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The National Lampoon's Vacation film series is a comedy film series initially based on John Hughes' short story "Vacation '58" that was originally published by National Lampoon magazine. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of seven films, two of which are not sponsored by National Lampoon. In recent years, the series has been the inspiration for various advertising campaigns featuring some of the original cast members. The series portrays the misadventures of the Griswold family, whose attempts to enjoy vacations and holidays are plagued with continual disasters and strangely embarrassing predicaments.

Music from the four films below can be found on Deezer (Prof Nostalgia playlist).


National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)[]

"Every summer Chevy Chase takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far."

National Lampoon's Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is an American road comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, and Anthony Michael Hall. John Candy, Imogene Coca, Christie Brinkley, and a young Jane Krakowski appear in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by John Hughes, based on his short story "Vacation '58" which appeared in National Lampoon.

The film was a box-office hit, earning more than $60 million in the US with an estimated budget of $15 million, and received positive reviews from critics. As a result of its success, four sequels have been produced over the last three decades: European Vacation (1985), Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997), and most recently, Vacation (2015) which serves as both a reboot and a continuation.

  • US release date: July 29, 1983
  • UK release date: October 20, 1983

Plot Summary[]

Chicago native Clark Griswold (Chase) has decided to take his wife ,Ellen (D'Angelo), kids 14 year-old Rusty (Hall) and 12 year-old Audrey (Barron) to a Los Angles theme park called Walley World. But when Audrey takes up pot smoking and Rusty reads porno magazines, annoying Cousin Eddie (Quaid) sends spiteful Aunt Edna (Coca) to join them on their trip, the Griswolds get stuck in the ghetto, Aunt Edna dies, Clark drives off the road, hillbillies take all their money, and Clark is shot at in a Dodge City bar, will their vacation be all it was cracked up to be?

Notable Cast[]

  • Chevy Chase as Clark W. 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 the Girl in Red Ferrari
  • John Candy as Russ Lasky
  • Eddie Bracken as Roy Walley
  • James Keach as Motorcycle cop
  • Eugene Levy as Ed the car salesman



National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) Official Trailer - Chevy Chase Comedy Movie HD

European Vacation.jpg

National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)[]

"For over two thousand years, Europe has survived many great disasters. Now for the real test. Chevy Chase & his family are coming from America!"

European Vacation is an American comedy film directed by Amy Heckerling and written by John Hughes and Robert Klane based on a story by Hughes. The second film in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, it stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Dana Hill and Jason Lively replace Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall as Griswald children Audrey and Rusty. After Hall declined to reprise his role (he decided to star in Weird Science instead), the producers decided to recast both children.

The film is the only instalment of the series to credit the family’s name spelled as "Griswald", instead of "Griswold".

  • US release date: July 26, 1985
  • UK release date: January 3, 1986

Plot Summary[]

When the Griswolds accidentally win the grand prize on the "Pig in a Poke" TV show, a trip to Europe for all of them, they happily decide to go. But the family's name would not be Griswold if everything went without complication. In London, they see Big Ben and Parliament extensively, but only after Clark (Chase) learned to drive on the left side by not doing so; in Paris, Rusty's (Lively) hormones disastrously spring to live; in Germany, the Griswolds visit the wrong relatives and in Italy, the family gets in touch with crime and a videotape that was in the camera that was stolen back in Paris. In addition, Audrey (Hill), who is in love with less-caring beau Jack (William Zabka), keeps ringing up the phone bill, Rusty keeps hitting on girls and Ellen (D'Angelo) keeps keeping them all together when times are bad.

Notable Cast[]

  • Chevy Chase as Clark Griswald
  • Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswald
  • Dana Hill as Audrey Griswald
  • Jason Lively as Russell "Rusty" Griswald
  • John Astin as Kent Winkdale
  • Mel Smith as London hotel manager
  • Robbie Coltrane as Man in bathroom
  • Maureen Lipman as Lady in the bed
  • William Zabka as Jack
  • Ballard Berkeley as Second English motorist
  • Eric Idle as The Bike Rider
  • Moon Unit Zappa as Rusty's California girl



National Lampoon's European Vacation - Trailer


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)[]

"Yule crack up!"

