The Griswald family competes in a game show called Pig in a Poke and wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe. In a whirlwind tour of western Europe, chaos of all sorts ensues. They stay in a fleabag London hotel with a sloppy, tattooed Cockney desk clerk. While in their English rental car, a yellow Austin Maxi, Clark drives the family endlessly around the busy Lambeth Bridge roundabout for hours, unable to maneuver his way out of traffic.
His tendency to drive on the wrong side of the road causes frequent accidents, including accidentally knocking over a bicyclist, who reappears throughout the film. At Stonehenge, Clark backs the car into an ancient stone monolith, toppling all the stones like dominoes, which they do not even notice as they happily leave the scene.
In Paris, the family wears stenciled berets, causing Rusty to be teased by young women at the Eiffel Tower observation deck. Clark offers to get rid of the beret for Rusty, but when he throws it away, another visitor’s dachshund mistakes it for a Frisbee and jumps off the tower after it. Later, Rusty meets an exotic dancer at a bawdy Paris can-can dance show. The family’s video camera is stolen by a passerby whom Clark had asked to take a picture of the family. Clark also manages to anger a French waiter with his terrible French.
European Vacation (originally given the working title Vacation ‘2’ Europe) is a 1985 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.
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively, John Astin, Sheila Kennedy, Cynthia Szigeti, Tricia Lange
Screenplay by: John Hughes
Production Design by: Robert Cartwright
Cinematography by: Robert Paynter
Film Editing by: Pembroke J. Herring
Costume Design by: Graham Williams
Set Decoration by: Simon Wakefield
Art Direction by: Alan Tomkins, Leslie Tomkins
Music by: Charles Fox
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 26, 1985