Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Eddie Bracken, Brian Doyle-Murray, Miriam Flynn, James Keach, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Christie Brinkley, Jane Krakowski
Written by: John Hughes
Directed by: Harold Ramis
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 98
Date: 29/07/1983

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Walley World

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

National Lampoon's Vacation boasts a great cast and great lines from start to finish, but the funniest moments in this film for me invariably come from Randy Quaid, who plays Chevy Chase's dumb country cousin. Some choice bits: "Hey, I bet you could use a cool one!" (Quaid hands Chase a half-drunk beer and opens a new one for himself) or regarding his mute daughter, "She was born without a tongue, Clark, but don't you worry about her! She whistles like a bird and eats like a horse!"

The movie, of course, depicts the episodic, ill-fated cross-country summer vacation trip of Clark W. Griswold (Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), and their kids Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron) to get to Wallyworld. Christie Brinkley plays the dream girl in a convertible, John Candy is the hilarious security guard, and Eddie Bracken -- a veteran of Preston Sturges movies -- plays Roy Walley.

I reviewed the 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD, complete with a new commentary track by director Harold Ramis and star Chevy Chase. Now a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray edition is available.

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