National Lampoon's Vacation (lost deleted alternate ending of comedy film; 1983)
The 1983 comedy classic National Lampoon's Vacation underwent re-shoots prior to release, featuring a completely replaced ending. In the final film, the ending, shot in a completely different resolution from the rest of the film, sees Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his family finally arrive at the Walley World amusement park only to find it closed for repairs.
After purchasing the BB gun, the original ending also sees Clark buy a map of the stars homes and track down Roy Walley himself. Griswold finds Walley at his house, having a meeting in his backyard. Clark holds Walley and his employees at gunpoint and forces them to entertain his family by singing and dancing. The police show up to arrest Clark, but as they're about to take him away, the beautiful woman in the red sports car (Christie Brinkley) shows up and reveals herself to be Roy Walley's daughter. She convinces her father to drop the charges and Clark is released.
The final scene was to show the Griswolds on a plane heading back home (wearing complementary Walley World hats) only to find out they're on the wrong flight. Clark hijacks the plane to get the pilots to change course.
Following initial test screenings, Harold Ramis stated audiences were highly entertained by the film, but didn't enjoy the ending. It wasn't the violent nature of the scene, but the non-inclusion of the actual Walley World park that left audiences dissatisfied. John Hughes was brought back to write the new ending, with Warner Bros. giving the cast and crew four days to shoot the new footage. Filming took place at a Six Flags amusement park.
None of the footage of the original ending has surfaced to this day, with only a few photographs released. Chevy Chase announced on the audio commentary for the film's 20th anniversary DVD that he possessed a copy of the film with the original ending, but Warner Bros. has shown no interest in releasing it commercially.
A photograph of the original ending is featured in the final credits of the film (during the "Distributed by Warner Bros." credit).
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (partially found deleted scenes of Christmas comedy film; 1989)
- Cinelinx article about the original ending. Retrieved 13 May '21