Christmas Vacation

December 1, 1989 0 By Fans
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The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 7.3/10 (45,781 voted)

Jeremiah S. Chechik

Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.


Chevy Chase

Clark Griswold

Beverly D'Angelo

Ellen Griswold

Juliette Lewis

Audrey Griswold

Johnny Galecki

Russell 'Rusty' Griswold

John Randolph

Clark Wilhelm Griswold, Sr.

Diane Ladd

Nora Griswold

E.G. Marshall

Art Smith

Doris Roberts

Frances Smith

Randy Quaid

Cousin Eddie Johnson

Miriam Flynn

Cousin Catherine Johnson

Cody Burger

Cousin Rocky Johnson

Ellen Hamilton Latzen

Cousin Ruby Sue Johnson

William Hickey

Uncle Lewis

Mae Questel

Aunt Bethany

Sam McMurray


Yule crack up!

Release Date: 1 December 1989

Filming Locations: Breckenridge, Colorado, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $27,000,000


Opening Weekend: $11,700,000
(3 December 1989)

Gross: $71,320,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The old Dodge pickup that tailgates Clark and the family in the opening scenes of the movie was previously used as 'Kurt Russell''s work truck in the movie


When Clark is putting up the Christmas lights on the roof, he tells Rusty to put down the plastic reindeer and to help him. When Rusty drops the reindeer, you can clearly see at least one of their legs break off. Later, when Clark can't get the lights to start, all the legs of every reindeer are intact.


Well I'm gonna park the cars and get check the luggage, and well, I'll be outside for the season.

User Review

Holidays are only complete with this movie


My Christmas is filled with ritual, as I guess most people's are. Part of
that ritual is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, about which I have
nothing but good things to say. This should be part of your Holiday season
too, because despite it not seeming like it all the way through, the film
a whole is just so thoroughly festive, cheery and good-hearted.

It opens with a great set-piece, Clark taking his family out in the
"front-wheel drive sleigh" to dig their Christmas tree out of the
snow-covered ground. He's a desperate loser, but you have to love the guy,
working his butt off to give his extended family the perfect Christmas.
(That's the difference in this Vacation movie, by the way – the Griswolds
don't go anywhere, their folks come to them).

So the shenanigans finding a tree set the pattern for a season of chaos,
fighting in-laws, squirrels, stupid relatives, huge dogs, snooty
and collapsing turkeys. And as if that wasn't stress enough for poor
he's waiting for his Christmas bonus to come through to cover a cheque
already written.

The script brims with festive jollity, enthusing the audience with Clark's
excitement for the holidays. Stand out moments include the welcome (and
hilarious) return of Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, the uber-hick sponger
a trailer-full of weirdo kids and rubber sheets, and Mae Questel's
appearance as Aunt Bethany. She used to voice Betty Boo, and plays the
old woman to perfection.

See this movie. Get it on video. I normally watch it the first time on a
miserable October Sunday, when I start to think properly about Christmas.
Nothing can replace this movie as the one thing guaranteed to get me
forward to late December. Fabulous stuff, and as festive for me as tinsel
and carols. Cuddle up with this one.