The 1989 holiday comedy film “Christmas Vacation” is a classic favorite among many fans. Starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, the film follows the Griswold family as they prepare for the holidays and are visited by their extended family. This beloved movie has become a timeless holiday favorite for generations of families and continues to be watched every year. But when did “Christmas Vacation” come out? In this article, we will explore the release date of “Christmas Vacation” and why it has become such an enduring holiday favorite.

A Look Back at the Classic Christmas Movie
A Look Back at the Classic Christmas Movie “Christmas Vacation”

A Look Back at the Classic Christmas Movie “Christmas Vacation”

“Christmas Vacation” was released in theaters on December 1, 1989, and was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The movie was written by John Hughes and directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, and starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, and Randy Quaid. Upon its release, “Christmas Vacation” earned $71.3 million at the box office worldwide.

At the time of its release, “Christmas Vacation” was one of the first major holiday movies of its kind. Prior to its release, most holiday movies were either animated or focused on religious themes. “Christmas Vacation” was one of the first films to focus on the comedic aspects of the holidays, and its success paved the way for other holiday comedies like “Home Alone” and “Elf.”

The Making of “Christmas Vacation”: Behind the Scenes

The cast and crew of “Christmas Vacation” included many notable names. Chevy Chase starred as Clark Griswold, the head of the Griswold family, while Beverly D’Angelo played his wife Ellen. Juliette Lewis played Audrey Griswold, their teenage daughter, and Randy Quaid played Cousin Eddie, the lovable and eccentric relative who crashes the Griswold’s holiday celebrations. Other cast members included John Randolph, Diane Ladd, E.G. Marshall, and Doris Roberts.

The movie was filmed primarily in California and Arizona. Some of the locations used for filming include the Santa Monica Pier, the San Bernardino National Forest, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Filming took place from October 1988 to January 1989.

What Makes “Christmas Vacation” a Timeless Holiday Favorite?

One of the reasons why “Christmas Vacation” has become such a popular holiday movie is its relatable characters and iconic quotes. Clark Griswold is a likable protagonist who wants nothing more than to give his family the perfect Christmas, but finds himself struggling with the realities of the holiday season. His iconic line “Merry Christmas. Shitter’s full” has become a popular catchphrase that still resonates with viewers today.

Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, is another fan-favorite character from the movie. He serves as an exaggerated caricature of the typical family member who shows up uninvited for the holidays. His scenes often elicit laughter from viewers, as he serves as a source of comic relief. His popular lines “It’s a pretty big doohickey” and “Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” have become some of the most memorable quotes from the movie.

“Christmas Vacation” also helped shape the landscape of holiday movies. While many of the holiday classics that came before it were focused on religious themes, “Christmas Vacation” showed viewers the funny side of the holidays. It gave viewers a chance to laugh at the chaos that can sometimes accompany the holidays, and the film has been credited with inspiring a new genre of holiday comedies.

Exploring the Popularity of the
Exploring the Popularity of the “Christmas Vacation” Franchise

Exploring the Popularity of the “Christmas Vacation” Franchise

Since its release, “Christmas Vacation” has spawned several sequels and spin-offs. The movie has also inspired a wide range of merchandise, from t-shirts and mugs to home decor and toys. The popularity of the franchise has grown over the years, and “Christmas Vacation” remains one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time.

The lasting legacy of “Christmas Vacation” is evident in the way it continues to be celebrated each year. The movie has become a tradition for many families and is watched every holiday season. Its iconic characters and quotes have become staples of the holiday season, and it is sure to remain a classic favorite for many years to come.


The classic Christmas movie “Christmas Vacation” was released in theaters on December 1, 1989. Since then, it has become a timeless holiday favorite and its success has paved the way for other holiday comedies. The movie features an iconic cast and crew, as well as memorable quotes and characters that have become staples of the holiday season. The popularity of the “Christmas Vacation” franchise has grown over the years and its lasting legacy is evident in the way it continues to be celebrated.

No matter how many years pass, “Christmas Vacation” will always remain a classic holiday favorite. From its hilarious quotes to its charming characters, the movie is sure to bring joy and laughter to viewers for many years to come.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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