Who among us hasn’t been trapped in the car for hours upon end waiting to get to where Dad wanted to go? The same question could be applied to: who hasn’t seen National Lampoon’s Vacation? The film is, hands down, a classic. A pure piece of Americana wrapped in green-walls. When the film arrived 30 years ago, it would gross 64 million at the box office, a hefty some for a R rated family comedy. The film would go on to not only capture our imagination, but hold up a dark mirror to all the family road trips we would go on for years to come.
Now Vacation’s third installment is a holiday perennial and has been on Blu-ray already. Here, for the 30th anniversary, Warner Brothers has re-released the original in stunning 1080p and Dolby Digital. All of the special features are the same as the 2003 DVD release save one. Much like the new Behind the Scenes feature on Harold Ramis’ other comedy starring Chevy Chase, this one you also have to watch. “Inside Story: National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a brand new 90 minute documentary that takes you on the real road trip that Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, and Christie Brinkley all went on.
The saga of the Griswolds and their trek to Wally World is nothing compared to the traveling production stories that each member of the cast and crew regale us with. Everyone is here from the Car Salesmen (Eugene Levy) to Cousin Vicki (30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski). However, it is Chevy Chase and Anthony Michael Hall that take center stage. Chase performs almost a stand up routine that is cleverly edited together with the cast and crew’s comments. However, it is Hall’s stories about trying to get a peek at Christie Brinkley, Beverly D’Angelo, and Dana Barron that make you wish you were Rusty Griswold, if only for a moment.
We’ve all seen it. We can all quote at least one part of it. If anything, you probably already have it. Trust me, you don’t have this edition. It has never looked better and rivals Warner Brothers 2010 Blu-ray release of Caddyshack. Like that film, this is a quintessential comedy and one for the library. I just can’t believe that it is 30 years old and still as funny as the first time I watched.
The 30th Anniversary Edition of "National Lampoon’s Vacation" is available on Blu-ray now!