If you've done any kind of road trip with the family this summer, let's hope the 1983 comedy "Vacation" isn't representative of how things went. But today is a good time to reflect on the misadventures of the Griswold family, who set out for Wally World 30 years ago.
In the film, written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis, Clark (Chevy Chase) is at the wheel of the family station wagon, with wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall,) and daughter Audrey (Dana Barron) along for the chaotic ride.
Clark's quest to get his family to the theme park to see Marty Moose is met with nothing but trouble, from poor old Aunt Edna strapped to the car's roof to her dog tied to the bumper. Clark's ability to keep his eyes on the road is jeopardized mostly by the fact that he can't keep them off Christie Brinkley and her red Ferrari.
We've raided the luggage rack and unpacked some of our favorite scenes. Note: Some explicit language in certain clips.
'You didn't order the metallic pea?'
When Clark and Rusty go to pick up the new vacation car, they find it's not the "Antarctic blue Super Sportswagon with the CB and optional rally fun pack" that they ordered. And they're saddled with the Wagon Queen Family Truckster.
'Laid off when they closed that asbestos factory'
The Griswolds make a stop in Kansas to spend the night with family and Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) manages to make Clark look like a real genius. "I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper," Eddie says from behind the grill. "It does just fine by itself."
'Tough little mutt'
Clark gets pulled over by a highway patrolman, and quickly learns why when the officer shows him a dog leash tied to the wagon's bumper. "Poor little guy, probably kept up with you for a mile or so."
'We're from out of town'
"This is a part of America we never get to see," Clark reasons after he gets lost and navigates through a rough section of St. Louis. "Kids? You noticing all this plight?"
Man to man
After flying off the road into the desert, Clark has a heart-to-heart with Russ. We'd say they shared a beer, but young Russ drank all of it himself.
Eulogy for Aunt Edna
Clark is "not an ordained minister," but in the pouring rain, with his wife's dead aunt propped in a patio chair, he does his best to pay respects for the family. "She can't catch a cold now, mom," Rusty reasons.
'First ones here!'
When they arrive to an empty parking lot at Wally World, Clark and Rusty race "Chariots of Fire" style to the front gates, only to find the family fun park is closed for cleaning for two weeks.
What's your favorite scene or line from "Vacation"? Share your thoughts in the "Discuss" section below.
First published July 29 2013, 5:25 AM