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.
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.