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is an American Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third instalment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, and was written by John Hughes, based on his short story in National Lampoon magazine, "Christmas '59". The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Randy Quaid, with Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki as the Griswold children Audrey and Rusty, respectively.

Since its release in 1989, Christmas Vacation has often been labelled as a modern Christmas classic. It is also the only sequel in the Vacation series to have spawned its own direct sequel: a 2003 made-for-TV release entitled National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure.

  • US release date: December 1, 1989
  • UK release date (video): November 12, 1990

Plot Summary[]

Clark Wilhelm Griswold (Chase) had some disastrous vacations at both Wallyworld and in Europe. Now he wants to compensate for this by having a special "Griswold Family Christmas", and after months of careful planning he invites both of his parents (John Randolph & Diane Ladd), both of his wife, Ellen's parents (E G Marshall & Doris Roberts) even his uncle Lewis (William Hickey) and his senile aunt Bethany (Mae Questel). However, what Clark does not realise that his no-manner cousin-in law Eddie (Quaid) was coming over in his new trailer. Clark even prepares his house for Christmas with over 20,000 lights and a tree that does not even fit in the living room. As Christmas Eve comes, Clark will soon realise that a series of unfortunate events will start to unravel for him, as the Christmas turkey would burst and have no meat, his aunt's cat would chew on the lights and his uncle Lewis will burn up his tree, and he will even soon discover that his boss have cut the Christmas bonus to give him a month in the jelly club, can Clark keep it together and understand the true meaning of Christmas?

Notable Cast[]

  • Chevy Chase as Clark
  • Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen
  • Juliette Lewis as Audrey
  • Johnny Galecki as Rusty
  • John Randolph as Clark, Sr
  • Diane Ladd as Nora
  • E. G. Marshall as Art
  • Doris Roberts as Frances
  • Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie
  • William Hickey as Lewis
  • Mae Questel as Bethany



National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Theatrical Trailer

Vegas Vacation Poster.jpg

Vegas Vacation (1997)[]

"This time the Griswolds are on a roll."

Vegas Vacation is an American comedy film directed by Stephen Kessler. It is the fourth instalment in National Lampoon’s Vacation film series, and was written by Elisa Bell, based on a story by Bell and Bob Ducsay. The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Randy Quaid, with Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols as Griswold children Rusty and Audrey. Vegas Vacation became the first theatrical Vacation film not to carry the National Lampoon label or a screenwriting credit from John Hughes.

  • US release date: February 14, 1997
  • UK release date (video): September, 1997

Plot Summary[]

When Clark Griswold (Chase) puts his mind to something, we soon realise he hasn't got one. Still, nothing stops him when the vacation bug hits. This time, he's chosen Las Vegas, the new family entertainment capital of America! Clark's wife, Ellen (D'Angelo), doting on the guy she calls "Sparky". The Griswold teens (Embry & Nichols) love the round-the-clock nightlife - as long as they don't share it with Mom and Dad! From Seigfried and Roy's extravaganza to a Hoover Dam tour, from cruising to losing (Wallace Shawn as a shifty blackjack dealer) to amorous crooning (Wayne Newton falls for Ellen): watch Clark try to keep family and wallet together!

Notable Cast[]

  • Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
  • Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold
  • Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie
  • Ethan Embry as Russell "Rusty" Griswold
  • Marisol Nichols as Audrey Griswold
  • Shae D'Lyn as Cousin Vicki
  • Wallace Shawn as Marty the Blackjack dealer
  • Christie Brinkley as "Girl in the Red Ferrari" (non-speaking cameo)
  • Wayne Newton as himself
  • Siegfried & Roy as themselves
  • Sid Caesar as Mr. Ellis



National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation - Trailer 1