that these days this kind of thing is completely unoriginal and pretty lame really, but when this first came out it was quite unique.

Best scenes include...the red Ferrari driving blonde and 'Clarke' trying to impress her, highjacking 'WallyWorld', the annoying auntie who then pops her clogs, Randy Quaid as 'Eddie' and arriving at 'WallyWorld' to find its closed with 'Clarke' then throwing a wobbly LOL!! many other various in-car travel moments along the way also make you smile.

The main thing is you can relate to it completely, maybe not now, but back in the day as a kid I had a few roadtrips on holiday with my parents and it actually was like this at times, it really was haha! especially how 'Clarke' sweats allot through his gloriously 80's t-shirts, my dad did exactly that lol!

Ramis really hit home with this excellent comedy and to think for years I had no clue he was the director, much like the rest of the cast I didn't really know who they were. Now of course its a cult and virtually part of the American way, the rest of the world used to see Americans as the Griswold's, best not mention that to them hehe.
Tyler R

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2012
Easily one of the best comdies ever made. This was made back when comedies were taken seriously, not on the actors in it, but the overall plot. Nowadays, whenever Will Ferrel is in a movie, people automatically assume it's going to be a funny movie. Then when people go to see his movie, they focus too much on Ferrel and not the storyline. Vacation was genuinely funny, whereas Will Ferrel movies have to rely on Ferrel acting like a child to get laughs. Vacation not oly has laughs, but the build up to laughs. We know Clark (Potrayed by the always funny Chevy Chase.) wants the road trip to be perfect for his family, but unfortunate events continue to pile on including the death of a dog and getting lost in the ghetto. The audience knows that Clark is eventually on the verge of flipping out and when he does, the laughs don't stop. Will Ferrel movies (Sorry to always bring him up, I just hate the guy, he's not funny and his movies suck. I need a good example of how NOT to make a comedy.) always have the same crap: Will Ferrel jumping around, acting like a kindergarten brat. I recommend this to anyone who wants to laugh as soon as the movie starts and keep laughing even when the movie is over.
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

January 4, 2012
Lampoon's Vacation is so not one of the greatest comedy movies all time. However, on a positive note, it's the movie that made modern road trip movies extremely popular. Chevy Chase and his family are very likable but I felt the whole "American values" thing nearer to the end of the film was either a failed joke or a cheesy moral. Not everything in the movie was funny or worked well but you know what? The bits that didn't miss were sublimely silly. It's the start of a franchise that is undeniably likable no matter how many times the plot is repeated. Franchises like that are hard to come by. Some of the sequels went wrong though...
Graham J

Super Reviewer

November 20, 2011
This comedy masterpiece is one of my favorites. Chevy Chase delivers one of his best performances as the dad that can't get anything right, a character that I wills always remember because I saw him in my dad and now I see Clark Griswold in myself.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2011
Not until 2006 (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) has a road comedy even come close to being as great as NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION. It's funny, raunchy, and it spawned a few decent films. (Though VEGAS VACATION was not good.)

Okay, I really do not like "hard-R" comedies at all, and this may actually be a good example of a "hard-R" comedy. But if you overlook the nudity (though the one-scene spoof of both JAWS and the shower scene from PSYCHO is admittedly funny), profanity, and innuendo of NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, what remains is still a whole lot of good, solid humor. And the good thing about VACATION is that it has all sorts of humor: the immature kind young kids would enjoy (not that they should be watching this uncensored!); the farcical kind that was resurrected less than two decades later in films such as MEET THE PARENTS; the slapstick kind that brings back the memories of Curly, Larry, and Moe (if you don't know who they are, you are probably a miserable low-life--no offense); the racist kind (the scene in which the Griswolds ask for directions in downtown city area, for a memorable example); the absurd/dumb kind (for another classic example, the scene in which Clark Griswold is driving while sleeping); even the gross-out kind and (well, of course) the raunchy kind!

