National Lampoon's Vacation

“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!”

Harold Ramis’ second foray into feature film directing introduced the world to the Griswolds – Clark, Ellen, Rusty and Audrey – as they drive from Chicago to LA on a 2-week vacation with the aim of visiting an obvious Disneyland replacement for legal reasons, Walley World. It’s a wonderful film and proved to be another box office success for Ramis, who wouldn’t direct another hit like this for 10 years with ‘Groundhog Day.’ Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our very short Harold Ramis series with the classic 1983 road trip comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” We talk about the original John Hughes story on which this is based and look at the darker tones in that story, comparing it with how it was reshaped in this film. We discuss the cast, notably Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Imogene Coca (and her dog), Randy Quaid, Christie Brinkley and Eddie Bracken. We chat about the ending of the short story, the original ending and the rewritten ending and debate what works best (and what problems this one may have because of the final ending). And we, of course, talk about the franchise, comparing this with what we view as the only other good one in the bunch, 1989’s ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ It’s a comedy classic and a great way to finish our Ramis series, so check it out then tune in!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy’s Trailer: The High Rise — “I love a trailer that piques my curiosity and doesn’t have to spell everything out. This trailer is exactly that and get me very excited because I don’t feel like I know everything that’s going to happen in the movie. How refreshing!”

Pete’s Trailer: Kubo and the Two Strings — “First time feature director Travis Knight is behind some of the most lovely and original animation going, from Coraline to Paranorman to Boxtrolls. This adventure of Kubos looks to be another in a beautiful series catalog of animation.”