Draining sewage, kidnapping, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in weird sunglasses. This movie has it all!
Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Christmas Vacation:
1) This was the only Vacation movie to not feature the Lindsey Buckingham song “Holiday Road” throughout the entire film.
2) A small earthquake occurred when they were filming the scene where Uncle Louis and Aunt Bethany arrive at the Griswold house.
3) It’s the final film of Mae Questel (Aunt Bethany), whose film career began in 1930 as the voice of Betty Boop.
4) A lot of people don’t realize that Rusty was played by Johnny Galecki. He went on to play David in Roseanne and Leonard in Big Bang Theory.
5) When Clark is in bed trying to read the People Magazine with sticky fingers from the tree sap, the person shown on the cover of the magazine is Matty Simmons, this film’s producer.
6) The old Dodge pickup that tails Clark and the family in the opening scenes of the movie was previously used as Kurt Russell’s work truck in the movie Overboard
7) Many of Cousin Eddie’s characteristics including the clicking of the tongue, were based off a guy that Quaid knew from when he grew up in Texas. Eddie’s sweater/Dickie combo was an idea from Quaid’s wife.
8) Home Alone director Chris Columbus was originally supposed to direct this movie, but after two meetings with Chevy (who is known for being difficult to work with), he told writer/producer John Hughes, “There’s no way I can do this movie. I know I need to work, but I can’t do it with this guy.” He was sent the script to Home Alone in its place.
9) Diane Ladd, who plays Clark Griswold’s mother is actually only eight years older than Chevy Chase.
10) Though it takes place in snowy Chicago during December, it was shot in Colorado during the spring
11) The movie cost $27 million to make which was high considering that the film had no special effects (to compare, Ghostbusters was made for $30 million). It was worth it because the final domestic gross was $71,319,526.
12) Roger Ebert didn’t like this movie. He gave it 2 stars and said it was “curious in how close it comes to delivering on its material: Sequence after sequence seems to contain all the necessary material, to be well on the way toward a payoff, and then it somehow doesn’t work.”
13) To prepare the scene where Clark is insulting his boss, Chase had the crew place cue cards all over the set behind the camera so he could read the long-winded insult without stopping. He uses 30 different words.
14) The scene where the cat bites on the Christmas lights cord and gets electrocuted was nearly cut from the movie because the studio was worried about potential complaints of animal cruelty. But after test audiences listed it as the funniest scene in the movie, the filmmakers convinced them to keep it in.
15) They originally trained a real squirrel to wreak havoc on the Griswald’s house but it died the day before the scene was shot so an untrained squirrel was used in the final film.