The 25 Best Summer Vacation Movies

3. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, Anthony Michael Hall, John Candy, Imogene Coca, Christie Brinkley, Jane Krakowski
Vacation destination: Walley World amusement park in LA

Consummately flawed family man Clark Griswold (Chase) is determined to deliver an idyllic vacation to his unstable family unit. His first mistake? He crams them into a station wagon for a cross-country road trip to an amusement park in Los Angeles.

Insane antics are imminent, of course, and the Griswolds deliver the goods, which include an unexpected death (or two), unforeseen obstacles when arriving at the theme park, and Clark being memorably tempted by an unattainable woman (Brinkley), all tackled with the comedic panache that launched several sequels. But many family vacations later, the Griswold's journey to Walley World is still a trip to remember and stands as a timeless warning against enduring your elders for more than one hour at time.

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