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maryann johanson | takeaway only

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (retro trailer)

Granny saying the Pledge of Allegiance as Christmas dinner grace has to be one of the funniest moments in movies ever. Well, at least it was the first time — once the surprise is past, it’s not quite so hilarious anymore.

The general level of just barely contained family animosity and bad will is what makes this a classic, especially combined with poor Chevy Chase’s determination to make Christmas fun fun fun! at the same time. It’s a bitter takedown of the forced merriment of the holiday season.

(I reviewed the film here. It’s an early effort — be kind.)

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