TV Cream

Films: N is for...

National Lampoon’s Vacation

First – and, meaningless statement ahoy, best! – of Chevy Chase’s one-joke family road trips. That said, there’s still little to recommend it to non-Anthony Michael Hall fans except Lindsay Buckingham’s cute theme song, Holiday Road.



  1. Richard Davies

    August 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Some versions beep out some swear for some reason, even when shown on late night TV.

  2. Richardpd

    December 17, 2020 at 11:58 am

    John Hughes originally wrote this as a short story for the magazine, based on a family roadtrip to Disneyland in 1958.

    The director Harold “Egon” Ramis felt guilty in later years about the scenes in St Louis, which only just managed to pass the standard of the day & would have been rejected a few years later.

    The sanitised version makes the sequence at cousin Eddie’s a bit messy as so much is chopped out.

    Aunt Edna was originally supposed to come alive after being dumped in Phoenix, this was filmed but it was decided it was too freaky to use.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    December 17, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    God knows how Chevy Chase managed a career, given he’s not funny, comes across as a jerk in his films, and by all accounts away from cameras is famously unpleasant. It’s a strange film, given that most of the humour is fairly anodyne, with occasional startling coarseness.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    December 17, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    I agree with Sidney, Chevy Chase is completely unfunny and the National Lampoon films make Carry On look like high art. How Mel Smith was conned into appearing in the European one beats me as he was capable of so much better than anything involving Chevy Chase.

    • THX 1139

      December 17, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Chevy was very funny on Saturday Night Live, their first real breakout star, and the industry remembers that. He’s also very funny in Caddyshack. But yeah, he does himself no favours offscreen.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      December 17, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Not only Mel Smith, the great Victor Lanoux as well.

  5. Richardpd

    December 18, 2020 at 12:10 am

    I’ve heard Chevy Chase can be hard to work with, and for a long time it wasn’t possible to have him & fellow Saturday Night Live breakout Bill Murray in the same room together without one winding up the other.

    Caddyshack is one of those films I’ve never seen but is supposed to be great if you have the right sense of humour.

    I presume Mel Smith, Maureen Lipman & Robbie Coltrane some other others had bills to pay the week the casting director of European Vacation called.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    December 18, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    @ Richardpd, surely Mel Smith was making a good living from Alas Smith And Jones, but maybe a large cheque for a small role in American film was tempting, as it could break him into the American market, same as Maureen Lipman. Still a crap film and the only amusing part is when the Austin Maxi demolishes Stonehenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top