Clark Griswold, wanting to spend more time with his wife Ellen and children Rusty and Audrey, decides to lead the family on a cross-country expedition from the Chicago suburbs to the southern California amusement park Walley World, billed as “America’s Favorite Family Fun Park.” Ellen wants to fly, but Clark insists on driving, so he can bond with his family. He has ordered a new car in preparation for the trip, but the dealer claims that it will not be ready for six weeks. Clark is forced to accept a Wagon Queen Family Truckster, an ugly, out-sized station wagon, as the car he brought to trade in has already been hauled away and crushed.
During the family’s travels, they run into numerous mishaps, such as being tagged by vandals in a rundown area of St. Louis, while Clark is tantalized numerous times by a beautiful young woman driving a flashy red Ferrari. They stop in Kansas to visit Ellen’s cousin Catherine and her husband Eddie, who foist cranky Aunt Edna and her mean dog Dinky on the Griswolds, asking them to drop her off at her son Norman’s home in Phoenix.
After stopping at a decrepit and dirty campground in Colorado for the night, Clark forgets to untie Dinky’s leash from the bumper before driving off the next morning, killing the dog. A state trooper pulls the Griswolds over and angrily lectures Clark over animal cruelty but accepts Clark’s apology; Edna learns of her dog’s death and becomes more irate with Clark. Exiting Colorado, Ellen loses her bag which had her credit cards, forcing Clark to have to cash a check for future spendings.
National Lampoon’s Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is a 1983 American road comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, and Anthony Michael Hall. John Candy, Imogene Coca, Christie Brinkley, and a young Jane Krakowski appear in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by John Hughes, based on his short story “Vacation ’58” which appeared in National Lampoon.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Christie Brinkley, James Keach, Jane Krakowski
Screenplay by: John Hughes
Production Design by: Jack T. Collis
Cinematography by: Victor J. Kemper
Film Editing by: Pembroke J. Herring
Set Decoration by: Joe D. Mitchell
Music by: Ralph Burns
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 29, 1983