National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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  • Post last modified:March 8, 2018
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 christmasvacationAs Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) waits for the all-important Christmas bonus, he starts planning for the best Christmas ever with his family. Of course, disaster looms in this third chapter of the series, which is one of Chase’s funniest movies and a modern Yuletide classic. The one ingredient that always works to perfection here is the star himself and the many hilarious lines he delivers; he gets plenty of help from others in the cast. The film is also surprisingly well planned; they always have one more good joke waiting. There is sappiness, but on a reasonable level. Slapstick sequences are uneven; some great, others pointless.

1989-U.S. 97 min. Color. Produced by John Hughes, Tom Jacobson. Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. Screenplay: John Hughes. Cast: Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold), Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen Griswold), Randy Quaid (Eddie), Diane Ladd, John Randolph, E.G. Marshall… Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mae Questel, Juliette Lewis.

Trivia: Followed by Vegas Vacation (1997), as well as a separate TV movie, Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (2003).

Quote: “This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here! We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!” (Chase to his family)

Last word: “I hadn’t seen the first two, and so I wasn’t really influenced by anything other than the fact that it was a big – at the time – their big Christmas movie, and comedy. And I just felt if I could crack this maybe there’s a whole other world of filmmaking for me. I was nervous about accepting it, because I didn’t know about Chevy and I wasn’t sure if it was too commercial. But I agreed to do it and I had just a fantastic time doing it. I just sublimated to all those directors who did those great classic comedies: Sturges and Wilder and Hawks. Those guys really became my dead mentors, as it were. I decided that I would try and make a movie that would, believe it or not, that would have some lasting effect – never expecting it to do so.” (Chechik, Den of Geek)

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