National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Family
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 97 minutes - $49.99 || November 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-05

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

B L U - R A Y

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Writer(s): John Hughes (written by)
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Diane Ladd, John Randolph, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Theatrical Release Date: December 1, 1989

Supplemental Material:
  • Audio Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of my all-time favorite holiday films, a true classic in fact. What makes this movie so timeless is no matter how many times I’ve watched it (and if it’s on TV, I can’t help but put it on if only for a couple of minutes), it is still as funny as it was the last time.

The previous Vacation movies were good with the message of the importance of family as Clark tries his all to be that family man, but there’s something for everybody with Christmas Vacation because you can relate to any of the situations Clark and the Griswold’s get into: an old aunt that’s going crazy, the cranky uncle who doesn’t give a crap, a crass cousin with no sense of manners and just the general family dynamic that will drive anyone bonkers during Christmas.

In this third film in the Vacation franchise, Clark Griswold (CHEVY CHASE) is looking forward to getting the entire family together under one roof. The rest of the Griswold’s aren’t as enthused... Soon crazy Cousin Eddie (RANDY QUIAD), his wife and kids, Aunt Bethany, Uncle Lewis and the four parents (E.G. MARSHALL, DORIS ROBERTS, JOHN RANDOLPH, DIANE LADD) gather together as mayhem like a dog and cat on the rampage or a wayward squirrel wreaking havoc.

While most would name movies like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story (why aren’t there any stations playing this movie over and over?) as Christmas classics, I consider Christmas Vacation right up there with the best of them. It has a great heart through the laughter and I cannot imagine NOT watching this movie around Christmas.


Just in time for the holidays, Warner Brothers is re-releasing National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in an “Ultimate Collection’s Edition” tin with some miscellaneous items inside. First the good news: the Blu-ray itself is in a standard case so you won’t have to keep the tin on your shelf. The goodies inside include a Santa Hat, Instant Snow Powder, 4 Holiday Coasters, a “I Survived a Griswold Family Christmas” Button and a Miniature Moose Mug Replica; and when it says “miniature”, they mean tiny...

The Blu-ray itself ports over the original Audio Commentary with Randy Quaid, Beverly D’Angelo, Johnny Galecki, Miriam Flynn, Director Jeremiah Chechik and Producer Matty Simmons as well as the theatrical trailer.


For this collector’s set, Warner merely repackaged the original disc as the transfer still looks poor with plenty of noise and plenty of dirt and/or scratches throughout. The detail level isn’t the greatest and colors don’t exactly pop off the screen either. Short of a head-to-toe expensive cleaning, I doubt this film will ever look good for the format.

And to add insult to injury, we only get a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound track. Again, it could be this is all the studio could muster, but when one makes an upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray, either the video or audio should be an upgrade, which it is not here.


If for whatever reason you have yet to catch this classic, we are closing in on the time of year to do so, you won’t regret it. As for this Blu-ray, if you can pick it up as a standalone disc or in this set, either way, wait for a big sale or just nab the DVD.