The "Vacation" films are most likely the only National Lampoon films I will ever watch. Maybe ANIMAL HOUSE, but the rest of the company's films (particularly VAN WILDER) are bound to be no match for NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2011
Possibly, the greatest comedy film ever made in history. Clark Griswold wants to take his family to Wally World in California, but during the road trip, he is jacked by the ghetto, kills a dog, kills Aunt Edna, destroys his car and crashes it (more than once), and much more. This is Chevy Chases best performnace, his side comments, his look, and just himself in general is great. The plot never lets down, it keeps bringing more and more funny jokes. Vacation is a GREAT COMEDY, and is one of the best of all time.
Shawn E

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2011
Classic dumb comedy
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Another classic comedy from the 80s, I love it, it's hilarious. The cast is great, the story is great, and it's just so funny. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes comedy.
YodaMasterJedi
YodaMasterJedi

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2010
3 stars
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

March 26, 2007
Just dumb!
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2008
Somehow got through 35 years without seeing this! Funny 80's film, goes a bit stupid at the end, but I guess you would expect that from one of these films. Enjoyed it.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

March 25, 2007
Very funny classic.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2009
The first one was the best one! Love the poster for it.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2009
"National Lampoon's Vacation" is the movie that started the classic National Lampoon movie series. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) decides to take his family on a cross-country trip to Wally World in California. On the way, the Griswold family will see sites such as the Grand Canyon, and even unwillingly pick up one of their least favorite family members, Aunt Edna.
The long lasting National Lampoon series couldn't have begun with a better movie than "National Lampoon's Vacation." It's hilarious all the way from the comics at the very beginning of the movie all the way till the movie ends. Some of the funniest parts of the movie that I remember most are what the Griswolds do to Aunt Edna when she dies, and what Chevy Chase does when Beverly D'Angelo asks if he's going to look at the Grand Canyon. John Candy also makes a great cameo appearance.

"National Lampoon's Vacation" is simply a great movie. It's hilarious, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo do a great job together, and even the music isn't bad. I recommend "National Lampoon's Vacation" to anybody that likes comedy movies, it's a must have. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Chevy Chase is always a pleasure to watch.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2009
Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far.

Chevy Chase stars as Clark Griswold, the typical American businessman. Well, almost a basic businessman. He works in food preservatives. Beverly D'Angelo plays his wife, Anthony Michael Hall plays Rusty, his teenage son, and Dana Barron plays his daughter Audrey . This summer, Clark has decided to go all out and take a vacation with his family to "Walley World," a theme park spoof on Disney World, owned by "Roy Walley".

Basically, this film starts out strong and ends strong. There are many gut grabbing scenes, and the film never resorts to gross out humor. The biggest gross out is when Clark bites into a sandwich a dog leaked on, but that's a different story.

Along the way to Walley World, everything and everything that can go wrong does, and Clark ends up with Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca), who adds more fun to this wallop of a comedy.

The laughter just escalates more and more as we see Clark's dreams flush down the toilet farther and farther, and I can't tell you how much I laughed at some of the scenes.

"Vacation" isn't typical National Lampoon fare.

Chevy Chase gives by far his best performance (akthough he acts just as well in "Christmas Vacation") as Clark, a real optimist, go get'm kind of guy, who completely snaps toward the end of the film. The rest of the cast does well, and Beverly D'Angelo does surprisingly well as a house wife. The two children, Audrey and Rusy, squawk at each other, but not to the point of obnoxious, which is another good thing about this film.

Is it no surprise that John Hughes, the king writer/director of the 80's comedy films wrote this, or that Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Striped, Analyze This) directed the film?

With cameos by the likes of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Brian Doyle Murray (who played Clark's boss in "Christmas Vacation"), and more, "Vacation" is a comedic triumph of the eighties that is now an icon of how to make a good comedy.
Brian D

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2009
Classic 80's comedy.Chevy chase at he's best...
Mark H

Super Reviewer

July 18, 2008
Absurd road comedy about the Griswold's family vacation to Wally World. When first released back in 1983, this film felt like an obvious farce full of gross-out gags and dumb slapstick bits. Although it IS that, what's amazing is just how much heart this film actually has. Chevy Chase as the agreeable family patriarch anchors the film, but Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, John Candy, and even Christie Brinkley all add significantly to this dream cast.
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