National Lampoon's "Vacation" Turns 30

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- Believe it or not, it's been 30 years since the Griswald family packed up their putrid-looking station wagon and headed towards Wally World.

National Lampoon's "Vacation" premiered on July 29, 1983, and was met with big success at the box office. The film cost just $15 million to make but earned over $61 million in ticket sales. Audiences were drawn in and related to the film's comical depiction of a summer family road trip gone terribly awry.

"Vacation" marked a professional reunion at the time between "Caddyshack" director Harold Ramis and "SNL" star Chevy Chase.

Ramis would go on to direct more hit comedies like "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." He also gained fame in front of the camera as Egon in the "Ghostbusters" films.

Chase reprised his role as well-intentioned doofus dad Clarke Griswald in three sequels -- 1985's "European Vacation," 1989's "Christmas Vacation" and 1997's "Vegas Vacation."

Chase's co-star Beverly D'Angelo, who played Clarke's endearing wife Ellen, also appeared in the three sequels. Chase and D'Angelo are set to appear together in a planned upcoming "Vacation" reboot starring Ed Helms as a grown-up version of their son, Rusty.

In the 1983 film, Rusty was played by a then-relatively unknown Anthony Michael Hall, who was just 15 at the time. After "Vacation," Hall was associated with a group of then-young Hollywood actors known as the "Brat Pack," thanks in part to starring in films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" -- both directed by late "Vacation" screenwriter John Hughes, who died of a heart attack in 2009 at the age of 59.

See what some of the other stars from the film like Randy Quaid have been up to over the last 30 years by viewing our "Vacation" slideshow to the left of this story.

Tell us: Can you believe it's been 30 years since "Vacation" first premiered?


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