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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

A show about movies and how they connect.

When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.
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