National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Taglines: Yule crack up!

With Christmas only a few weeks away, Chicago resident Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) decides it is time to get a Christmas tree. He gathers his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), daughter Audrey (Juliette Lewis) and son Rusty (Johnny Galecki) and drives out to the country where he picks out a huge tree. Realizing too late that they didn’t bring any tools to cut the tree down, they are forced to uproot it instead, before driving home with the tree strapped to the roof of their car.

Soon after, both Clark’s and Ellen’s parents arrive to spend Christmas, but their bickering quickly begins to annoy the family. Clark, however, maintains a positive attitude, determined to have a “fun old-fashioned family Christmas.” He covers the house’s entire exterior with 25,000 twinkle lights, which fail to work at first, as he has accidentally wired them through his garage’s light switch. When they finally come on, they temporarily cause a city-wide power shortage (forcing the power company to resort to nuclear generators for backup power) and create chaos for Clark’s snobby yuppie neighbors,

Todd (Nicholas Guest) and Margo (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). While standing on the front lawn admiring the lights, Clark is shocked to see Ellen’s cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her dense but bighearted husband Eddie (Randy Quaid), as they arrive unannounced with their children, Rocky and Ruby Sue, and their Rottweiler dog, Snots. Eddie later admits that they are living in the RV they drove to reach Chicago, as he is broke and has been forced to sell his home. Clark offers to buy gifts for Eddie’s kids, so they can still enjoy a wonderful Christmas.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a 1989 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment 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 labeled 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.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Movie Poster (1989)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Directed by: Jeremiah Chechik
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Diane Ladd, Doris Roberts, Randy Quaid, Miriam Flynn, Cody Burger
Screenplay by: John Hughes
Production Design by: Stephen Marsh
Cinematography by: Thomas E. Ackerman
Film Editing by: Gerald B. Greenberg, Michael A. Stevenson
Costume Design by: Michael Kaplan
Set Decoration by: Lisa Fischer
Art Direction by: Beala Neel
Music by: Angelo Badalamenti
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 1, 1989