Thirty-five years have passed since the Griswold’s headed off on their epic road trip in National Lampoon’s Vacation.
As you know, Clark and his family were taking this trip to Walley World. However, one dead auntie later, they arrived at the theme park only to discover it had closed down. But you already know that, right?
Well…. here are 10 things you probably never knew about the movie:
10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’
1. Rusty Griswold, played by Anthony Michael Hall, was in the midst of puberty during the filming. As a result, he grew more than three inches during shooting which meant that he was different heights throughout the movie!
2. John Hughes directed the movie. He was also responsible for several more ‘80s cult favourites including ”Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”.The movie was based on a short story that was published in 1979.
3. As the movie features no less than 15 locations, the cast was taken on an actual road trip across four states in the US.
4. The scene of Clark searching for the fuel cap at the gas station is improvised. He was supposed to simply remove the license plate from the car but it slipped out of his hand and almost hit the actress standing at the pump behind him. That look of embarrassment on Clark’s face is 100% genuine.
5. Even though Christine Brinkley only featured in a small number of scenes in “Vacation”, she stayed with the cast and crew for the entire duration of the shoot. At that time, Brinkley had just emerged as a superstar in the fashion and model industry.
6. Aunt Edna, played by Imogene Coca, was reluctant to take the role because she thought that she was incapable of being mean. In the end, the producer coaxed Imogene into playing the role and later on, Chevy Chase was quoted as saying that Coca was “one of the sweetest ladies in the world”.
7. The scene in which highway officer (James Keach) pulls over the Griswold’s is mostly improvised. Clark had accidentally killed his auntie’s dog by forgetting that he was tied to the rear of the car. If you look closely, you can see both Chase and Keach trying not to laugh during the scene.
8. When Clark and Rusty are sharing a beer in the movie, the can is empty. Both “father and son” had to pretend to take swigs from the can….it’s kinda obvious too!
9. “Holiday Road” by Lindsay Buckingham was the theme song for National Lampoon’s Vacation. Although it was mostly unheard of at the time, the song rose to #82 in the singles chart as a result of the popularity of the movie.
10. The parking lot scene at Wally World was filmed in California at Anita Race Track, Arcadia. It was over 100 degrees at the time and the cast was required to run for several hundred meters until the shot was right. Hall (Rusty) said that he was trying his hardest to beat Chase (Clark) in the race but was unable to keep up!
National Lampoons Vacation was released on July 29, 1983.