TV Cream

Films: N is for...

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

Once you get beyond the opening Pig in the Poke sequence – and that’s only worth watching because of the Blessed John Astin – there’s not much to be had here. There are funny moments but they’re usually associated with the sort of humour that Talbot Rothwell would have dismissed as puerile. It also manages to throw up every stereotype of every nation involved including America, but the scenes in Britain are the funniest (even if the bit where they reverse into Stonehenge and topple it domino style was something we were sure had been confined to the comedy dustbin forty years ago). Chevy ‘generalissimo’ Chase leads the clan and the special guests (beware any film that bills anyone as a ‘special guest’) include Mel Smith and Eric Idle.



  1. Glenn A

    October 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    About as funny as food poisoning and worthy of the talents of Chevy Chase, ie a pile of pus from start to finish, but it makes you wonder why the mighty Mel Smith appeared in this awful film. I often wonder how Yanks would have reacted if this was a British film that demeaned their country in the way this did. However, I will admit the jokes about British late night television were quite apt for the time: Border used to shut down at 11.15 at this time.

  2. Richard Davies

    December 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    The barbecue lighting scene is one of the many “Spoofed by The Simpsons” scenes.

    Ballard Berkley turns up as a motorist not at all bothered that his car has had some trim knocked off.

    Maureen Lipman must have a had a cashflow problem at the time of production.

  3. Droogie

    December 20, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Eric Idle appears in this atrocity too – in a weird 2 decades of rubbish career limbo after the Monty Python movies, but before salvation in Spamalot the musical.

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