European Vacation (originally given the working title Vacation '2' Europe) is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Amy Heckerling and written by John Hughes and Robert Klane based on a story by Hughes. The second film in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, it stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Dana Hilland Jason Lively replace Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall as Griswald children Audrey and Rusty. After Hall declined to reprise his role (he decided to star in Weird Science instead), the producers decided to recast both children.
The film is the only installment of the series to credit the family’s name spelled as "Griswald", instead of "Griswold".
The Griswald family competes in a game show called Pig in a Poke and wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe. In a whirlwind tour of western Europe, chaos of all sorts ensues.
They stay in a fleabag London hotel with a sloppy, tattooed Cockney desk clerk. While in their English rental car, a yellow Austin Maxi, Clark's tendency to drive on the wrong side of the road causes frequent accidents, including knocking over a bicyclist, who reappears throughout the film. Later, Clark drives the family around the busy Lambeth Bridge roundabout for hours, unable to maneuver his way out of the chaotic traffic. At Stonehenge, Clark accidentally backs the car into an ancient stone monolith, toppling all the stones like dominoes, which they do not even notice as they happily leave the scene.
In Paris, the family wears stenciled berets, causing Rusty to be teased by young women at the Eiffel Tower observation deck. Clark offers to get rid of the beret for Rusty, but when he throws it away, another visitor's dachshund mistakes it for a Frisbee and jumps off the tower after it, landing safely in a nearby pond. The family's video camera is stolen by a passerby whom Clark had asked to take a picture of the family. Clark is also mocked by a French waiter for his terrible French. Later, Clark and Ellen visit a bawdy Paris can-can dance show, finding Rusty already there with a prostitute.
Next in a West German village, the Griswalds burst in on a bewildered elderly couple, whom they mistakenly think are relatives but the couple ends up providing them dinner and lodging anyway, each family not being able to understand the other's language. Clark turns a lively Bavarian folk dance stage performance into an all-out street brawl, after which, while fleeing, he hastily knocks down several street vendors' stands and gets their Citroën DS stuck in a narrow medieval archway.
In Rome, the Griswalds rent a car at a travel office, but unknown to them, the men in charge are thieves, holding the real manager captive. The lead thief gives them a car with the manager in the trunk, claiming he lost the trunk keys. The next day, Ellen is shocked to discover that private, sexy videos of her from the family's stolen video camera have been used in a billboard advertising porn, leaving her completely humiliated. After screaming angrily at Clark (who had told her he had erased the video), Ellen storms off to their hotel where she encounters the thief who rented them the car. She confesses her recent troubles, still unaware that he is a criminal. The man then tries to get the car keys, which are in her purse, but fails. When the police arrive at the hotel, he kidnaps Ellen, prompting Clark to rescue her.
On the flight home, Clark falls into the pilot's room and accidentally causes the plane to knock the Statue of Liberty's torch upside down.
- Chevy Chase as Clark Griswald, the patriarch of the Griswald family.
- Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswald, the wife of Clark.
- Dana Hill as Audrey Griswald, the daughter of Clark and Ellen. She was previously portrayed by Dana Barron in the last movie.
- Jason Lively as Russell "Rusty" Griswald, the son of Clark and Ellen. He was previously portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall in the last movie.
Characters in America:
- John Astin as Kent Winkdale, the host of Pig in a Poke.
- Paul Bartel as Mr. Froeger, the patriarch of the Froeger family that competed against the Griswalds on Pig in a Poke.
- Cynthia Szigeti as Mrs. Froeger, the wife of Mr. Froeger.
- Malcolm Danare as Moe Froeger, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Froeger.
- Mevi Kendall as Ruth Froeger, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Froeger.
- William Zabka as Jack, Audrey's boyfriend.
- Gary Owens as the voice of Johnny (uncredited), the announcer of Pig in a Poke
- Sheila Kennedy as the Game Show Hostess #1.
Characters in England:
- Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of The United Kingdom.
- Julie Wooldridge as Princess Diana
- Peter Hugo as Prince Charles
- Mel Smith as London hotel manager
- Robbie Coltrane as Man in bathroom
- Maureen Lipman as Lady in the bed
- Paul McDowell as First English motorist
- Ballard Berkeley as Second English motorist
- Eric Idle as The Bike Rider, an unnamed bike rider who the Griswalds have encounters with.
- Derek Deadman as Taxi Driver
Characters in France:
- Jacques Herlin as Hotel desk clerk
- Sylvie Badalati as Rusty's French girl
Characters in Germany:
- Willy Millowitsch as Fritz Spritz, the supposed relative of Clark.
- Erika Wackernagel as Helga Spritz, the wife of Fritz and a supposed relative of Clark.
- Claudia Neidig as Claudia, Rusty's German girl.
Characters in Italy:
- Victor Lanoux as The Thief, an unnamed criminal who took over a travel office.
- Massimo Sarchielli as The Other Thief
- Moon Unit Zappa as Rusty's California girl
Producer Matty Simmons initially told Dana Barron she would be returning to the role of Audrey. But after Hall declined to reprise his role and was opting to star in Weird Science, Heckerling requested both children be recast.
- London's Tower Bridge
- Lambeth Bridge Roundabout (Clark drives the car into the inner ring and can't get out of the traffic)
- Buckingham Palace
- Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middlesex
- Big Ben (Clark repeatedly announces to the kids on every loop around the Lambeth Bridge roundabout)
- Palace of Westminster
- Stonehenge (a scale model of the monument was constructed and Wiltshire was not visited by the crew
- Paris's Left Bank
- Fontaine des Innocents
- Eiffel Tower
- Louvre museum
- Notre Dame de Paris cathedral
- Rome's Colosseum
- Spanish Steps
- Piazza Navona
Other locations used in the film include:
- Statue of Liberty (the torch of which their plane crashes into and knocks over)
- Notting Hill, West London (Clark runs over Eric Idle's character here)
Scenes supposedly taking place in West Germany were actually shot in a German-speaking part of Italy (Brixen).
- Michael Yo, Dana Barron (2013). Michael Yo interviews Dana Barron about Vacation. The Yo Show. Retrieved August 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- 'National Lampoons Movie Locations and Now & Then photos' at YouTube