National Lampoon’s Vacation — 40 Years And Counting

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Barron, 1983
Everett Collection

I found out, long ago


It’s a long way down the holiday road …

The lyrics that defined the summer family road movie for a generation were the beginning of a franchise that has endeared itself to millions — National Lampoon’s Vacation.

The song was “Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham, but it is known to many as the theme song from the 1983 release of National Lampoon’s Vacation. To celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary, Warner Bros. released a beautiful 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a digital copy of the fan favorite written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis. The film introduces us to the Griswold family, including Clark (Chevy Chase), Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their two children, Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron). Clark has planned a fantastic trip across the country in their amazing new car, with stops at some very memorable locations along the way.

Ah, the family road trip, the stuff dreams are made of — or is that nightmares? The journey introduces us to colorful characters  including a car salesman played by Eugene Levy, who has the “perfect” car for the Griswolds, Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and even a security guard at Walley World played by the late John Candy. The potpourri of characters is the kind that make road trips memorable, and this film starts a journey that elicits laughs and fun.

The film spawned sequels European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation and even a recent reboot of this original film featuring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. Not every joke hit, but there are so many to count that the franchise has definitely become a part of the fabric of American comedy films.

Sure, you may own this film in one of its earlier forms, but why not upgrade your copy and travel back in time with the trip that started them all?

What scene or scenes are your favorite(s)?

National Lampoon’s Vacation on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray with Digital Copy is available June 27, 2023, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and is rated R.

Box art for National Lampoon's Vacation 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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Summer Fun

July 2022

Take a look back to the summer nights when you were young, so full of adventure and possibility.

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