HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  National Lampoon's Vacation Griswold Getaway
Year: 1983
Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Eddie Bracken, Brian Doyle-Murray, Miriam Flynn, James Keach, Eugene Levy, Frank McRae, John Candy, Christie Brinkley, Jane Krakowski, Henry Gibson
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The Griswold family are going on vacation, but first head of the clan Clark (Chevy Chase) has to get their new car, taking son Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) along with him. However, once they reach the car dealer's, while their old vehicle is taken away they find their new one is not what they asked for, not at all, if anything it's a monster of a station wagon instead of the sporty number they had ordered. The dealer (Eugene Levy) makes lame excuses, but the fact remains there's been a mistake - and another when their old car is crushed. Not a good omen for the holiday...

National Lampoon's Vacation was one of the most popular of the American humour magazine's big screen outings, but not everyone saw the joke, as at the time this was regarded as a divisive comedy, with many sitting through it straightfaced as others roared with laughter. This bad taste strain of jokes was not for everyone, but even then the critics saw it as the worst kind of middle-class, white, American comedy, which funnily enough was precisely the profitable seam of material the film's writer, John Hughes, would mine for the rest of his career, making him a legend for some, a smug purveyor of conservativism for others.

Hughes said he wrote his script for Vacation in four days, basing it on his short story published in the pages of the magazine, but there were rumours that both director Harold Ramis and star Chase had subjected it to extensive rewrites to ensure Clark was the centre of attention rather than the two teenage kids (Dana Barron was the other one, daughter Audrey, while Beverly D'Angelo was the longsuffering mother). Whatever the truth, following the loose formula set up by the greatest National Lampoon film, Animal House, they were wise to keep a classic Saturday Night Live member at the heart of the gags, mainly because this was Chase in his buttoned down but actually a little crazy mode that he did so well.

And he only gets more crazy the further the Griswolds' adventure goes on, as Clark decided he didn't want to fly to their destination of amusement park Walley World, and prefers to drive across the country from their home in Chicago to California. Really this was your basic comedy road movie, and as there was a variety of stops on the way the scene was set for as many ideas as the filmmakers could dream up, from the necessary visit to the relatives (led by Randy Quaid, who series fans would see again in this context) to the more obvious tourist humour, the fish out of water business that was the bread and butter of this type of flick.

Certainly there was a good cast here, and if the laughs weren't exactly consistent, they worked well together as an ensemble as the family seemingly met up with famous comic performers old and new: Imogene Coca played the irascible Aunt Edna, whose fate almost ends up as an urban myth, and Eddie Bracken was Mr Walley, while TV faces such as John Candy as a security guard and Henry Gibson uncredited as a hotel clerk also periodically appeared (even a young Jane Krakowski was there too). With a tone that was less reactionary and more dependent on humiliating the Clark character, Chase did well to hold this together as he accidentally kills the vicious pet dog or has a not-quite fling with Christie Brinkley during his ever-encroaching mid-life crisis, but after a while you pretty much had the measure of where this was going, so if an undemanding watch for seasoned comedy fans, there wasn't much else to it. Music by Ralph Burns, and just try and get Lindsay Buckingham's theme song out of your head.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2031 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: