National Lampoon’s European Vacation is a 1985 film directed by Amy Heckerling and was produced by Matty Simmons. The screenplay was co-written by John Hughes and Robert Klane, based on a story by John Hughes. This is the only instalment in the series to credit the family’s surname name as ‘Griswald’, instead of ‘Griswold’. National Lampoon’s European Vacation stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively, Victor Lanoux, Mel Smith and Eric Idle.

The storyline follows the Griswold family after competing in a game show called Pig in a Poke where they win an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe. They try their best to blend with the local people of Europe in traditional Griswold fashion but nothing ever goes to plan when the Griswolds are in town.

Principle photography for National Lampoon’s European Vacation took place in famous landmarks in England, France, Germany and Italy under the working title Vacation ‘2’ Europe. The landmarks used in England included London’s Tower Bridge, Lambeth Bridge Roundabout, Buckingham Palace, Heathrow Airport, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster and Stonehenge (a scale model was built by the production crew). The landmarks used in France included Paris’ Left Bank, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. The landmarks used in Italy included Rome’s Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. The scenes the took place in Germany were actually filmed in a German-speaking town in South Tyrol, northern Italy.

When National Lampoon’s European Vacation was released it received mixed reviews from the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 39% and on IMDb, it has a rating of 6.1/10. Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, “While it’s very much a retread, it succeeds in following up the first film’s humour with more in a similar vein.” She added, “The film’s best visual humour arises from the mere juxtaposition of European settings with the funny hats, T-shirts and soda cans with which the Griswolds announce their presence”. Variety gave the film a negative review saying, “As the family of characters cartwheel through London, Paris, Italy and Germany – with the French deliciously taking it on the chin for their arrogance and rudeness – director Amy Heckerling gets carried away with physical humour while letting her American tourists grow tiresome and predictable. Structurally, the film unfolds like a series of travel brochures”.

Commercially, National Lampoon’s European Vacation was a box office success. Having been produced with an estimated production budget of $17m. In its opening weekend, it took $12,329,627 at the US box office and took $49,400,000 in total US box office receipts.

National Lampoons European Vacation UK Quad


National Lampoons European Vacation
Year of Film
Amy Heckerling
Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively, Victor Lanoux, Eric Idle, Mel Smith
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Adventure | Comedy
Box Office
Budget: $17,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $12,329,627 (USA)
Gross: $49,400,000 (USA)


Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Boris Vallejo
Size (Inches)
40″ x 30″
NSS # / Printer Markings
For over two thousand years, Europe has survived many great disasters. Now for the real test. The Griswold are coming from America!

Poster Collector

Simon, is a movie poster warrior who collects far too much. He also writes posts, articles, and guides for The Poster Collector. He also fancies himself a bit of a sports star in his hometown and spends too much time researching and finding new movie posters to acquire. If he’s not typing away at his keyboard or searching auctions, you can probably find him watching James Bond or Star Wars (or both).

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