Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

Co-scripted by teen-pic maestro John Hughes (The Breakfast Club et al), this politically incorrect comedy from director Amy Heckerling (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) should be dismissed without hesitation.

But there is something endearing about the Griswold family, and Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo’s infectious enthusiasm manages to sweep you along (as begrudgingly as kids Jason Lively and Dana Hill) on this cliché-ridden package tour.

As the Griswolds weave their way from London to Rome – destroying Stonehenge, whingeing, eating, and donning silly clothes – two minor subplots are inserted: the family’s unwitting involvement in a kidnapping, and their equally inadvertent appearance in a softcore porn film.


Every conceivable national stereotype is pressed into service, as polite British cyclists, rude French waiters, aggressive Germans in lederhosen and Mafia hitmen are trotted out with soothing predictability.

Nothing could prepare you for the highlight, however, a whistle-stop tour of the Louvre to legendary Belgian pop star Plastic Bertrand‘s seminal song Ça Plâne pour Moi.

Clark W Griswold
Chevy Chase
Ellen Griswold
Beverly D’Angelo
Audrey Griswold
Dana Hill
Rusty Griswold
Jason Lively
Quiz host
John Astin
Victor Lanoux
Bike rider
Eric Idle
Hotel manager
Mel Smith
Man in bathroom
Robbie Coltrane
Lady in bed
Maureen Lipman
Mr Froeger
Paul Bartel
Mrs Froeger
Cynthia Szigeti
The Froegers’ son
Malcolm Danare
The Froegers’ daughter
Kevi Kendall
Game show hostesses
Sheila Kennedy
Trisha Long
William Zabka
London stewardess
Wendy Goldman
Court announcer
Angus MacKay
Princess Di
Julie Wooldridge
Prince Charles
Peter Hugo

Amy Heckerling