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National Lampoon's Vacation (20th Anniversary Special Edition) (1983)

Chevy Chase , Beverly D'Angelo , Harold Ramis    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
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National Lampoon's Vacation (20th Anniversary Special Edition) (1983) + National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Bilingual)
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Product Description

The Griswolds have planned all year for a great summer vacation. From their suburban Chicago home, across America, to the wonders of Wally World fun park in California, every step of the way has been carefully plotted. Except a few hundred hysterical exceptions. National Lampoon's Vacation is a sublimely goofy comedy, thanks largely to Chevy Chase in his signature role of Clark Griswold. The inept but sincere Clark takes misfortune in stride. So what if they lose all their money when their new car gets wrecked. And it's not too bad when Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) deposits sour Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca) in their back seat for a lift to Phoenix. But what really keeps Clark's eyes on the road is a flirtation with a mysterious blonde (Christie Brinkley) in a red Ferrari. For those along on the ride, National Lampoon's Vacation, called "fast, funny satire" by The New York Times' Janet Maslin, is a jolly jaunt.


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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - a comedy classic April 14 2004
National Lampoon's Vacation was the first film in the Vacation series of films. For many years, the film has been hailed as a comedy classic. And according to most viewers of this series, the first film is the best one of all. Are they right? And is this twentieth anniversary edition of the DVD a worthwhile buy if you already got the original DVD issue? Read on for my review.
The storyline of the film goes something like this. A middle-aged man working in the food preservation industry (Chevy Chase) wants to take his wife (Beverly D'Angelo) and children on a road trip to Walley World, one of the nation's biggest and best amusement parks. And he wants to do this in the new car he has ordered. But the vacation turns into a disaster almost instantly - the car company sends him the wrong car, and even once the vacation is in progress, one thing after another goes wrong - with each experience being even more devastating than the last.
Anyone who calls this film a comedy classic is right. It's very rare that a film this funny comes along. The acting (Chevy Chase's in particular) is great, and the simplistic storyline prevents things from getting confusing. As has been previously stated, this film predated the Motion Picture Industry of America's PG-13 rating, so even though it's an R rating, it's really not much worse that a modern PG-13 is. If you haven't seen this movie yet, and you're a fan of comedies, what are you waiting for?
The so-called "special edition" version of the DVD is a huge disappointment - this is why this set loses half a star. The commentary track is pretty bland, and the "new extras" are pretty much worthless.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The movie is great but the DVD falls short Jan. 21 2004
By A Customer
I love the National Lampoon's Vacation movie with Chevy Chase and the movie is wonderful and we all know that. My problem here is this 20th anniversary DVD Warner Bros put out First O.K the movie looks great the picture is wonderful and everything that's not the problem it is the real lack of special features that makes me rather dissapointed the best special feature the the commentary it is pretty entertaining there is alot of information that is useful but Harold Ramis who as you hear recorded his away from everyone else probably has the most useful information the others like Chevy Chase Dana Barron Anthony Michael Hall who is basically mute through out the whole darn thing and Randy Quaid and Matty Simmons once in a while come out with some good tidbits but they joke around too much. They talk about that alternate ending when they go to Roy Wally's Mansion instead make him and some people sing and dance for there dime's worth of entertainment and that is how the movie originally ended with no trip ever to Wally World with the Roller Coasters and such and no John Candy in the original ending and they tested the ending with a test audience and they laughed through out the whole film but got Strangly Quiet and never laughed again and just walked out sad. Guess What that alternate ending never made it on the DVD! You think after 20 years with so many loyal fans of this film they would release that ending for at least for interest just to see rare footage of this film. They just drive you nuts here on this DVD all of the special features except the Commentary which is cool everything else stinks. Where is the FEATURETTE? Where is the Making of...? Maybe some outtakes would have made this a bit more cooler and most of all for crying out loud release the alternate ending! Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tie this DVD to the bumper..... Oct. 22 2003
(Instead of reviewing a film you probably already know, I stick to the DVD special features).
Those Extras:
Commentary: Was ok. Chase tries to be funny on every line, Quaid is only in the film for five minutes so he's basically mute. DeAngelo is also missing. Producer Simmons and Director Ramis come off best with info, but is it just me, or does Ramis sound like he recorded his part seperate from every one else??
New Interviews: Pathetic. They embody some really silly features in the body of the family truckster: Audrey 1, Dana Barron, is actually glimpsed for a second, but isn't given much to do; some inane stuff involving singing moments from the film, accessed through the truckster radio; Producer Simmons is ok; lenghty talk with stunt coordinator Dick Ziker; and TONS of time spent talking to.....Brinkley??? Hall, Chase, DeAngelo, Quaid, et al are somewhere else.
Introduction: Extremely weak. Chase, Simmons and Quaid sit on a couch for about thrity seconds, Chase cracking bad quips.
Overall: No behind the scenes, and some particulary stupid choices for the things that come closest to it. Ramis and Simmons contributions make this barely worth a buy.
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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!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars comedy film
National Lampoon's Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is a 1983 comedy film - fictionalized family's ill-fated trip to Walley World'
Published 17 months ago by T
4.0 out of 5 stars even funnier than than i remember it being
i remember watching this movie more than a few years ago and thinking
it was OK,but nothing great.then,having just watched it again,i really
enjoyed it. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2010 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars The family vacation series of all time
This is one great movie the 1st from the Griswalds all 4 were funny they took a road trip to California. Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, funny comedy
"Vacation" is an enjoyable, funny comedy that has spawned several sequels, but none have been as good as this one, the original. Read more
Published on March 26 2004 by TacoGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 Yards!
its a great movie with michael anthony hall playing rusty chevy chase and randy quade as uncle eddie. Read more
Published on March 26 2004 by A. Macmillan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I always have loved this movie. I relate to this movie because it reminds me of my own American vacations. You can't go wrong with this one.
Published on March 12 2004 by Le Fou
5.0 out of 5 stars Chevy Chase is at his best
This is on of the top ten funniest movies in my list. Why do some people hate it so much. It's so funny. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2004 by dylan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wally world
Is it me or do the Griswalds have the worst of luck? Laugh at them while they are trying to gain a bit of peace and solidarity during the trip to WALLY WORLD
Published on Jan. 1 2004 by Dance Dance Dance
5.0 out of 5 stars Definately one of my all time favorites
You ever fill out one of those questionnaires that ask "if you could have only 5 movies, which ones would you pick"? Well, this one is on my list. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Chevy Chase can get a laugh with just the look on his face. He does so several times throughout this classic movie. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr.
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