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The Cast Of Christmas Vacation Wore Cue Cards For Chevy Chase To Nail His Holiday Meltdown Scene

Beverly D’Angelo was quick to defend her co-star’s acting abilities, explaining that the best way for the rant to have a free-flowing delivery was to make each of Clark’s 23 uttered insults readily available for Chevy Chase, making the deluge of anger different for each take –- a not-so-jolly form of verbal jazz. She explained:

“You hear those stories about how Marlon Brando would wear an earpiece, or he’d have like his lines stuck on the ceiling, or in a bowling ball, or something like that. So, I want to make it clear that the fact that we were wearing cue cards was not about any actor’s incompetence. It had to do with our knowledge that the way to have Chevy sail was to have it there at his fingertips in case he needed it.”

To be fair, Griswold, by this point in the movie, has had a rough holiday. The throughline in all the “Vacation” movies is that Clark just wants to create happy memories with his family; its origins lie in a satirical John Hughes article that would provide the cornerstones of the first of the film series, “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation.” “Christmas Vacation” is the third installment, which sees the Griswolds beset with a series of unfortunate events that threaten Clark’s mission to have a “fun, old-fashioned family Christmas” in their Chicago home. The tree? Aflame. The lights? Unstable. The cat? Electrocuted. Septic tank? Full. By the time Griswold’s employer, Frank Shirley (Brian Doyle-Murray), stiffs him on his yearly holiday bonus, it’s the block that brings the whole Jenga tower down. It’s just not Christmas until someone has quoted the Clark Griswold meltdown.

Hallelujah, holy ****! Now, where’s the Tylenol?




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