1989 US family comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a 1989 American comedy film, it is the third installment in National Lampoon’s Vacation film series, and was written by John Hughes, based on his short story in National Lampoon magazine, “Christmas ’59”. The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid, with Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki as the Griswold children Audrey and Rusty, respectively.
Since its release, Christmas Vacation has often been labeled as a modern Christmas classic. It is widely regarded as the best sequel of the Vacation series, and is the only sequel to have its own direct sequel: a 2003 made-for-TV release titled National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. Christmas Vacation is the last theatrical Vacation film to carry the National Lampoon label and to feature a screenwriting credit from Hughes.
Chicago resident Clark Griswold plans to have a great Christmas with his entire family. He gathers his wife Ellen, daughter Audrey, and son Rusty and drives out to the country to a tree farm. After walking through the snow for hours, Clark finds the largest tree he can. Realizing too late that they did not bring any tools to cut the tree down, they are forced to uproot it instead, before driving home with the tree strapped to the roof of their car.
Soon after, both Clark’s and Ellen’s parents arrive to spend Christmas, but their bickering quickly begins to annoy the family. Clark, however, maintains a positive attitude, determined to have a “fun old-fashioned family Christmas.” He covers the house’s entire exterior with 25,000 twinkle lights, which fail to work at first, as he has accidentally wired them through his garage’s light switch. When they finally come on, they temporarily cause a citywide power shortage and create chaos for Clark’s yuppie neighbors, Todd and Margo. While standing on the front lawn admiring the lights, Clark is shocked to see Ellen’s redneck cousin Catherine and her husband Eddie, as they arrive unannounced with their children, Rocky and Ruby Sue, and their Rottweiler dog, Snots. Eddie later admits that they are living in the RV they arrived in, as he is broke and has been forced to sell his home and acreage. Clark offers to buy gifts for Eddie’s kids so they can still enjoy Christmas. Soon afterward, Clark’s Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis arrive as well.
Clark begins to wonder why his boss Frank Shirley has not given him his yearly bonus, which he desperately needs to replace an advance payment he has made to install a swimming pool for the coming summer. After a disastrous Christmas Eve dinner, along with Uncle Lewis accidentally burning down the Christmas tree, he finally receives an envelope from a company messenger, who had failed to deliver it the day before. Instead of the presumed bonus, the envelope contains a free year’s membership for the “Jelly