National Lampoon's Vacation Movie Behind The Scenes

Making National Lampoon's Vacation

Every summer Clark Griswold takes his family on a little trip. This year he went too far.
National Lampoon's Vacation Picture
At the truck stop


Go behind the scenes on the 1983 Comedy movie starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid

We believe the following info is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Clark Griswold
The original ending of the movie was totally different and never seen by audiences.

In the original ending, after Clark punches Marty Moose, and buys the b.b. gun, he than drives into Beverly Hills instead of returning to Walley World. He finds Roy Walley's mansion and drives thru the front gates to find Roy Walley on the back patio having a meeting with some of his associates. Clark then forces Walley and his associates at gunpoint, to sing and dance to some Marty Moose songs.

The police arrive and the ending is similar to the police arriving at Walley World. Clark and Roy have a heart to heart and Walley decides not to press any charges.

The final scene is the Griswolds on an airplane. They are discussing their vacation, and how they must add Roy Walley to their christmas card list and wearing Marty Moose hats. The flight attendant announces on the P.A. that the flight is headed on a non-stop to Atlanta. Clark realizing they are on the wrong plane, gets up and begins to scream that they are on the wrong plane. Then it cuts to the runway and you hear the ground control radioing in for security about a cabin disruption.

Six months after the film ended production, it was screened to preview audiences and they hated the ending. So the cast and crew got back together and shot the Walley World ending.
Thanks to John Edward Kilduff
Vis a vis the alternate ending: This would probably explain the picture of the Griswold family wearing Marty Moose ears under the Warner Brothers logo at the end of the closing credits.
Thanks to Michael Munro
Based on the description you have for the "original" Vacation ending, it sounds an awful lot like (although reworked) the scenerio used as the ending of Christmas "Vacation" movie. (With Cousin Eddie abducting Clark's boss..etc.)
Thanks to Mike Leymaster
Chevy Chase recalled on Jay Leno's show that the original script had a red stripe on the highway trailing behind the station wagon when they were pulled over because of the leash that was hanging from the bumper. The scene was edited -for obvious reasons -but I think it sure would have been funny.
Thanks to Jonathan Lim
John Hughes's original short story mentioned Disneyland as the family's destination. The film was then scripted that same way. However, because Disneyland is open 365 days a year, they refused to allow the park to be shown closed for repairs at the end of the film. The script was then altered with a fictional theme park as the family's destination.

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

The following missing scenes from National Lampoon's Vacation are believed legit. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Mark
The lost deleted scene was in Arizona just before the El Tovar Hotel scene at the "Grand Canyon". After the tow truck mechanic cleaned the "Griswolds" out of money for towing them out of rivene. This after Aunt Edna was found dead.

The car was running out of gas and Clark Griswold had no way of paying for it. Just before the park entrance of the South Rim to Canyon and El Tovar Hotel. Clark Griswold stopped at a gasoline service station (Texaco) in front of the "Moqui Lodge" to get a tankful of gas and when he did he drove off without paying for it, sending the attendant after him on foot when he drove off.

I was employed by Fred Harvey Co. at the Moqui Lodge which owned that Texaco when that scene was shot. It was Aug. 2nd 1982 and I saw the whole thing and it was hilarious. I hope to see an expanded version (uncut with all deleted scenes) on Digital DVD/ Bluray with that scene and all others including alternate ending.

Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

The following versions of National Lampoon's Vacation are apparently real. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Steve
In the TV version of this film, the music is different in the scene where Clark is "racing" Christie Brinkley. In the VHS & DVD version, "Little Boy Sweet" can be heard, but in the TV version "I'm So Excited" is playing.
Thanks to Anonymous
In most broadcast versions, when Audrey and Rusty are fighting Audrey refers to Rusty as a retard, which is edited out for obvious reasons.

Jump To: Filming Locations
1983 Warner Bros.
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