Christmas Vacation (1989) – The Review Continued…

I watch the Warner Brothers Christmas Vacation every year at Christmas and I reviewed it previously – check here. The movie originated as a John Hughes short story called “Christmas ’59,” that appeared in the December 1980 issue of National Lampoon magazine.

We’re kicking off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.

Clark Griswold

The Film shooting began March 27, 1989 in Summit County, Colorado, with footage shot in Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Frisco. Then they moved to Warner Bros. Ranch Facilities in Burbank, California, where the set of the Griswold family’s house and street is located. Christmas Vacation was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik (Benny & Joon, Diabolique and The Avengers) and

produced by John Hughes (Mr. Mom, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, European Vacation, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Planes, Trains and Automobiles,

The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Beethoven, Dennis the Menace, 1994 Miracle 34 Street, Mallrats, 101 Dalmations, Flubber).

The musical score for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was composed by Angelo Badalamenti (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Twin Peaks, Profiler, The Wicker Man). The song entitled “Christmas Vacation” that was written for the movie by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and performed by Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers fame.

Other stars in the movie were Miriam Flynn as Catherine (regular on The Tim Conway Show, her own sitcom Maggie, Grounded for Life, Mr. Mom), Cody Burger as Rocky, Ellen Hamilton Latzen as Ruby Sue,

William Hickey as Lewis, Clark’s aged uncle (the voice of Dr. Finklestein in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pink Cadillac, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Major Payne), Mae Questel as Bethany, Clark’s 80-year-old aunt (The voice for Olive Oyl in Popeye cartoons and Betty Boop, commercials for Playtex and Folger’s Coffee),

Can’t see the line, can ya, Russ?

Clark Griswold

Sam McMurray as Bill, Clark’s co-worker (Freaks and Geeks, The King of Queens, Raising Arizona, The Wizard, Addams Family Values, 1999 The Mod Squad, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Tracey Ullman Show, The King of Queens),

Nicholas Guest as Todd (Astro Boy, Frozen, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Over the Hedge, Rio, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tangled, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Trading Places, Zootopia, The Joy Luck Club),

Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead

Clark Griswold

Brian Doyle-Murray as Frank Shirley, Clark’s boss (Saturday Night Live, Caddyshack, Modern Problems, Sixteen Candles, Legal Eagles, Scrooged, Ghostbusters II, Wayne’s World, Wings, Groundhog Day, Ellen, Duckman, Dennis the Menace Strikes Again, Dr. Dolittle, King of the Hill, Spongebob Squarepants, Yes Dear),

Natalia Nogulich as Helen Shirley, Frank’s wife (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Vice Admiral/Fleet Admiral Alynna Nechayev) and Nicolette Scorsese as Mary, a lingerie counter clerk (model, Boxing Helena, NYPD Blue).

Hey! If any of you are looking for any last minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head.

Clark Griswold

The movie starts with the hilarious opening credits cartoon produced by Kroyer Films. The movie flows perfectly, keeping me laughing every few minutes. I would rank it as a near perfect comedy.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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