Family Vacation With John Candy

Aptly titled family vacation with John Candy, this short film gives you a rare look at the comedic actor’s home life with his real family. Shot for a Canadian television show in the early ’80s, the film is a pleasant walk through Canda’s cottage country, featuring clichéd tourist attractions like Northern Lights and a lumberjack orchestra. There’s even a mentalist performance that gets a bit creepy toward the end. Overall, it’s an interesting portrait of Canada’s fallen funnyman as well as a quaint little documentary about what Canada was like in the late ’70s and early ’80s—a time when it was still okay to ask your guide questions about where she was born.

The very funny John Candy stars in the completely family friendly and upbeat comedy. Candy plays Chet Ripley a hard working and mild mannered food company executive who is forced to spend a torturous 4 days and 5 nights in close quarters with his wife, three kids and his parents from hell. After a heart attack, a failed suicide attempt and learning that there is no way he will receive a promotion at work, Chet plans for the whole family to go on vacation.

John Candy is that guy everyone knew from their childhood. He appeared in countless skits and movies about family travel. Candy brought joy and happiness to everyone watching especially when filming with his wife, Rose. It was his roles in comedy that allowed him to touch many lives across the world. Life was very different for John Candy than most people could ever imagine.

Family Vacation With John Candy

Family Vacation is a 1989 American comedy film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay written by John Hughes. Starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Dana Hill, it follows the Griswold family as they take a disastrous vacation to Wally World. The film received mixed reviews, although it was a box office success. Vacation became one of the most financially successful films of the 1980s, gaining $73.3 million at the domestic box office against its budget of $15 million.

To celebrate the anniversary of the film’s release on July 29, 1983, here are 20 things you probably didn’t know about the original “Vacation.”

1. Anthony Michael Hall, who played Rusty Griswold, was going through puberty during shooting. He grew three inches throughout production, and as a result, is different heights throughout the film.

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2. The film was written by John Hughes (who would go on to write other ’80s classics such as “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles”), and was based on his story “Vacation ’58,” which was published in National Lampoon magazine in 1979.

3. Shooting for “Vacation” called for a real-life road trip for the cast and crew. The film was shot in more than 15 locations across four states.

4. “Vacation” is the only R-rated movie in the series. In the film’s DVD commentary, director Harold Ramis said he was worried the National Lampoon style of comedy may have had too much of an edge for his directorial style and said he was particularly embarrassed by the scene in St. Louis, calling it “the most politically incorrect sequence I’ve ever shot.”

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5. There were five Wagon Queen Family Trucksters used in rotation during production of the film, allowing for each to be altered in various ways to account for the wear and tear the car endures throughout the Griswolds’ trip.

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6. During a scene early in the movie, Clark (Chevy Chase) helps Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) clean the dishes, but he never actually rinses them or puts them in the dishwasher. Instead he just wipes them off with a rag and puts them back into the cabinets. Chase says it’s one of his favorite bits in the film, but says it goes unnoticed by most fans.

7. In the family sing-along scenes, Chase notes that Beverly D’Angelo is actually a great singer. Before “Vacation” she starred in the 1979 musical “Hair.”

8. During the gas station scene in which Clark is trying to find the gas cap for the Family Truckster, Chase didn’t intend to throw the license plate when he removed it. The plate flew behind him and nearly hit the actress parked at the adjacent pump. The look of concern on Chase’s face afterward is genuine.

9. Christie Brinkley was just becoming a superstar in the modeling industry when production began and the studio wanted to feature her in the movie. While she only appeared in a handful of scenes, she traveled with the cast and crew for much of the shoot. “Vacation” was her first movie credit and she would reprise her role for the 1997 sequel “Vegas Vacation.”

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10. Randy Quaid based Cousin Eddie’s trademark tongue click on a guy he knew in high school and marked every spot in the script where he wanted to incorporate the sound.

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11. Jane Krakowski made her big-screen debut in “Vacation” at age 14 as Eddie’s daughter, Cousin Vicki.

12. Imogene Coca, who played Aunt Edna, was hesitant about taking the role because she was worried she couldn’t be mean enough. “She was one of the sweetest ladies in the world,” Chase later said of Coca. However, producer Matty Simmons talked Coca into taking the part, assuring her she was a fantastic actress who could play any role.

13. Chase and James Keach, who plays the highway patrol officer, improvised much of the scene in which the two realize Clark accidentally killed Aunt Edna’s dog Dinky by forgetting to untie his leash from the rear bumper. The two are noticeably trying to stifle laughter during the scene.

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14. Stunt coordinator Dick Ziker made a bet against other crew members that he would be able to jump the Family Truckster more than 50 feet during the desert scene. Ziker won the bet.

15. Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” which serves as the movie’s theme song, rose to No. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart thanks to the movie’s popularity.

16. During Clark and Rusty’s father-son scene in which the two share a beer, the beer can is actually empty and the two had to pretend to take swigs from it.

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