This fabulous comedy from 1983, also known as Vacation, was directed by Harold Ramis. It was written by John Hughes. The cast includes Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Christie Brinkley, John Candy, and more.

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

It's time for a Griswold family vacation. Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to make this a family vacation to remember. He does just that, but not the way he hoped. Clark, Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall), and Audrey (Dana Barron) get in the family station wagon and begin there trek from Chicago to the Walley World, a Disneyland-like theme park on the West Coast. Along the way they run into Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and family. Wind up giving Aunt Edna a ride to Phoenix. Getting pieces of their car ripped off in East St. Louis. Pretty much anything and everything that could go wrong does.

Why aren't we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. -- Clark Griswold

Classic Chevy Chase! This film is great and spawned one of the best series of movies in comedic history, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation. Christmas Vacation possibly even tops this one. Chase is amazing in this movie, Clark Griswold is the character Chase was born to play. And the lovely Beverly D'Angelo plays an extremely understanding wife who is every bit has funny as Chase. Randy Quaid does an excellent job as the simple-minded cousin. And the kids are also played quite well.

Cousin Vicki: I'm going steady, and I French kiss.
Audrey Griswold: So? Everybody does that.
Cousin Vicki: Yeah, but Daddy says I'm the best at it.

Hey, hey, easy kids. Everybody in the car. Boat leaves in two minutes... or perhaps you don't want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away? -- Clark Griswold

I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our godamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes! I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit! -- Clark Griswold

Followed by: National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation

This movie belongs very close to the top of the long list of 1980's comedy classics.

It begins with Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his son Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) going to a car dealership to pick up the Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon they ordered. But the dealership has somehow gotten too many Metallic Peat Wagon Queen Family Trucksters, so they trick the Griswolds into buying one of those instead (by crushing their old car before they can take it back). "If you're making a drive across country," Clark later paraphrases the dealer to his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), "this is your automobile."

So they set off in the Family Truckster (after losing half their luggage before they even get out of the driveway). More crazy things than I can tell you about in one write-up happen along the way. They stop in Kansas to visit Ellen's cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), the quintessential hick. His wife Catherine greets them, one baby inside, another in her arms, and several other children clustered around her. The oldest son, Dale, introduces Rusty to the world of nudie magazines, and the oldest daughter Vicki (Jane Krakowski!), champion pig raiser, proves to the Griswold daughter Audrey that farming is actually cool by presenting a shoebox full of marijuana.

But the family's fun is spoiled by Ellen and Eddie's Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca), a nasty old lady with an extremely ill-tempered dog. The Griswold are forced to drive them both to Phoenix to the home of a third cousin, Normie. They never do see cousin Normie, but that's another long story.

Several times along the ride, Clark is distracted by a girl in a red Ferrari (Christie Brinkley). Somehow she turns up at the same hotel as them one night, the same night that Clark and Ellen have had a fight. He goes to the bar, where he meets her, feeds her a big line of bull that she pretends to believe, and jumps into a freezing cold pool with her (then yells so loud that he wakes up the entire hotel). Ellen, offended that he thinks she doesn't know how to have fun, drags him back down there and jumps in, and then she screams loud enough to wake up the hotel.

At last they make it to Walley World, only to discover that it's been "closed for two weeks to clean and repair America's favorite family fun park. Sorry! (insert goofy laugh here)." And that's the last straw.

Clark drives back to town, buys a bibi gun at a sporting goods store, holds security guard John Candy hostage, and makes him take them on all the rides anyway. Park owner Roy Walley shows up with the SWAT Team (which, for some reason, in all movies starring the original cast of Saturday Night lIve, says "hut hut hut" all the time). After hearing their tale, he decides not to press charges.

The closing credits include further pictures of the trip - including the whole Griswold family wearing Walley World hats, sitting in the airplane they rode home.

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